United Nations Commission on Korea (UNCOK) 1950

Date from 01 January 1950
Date to 31 December 1950
Collection type Conflict
Scope note Purpose: UNCOK was originally established in 1948 as a diplomatic mission to monitor the withdrawal of WWII occupation forces from Korea, and provide UN good offices for unification of the two regimes fostered by the USA and USSR as occupying powers. In May 1950, war loomed on the still divided Korean peninsula and military observers to undertake monitoring activities in the field supplemented UNCOK. Comments: By the eve of hostilities, only two Australian Observers, Major F.S.B Peach and Squadron Leader R.J. Rankin, were on the ground in Korea. Whilst it was Australia's smallest peacekeeping contingent, it was one of the most important since they were the only UNCOK observers in place when North Korea invaded South Korea in late June 1950. Their thorough report proved that North Korea had initiated hostilities and provided the evidence needed for the UN to intervene in South Korea.