Korea has been for centuries the sore thumb of Asia, protruding as it does into the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan at the focal point of the China-Japan-Russia triangle. Control of this strategic area is a first step toward domination of the Far East, and the forces of Communism could scarcely have chosen a more advantageous Spot for a test of strength with the United Nations.
Nearly all the conditions favor an Asiatic military establishment over Western land and sea forces. The S-shaped peninsula is 525 miles in length—about the distance from New York to Columbus, Ohio—with a width ranging from 125 to 200 miles. A coastline of 6,000 miles offers more elements of hazard than hospitality—few adequate harbors on the east coast, and mud flats swept by 30- foot tides on the west coast. Tumbled foothills rise abruptly from the sea, and peaks of 8,000 feet form the vertebrae of the rocky spinal column.