The Korean War in our timeline's main focus was driving out the communists in North Korea out of South Korea. In this timeline, the UN and NATO's main objective is reuniting Korea (they still would have loved doing this in our timeline). With the death of Stalin in the Soviet Union, bombings in the Germanies stopped for somewhere around six weeks. This gave time for NATO and the UN to begin the war in Korea. In North Korea, the communists were supported by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.
With the bombings in Germany proving useless, Truman ordered a ceasefire on January 18 and made it publicly known to the Soviet Union. A few days after the ceasefire, the Soviet Union stopped as well. The tension, however, was still there. Truman compared the days as "bombs without physical damage." Every second of the day, there was tension.
On January 23, Truman was made aware of a civil war in Korea between communist North Korea and democratic South Korea. Truman, who was feared greatly of the communist domino theory, informed NATO of the war in Korea. NATO leaders agreed that the bombings were just a waste of time and money. They needed to act fast on the spread of communism. After the United Nations put sanctions on North Korea, NATO was ready to invade the peninsula. On January 27, 1950, NATO began their first ever war as an organization. It marked the first time in history that an alliance as big as NATO worked so closely together on an invasion and acted it out so perfectly. The goal was to drive out he communist insurgents in Korea.
The war began to look like complete domination on NATO's part. And in the first weeks of U.S. Marines and the UN crossed the 38th parallel to enter North Korea in August 1950, the goal was to completely reunite the Koreas under a democratic government. The reason for this was that they did not want to lose Korea the same way they lost Berlin. Before the UN invasion of Korea, it was almost reunited - but under communism in 1951 when the Chinese intervened.
The Red Dragon Intervenes
In November 1950, the UN was so close to completing their goal of Korean Unification that they were near the border of China and Korea. But "near" was too close for the Chinese government that they planned their own invasion of Korea. On November 15, 1950, the Chinese army made its way into Korea. Also during this time, the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist countries aided the North Korean communists. But there was no sign of a Soviet invasion yet - even with the aid. There was no relocation of troops or anything else from the Soviet Union - besides the aid.
The Chinese invasion took many of NATO's highest military officers, including United States General Douglas MacArthur, by surprise. The Chinese drove back NATO past the 38th parallel, and it looked like NATO would lose the Korean Peninsula to communism. The NATO forces were, literally, on the southern edge of Korea. After two years of intense battles and conflicts, NATO forces began to push back and were finally back at the 38th parallel on June 16, 1953. The progress NATO made, however, could not stop the determination of the North Korean and Chinese forces. Writers of the time nicknamed the war as "The Korean Tug-of-War." But the nickname did fit. Every so often, the sides would cross the 38th parallel - and then be pushed back just hours later.
The United States and NATO forces were locked in a bitter stalemate. No side was pushing, but the Western allies and Communists were stuck in the middle part of the peninsula. It seemed like any day the NATO could sign the armistice once proposed. But it took the will of a ex-military supreme commander to gain an edge.
Bold and Daring
United States president Dwight Eisenhower was fresh off winning the elections the following year, but it did not take long for big decisions to come as everyday tasks. He decided the only way to get the Chinese out of Korea was to prepare for a "fake" invasion of China. He commanded the Naval fleet to bomb the Chinese coast and to move ships into Taiwan.In December of 1953, the United States and NATO, in a daring move, stationed a Naval fleet of about 25 boats in the East China Sea. After days of threats to the Chinese government (with no reply), in the night hours of December 12, 1953, NATO ships, planes, and small boats began bombing raids on Chinese cities in the Manchuria region. The attacks proved useful, as many Chinese soldiers quickly returned home out of a fear of a United States invasion.
Soon after the surrendering of China, North Korea followed the same fate. On January 2, 1954, an armistice was signed, and shortly after, a peace treaty called the "Treaty of Saigon" was signed and put into effect. The remaining communists were either killed or taken prisoner. "The most surprising thing about the war," remarked Eisenhower, "is that the Soviet Union never invaded." Years later, in 1977, the Soviet Union spoke about the lack of invasion during the war. "The Soviet Union, at the time, felt as if the Americans were bankrupting themselves trying to stop communism," spoken by Anastas Mikoyan.
It didn't take until August of 1954 for the conflict in Korea to end for a democratic victory as the Republic of Korea - a country once divided and now one. At the end of the Korean War, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed. Korea, Japan, Australia, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Pakistan (with East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh)), New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand were all members.
With the war in Korea over, United States and Chinese relations turn hot during the First Taiwan Strait Crisis. But the situation cooled over a couple days. On Decemeber 2, 1954, the Far East Communist Countries Union was formed. The Taiwan Strait Crisis prompts the People's Republic of China to begin building a nuclear bomb. On October 16, 1964 the Chinese successfully tested their first nuclear weapon.