List of wars involving South Korea

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This is a list of wars involving South Korea and its predecessor states. This list only includes conflicts where South Korean forces took part in actual combat operations, thus excluding the Persian Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan, among others.


Joseon dynasty: 1392–1897

Conflict Joseon dynasty and its allies Opponents Results Monarch of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon dynasty
Second Tsushima Expedition (1396)  Korea So clan mon2.svg Tsushima Province Victory
  • Resulted in yearly tributes by Tsushima.
King Taejong
Third Tsushima Expedition (1419)  Korea So clan mon2.svg Tsushima Province Victory
  • Discrepancy on which side had actually won.
King Sejong the Great
Joseon Northern Expedition (1443)  Korea Jurchen.png Jianzhou Jurchens Victory
  • Led to establishment of present-day northern borders.
King Sejong the Great
Sampo Invasion (1510)  Korea So clan mon2.svg Tsushima Province Victory
  • Joseon broke all diplomatic relations with Japan after the incident.
King Jungjong
First Japanese invasion of Korea (1592–1593)  Korea

Ming dynasty

Toyotomi mon.png Azuchi-Momoyama Japan Stalemate
  • Joseon, despite its strategic advantage, suffered heavy casualties due to an inefficient military system.
King Seonjo
Second Japanese invasion of Korea (1597–1598)  Korea

Ming dynasty

Toyotomi mon.png Azuchi-Momoyama Japan Japanese Withdrawal
  • Asia's first regional warfare that involved intensive use of modern-era weapons.
King Seonjo
Ming-Manchu War (1618–1683) Ming dynasty
Kumul Khanate
Turfan Khanate
Amaga aisin gurun1.png Manchus Defeat Gwanghaegun
First Manchu invasion of Korea (1627)  Korea Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1862-1889).svg Later Jin dynasty Defeat
  • Was spurred by actions of Mao Wenlong, a Ming commander who operated off islands of Korea.
King Injo
Second Manchu invasion of Korea (1636–1637)  Korea Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1862-1889).svg China Defeat
  • Brought forth the idea of Punitive North Expedition in Joseon.
King Injo
Sino-Russian border conflicts (1652–1689) Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1862-1889).svg China
Flag of Russia (1696–1917).svg Russia
Hetmanate Army flag.png Cossacks
Victory King Hyojong
French campaign against Korea (1866)  Korea  France French withdrawal
  • Spurred by Joseon's execution of French Catholic priests on the same year.
Heungseon Daewongun
United States expedition to Korea (1871)  Korea  United States U.S. withdrawal
  • Spurred by Joseon's unknown treatment of the American merchant ship General Sherman.
Heungseon Daewongun
Ganghwa Island incident (1875)  Korea  Japan Defeat King Gojong
Imo Incident (1882)  Korea Korean military dissidents, mostly from the Central Defense Command Victory
  • Spurred by Central Defense Command receiving significantly worse treatment compared to the newly established "Byolkigun".
King Gojong
Gapsin Coup (1884)  Korea
Supported by Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg China
Reformist Faction
Supported by  Japan
Gapsin Coup overthrown
  • Resulted in Chinese dominance within Korean politics.
King Gojong
Donghak Peasant Revolution (1894–1895)  Korea Cheondoism flag.svg Donghak Peasant's Army Victory King Gojong

Korean Empire: 1897–1910

Conflict Korean Empire and its allies Opponents Results Emperor of Korean Empire
Korean Empire
Eulsa Righteous War (1905)  Korea  Japan Defeat Emperor Gwangmu
Jeungmi Righteous War (1907)  Korea  Japan Defeat
  • Reaction to the forced dissolution of the Korean Imperial Army.
Emperor Yunghui
Great Korean Militia Roundup Campaign (1909)  Korea  Japan Defeat
  • Most battles were around the Southern Korea region of Jeolla.
Empeor Yunghui

Occupied Korea: 1910–1945

Conflict Provisional Government of Korea and its allies Opponents Results Leader
of Provisional Government
Provisional Government of Korea
Bongoh town Battle (1920) Provisional Korea  Japan Victory
  • One of earlier Korean independence movements.
Syngman Rhee
Battle of Chongsanli (1920) Provisional Korea  Japan Victory
  • Referred in Korea as "Great victory of Chongsanli".
Syngman Rhee
Massacre of Svobodny (1921) Provisional Korea  Far Eastern Republic Defeat
  • Most of initial Korean militia was destroyed during the massacre.
Syngman Rhee
South-East Asian theatre of World War II (1942–1945)  United Kingdom


 United States



Victory Premier
Kim Gu

South Korea: 1948–present

Conflict South Korea and its allies Opponents Results President of South Korea
South Korea
Korean War (1950–1953)  South Korea

United Nations Command

 North Korea
 Soviet Union
  • Cease-fire armistice; North Korean invasion of South Korea repelled, UN invasion of North Korea repelled, Chinese invasion of South Korea repelled.
  • Korean Demilitarized Zone established, little territorial change at the 38th parallel border.
Syngman Rhee
Vietnam War (1964–1973) Free World Military Forces

 South Vietnam
 United States
Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg Laos
Khmer Republic

 North Vietnam
Viet Cong
Khmer Rouge
Khmer Issarak
Pathet Lao
 North Korea
Defeat Park Chung-hee
Korean DMZ Conflict (1966–1969)  South Korea
 United States
 North Korea Victory
  • North Korean failure to instigate an armed insurgency in South Korea
Park Chung-hee
Iraq War (2003–2008)  Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan
Naqshbandi Army
ISIL Flag of Ansar al-Islam.svg Ansar al-Islam
Islamic Army of Iraq (emblem).png IAI
Mahdi Army
Special Groups
Badr Brigades
Kata'ib Hezbollah
Roh Moo-hyun

See also


External links

The Korean War:

  • Korean War resources, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • North Korea International Documentation Project
  • Grand Valley State University Veteran's History Project digital collection
  • The Forgotten War, Remembered – four testimonials in The New York Times
  • Collection of Books and Research Materials on the Korean War an online collection of the United States Army Center of Military History
  • The Korean War at

Capital Mechanized Infantry Division, a division that fought in Korea and Vietnam:

  • ROMAD with Korean Tiger Division, DASF's No's 1-7 listed with photos
  • Photo of Commanding General of ROKF-V, LTG. Chae Myung Shin
  • Photo of a Forward Observation Post (OP) of the 6th Company, ROK Blue Dragon Marine Corp.(2)-Vietnam 1970
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