Believing it could act with impunity in a world exhausted by war, communist North Korea decided to invade and annex western-allied South Korea in June 1950. President Harry Truman, who feared from the beginning that Korea was ""the opening round of World War III,"" committed American troops to repulse the invaders. America's first ""limited"" war - and the first armed conflict of the cold war era - had begun. Three years of brutal fighting followed, leading to the deaths of more than half a million North Korean and Chinese soldiers, and more than 50,000 Americans. Korean War, Updated Edition recalls to life this momentous but largely forgotten event from recent American history. New box features cover topics related to the period, such as the 1949 meeting of Kim II Sung with Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong; the development of the U.S. Air Force as an independent branch of military service; and the impact of American prisoners of war on the U.S. military.