Skip to content

Letters: Korean War or conflict?

I was educated that the Korean War was technically referred to as a post-Second World War conflict
Korean War


Last week, when I wrote a letter to the editor, in response to Brad Sherwin’s Community Comment, I mentioned my father-in-law, who is a veteran of The Second World War and the Korean War.

Further into the letter, I indirectly referred to the Korean War as a “conflict”. Apparently, this term upset another resident of Delta, and Bob Orrick wrote a letter in response, in which he stated: “Please don’t refer to Korean War as a conflict”.

As a proud Canadian, who has veterans in my family, I am very aware that Remembrance Day can be an emotional and reflective time of year, especially for our elders. So, if I upset Mr. Orrick by using the term “conflict” in reference to the Korean War, then I am sorry for that.

However, as a university graduate, I was educated that the Korean War was technically referred to as a post-Second World War conflict.

According to (, when I asked the question: Was the Korean War technically a war?, the answer was as follows: “the armed conflict in Korea, which began in 1950, lasted three years and claimed the lives of millions of Korean soldiers and civilians on both sides, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers, and more than 36,000 U.S. soldiers. (Statistics of Canadian casualties were not mentioned in this article.)

However, the United States never formally declared war on North Korea, China, or the Soviet Union. And, although the U.S. military led the United Nations’ expeditionary force, its involvement was tied only to a UN Security Council resolution, because the UN itself cannot declare war. Consequently, the conflict in Korea did not technically constitute a war”. Of course, this depends entirely on the source of your information, as it has interchangeably been referred to as the Korean War and the Korean conflict. (Wikipedia refers to both).

I did not mean to offend Mr. Orrick, or any of his contemporaries, when I used the term “conflict” in reference to the Korean War. In fact, I wish all of them nothing but the best of luck and good health, in the future, whether they are veterans or not.

A. Cameron