|dc.description.abstract||On the morning of 25 June 1950, units of the armed forces of the Korean People's Democratic Republic (North Korea) crossed the 38th Parallel into the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in an all out effort to bring that part of the Korean peninsula under its control. The effect of this action was to elicit an immediate military response from the United States, through the United Nations, and a call for all members of that organisation to "furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area". This appeal was answered by sixteen nations and for the next three years they were to actively participate in one of the most significant events of the post-1945 period.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to respond to this call for assistance when, on 29 June 1950, two ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy were despatched to serve in Korean waters. A month later, on 26 July 1950, the Government decided to extend this assistance by providing an artillery battalion and some ancillary units to serve on the ground in Korea. It was the beginning of a military and political commitment that was to last the entire course of the war and beyond and which was to have a significant impact on the formulation of New Zealand's post-war defence and foreign policies. This thesis endeavours to examine and assess the significance of the Korean War for New Zealand as well as to explain the reasons and implications for this countries involvement in the first year of the conflict. [extract from Preface]||en_NZ