Two Australians played a vital role in saving South Korea at the outbreak of the Korean War
In late June 1950, Major Stuart Peach and Squadron Leader Ronald Rankin were front page news. Sent to the Republic of Korea to report on growing tensions between North Korea and South Korea, they were thought to have been captured after Seoul fell to the invading North Korean army. While the men were missing, a report they had written was submitted to the United Nations Security Council.
The two Australians were working as military observers for the United Nations Commission on Korea (UNCOK), established in 1948 primarily to oversee elections to reunify Korea. By August, all hopes of a unified Korea had disappeared after elections to reunite the country failed. Instead, two states had been formed, the Republic of Korea in the south, supported by the United States of America, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, supported by the Soviet Union.