In 1905 Korea became a protectorate of Imperial Japan following the Russo-Japanese war and in 1910 Japan annexed Korea as a colony. After the Japanese surrender to United States and allied forces in 1945 following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Korea regained its independence from Japan, establishing a Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern half of the peninsula. In the northern part a Communist government was established as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
From 1950 to 1953 the north invaded the south with the backing of communist China and the Soviet Union. Fighting was intense and casualties were heavy on all sides until an armistice was signed in 1953 and an end to hostilities was called. The armistice split the peninsula once again into north and south along a demilitarized zone located roughly at the 38th parallel.
The two countries contrasted greatly in development from this point forward with the south achieving rapid economic growth with a per capita income reaching roughly 14 times that of the north. The DPRK remains a military dictatorship to this day under KIM Jong IL the Second whilst the ROK is truly a modern democratic society with civilian leadership.
The intelligence and national security architecture of the Republic of Korea has undergone many changes since the signing of the armistice in 1953 and ha...
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...: How the south views its brother from another planet, Asia Report No. 89, 2004, pp.7
McDonald, D.S. ‘The Koreans’, Westview Press, BOUDLER & LONDON, 1988, p.2
Nanto, D, North Korea: Chronology of Provocations, 1950-2003, Order Code RL30004, 2003, The library of Congress, retrieved 3 May 2010,
Sung Kook, P, ‘Tasks of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance’, 2010, retrieved 26/05/10, http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?catald=nk02900&num=6343.
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