After the end of the war in the Pacific on 2 September 1945, Soviet and American forces occupied Korea. In 1948, the United Nations (UN) organized the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK), a body consisting of 30 individuals from eight member nations of the UN. The Canadian contribution was two military officers. The task of UNTCOK was to supervise the withdrawal of American and Soviet troops from Korea and oversee free elections throughout the country. However, the Soviet Union objected to the mission. The Soviets claimed that, since Korea was not a member of the organization, the UN had no jurisdiction in Korea. As a result, Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel. The American government supported South Korea (Republic of Korea), and, on 20 July 1948, Syngman Rhee was elected its president. In the north, the Soviets established the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and named Kim Il Sung its leader. The Soviet Union officially withdrew from North Korea but left hundreds of "advisors" including pilots and military personnel. In addition, Kim Il Sung's government received large amounts of Soviet military arms and equipment. By June 1949, the American forces withdrew from South Korea, leaving behind a small number of advisors.


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