Throughout most of its history, Korea has existed as one country with a
rich culture and history. Then in the 1940's, Korea was controlled by Japan.
World War II broke out, and the Allies defeated the Axis powers. The country of
Korea was divided into two parts -- the north and the south. The north was
occupied by communist Russian forces and the south by American troops. The
dividing line was the 38th parallel(see map). In 1950, a civil war began
between the two Koreas, further separating them. Both countries have since
established totally different ways of life that include government, economics,
and lifestyles. As a result of all that has transpired and recent incidents, it
would appear to be highly improbable that there will be a united Korea in the
The known history of Korea dates back thousands of years before Christ.
It was a nation with a common heritage, language, and ethnicity. Due to Japan's
role in World War II and the fact that Japan had occupied Korea, the country was
divided. Many Koreans had been displaced by Japanese colonization and others by
the establishment of the 38th parallel border line. Korea was not an axis power.
It is difficult to understand why Korea would have to be divided as was Germany.
At first, Korea was supposed to be unified with a multilateral
administration. But the cold war changed the United States' mission to
unilateral containment of the spread of Soviet communism. Supported by the
Soviets, North Korea attacked South Korea in June of 1950. The South Koreans
pushed into North Korea with American aid. But the Soviet Union, helped the
North Koreans to push the South Koreans back . "During the bitterly destructive
Korean War, the entire peninsula was devastated. Some three million of its
population were killed and more than ten million were left homeless and
jobless." (History in modern) Stalemate resulted in 1953 in terms of land gain.
The 38th parallel remained the dividing line. The Korean War did not resolve
anything, allowing problems to continue up to today. After that time Soviet
influence in the North diminished with the Chinese taking their place.
Throughout the Korean War period, Koreans were trying to adjust to the changes
in their lives from Japan's colonization forward. As a result of the 46-year
separation, North and South Korea have grown ...
... middle of paper ...
When considering the present tense situation, it is important to
consider geographical and political data about Korea. The Korean peninsula is
about the size of Minnesota. There are about 20 million people in the North and
around 40 in the South. The divided country has been in a state of civil war
for the past 46 years. The peninsula is surrounded by China, Russia, and Japan.
The United States has kept troops in South Korea throughout that time period. .
Both countries have received massive support from the super powers. The North
is communistic and the South is capitalistic The cold war that has ended in
Europe has not ceased in Asia. "Conjure up a present in which more than a
million soldiers confront each other across a Mason-Dixon line, armed to the
teeth with the latest equipment; the line is so firm that nothing crosses it…"
(The 2 Koreas, &^$^*%) The latest equipment includes bombers, nuclear weapons,
chemical warfare, naval vessels, etc. Given recent divisive situations, the
potential for all-out warfare to develop between the two Koreas has increased.
Reunification, as in Germany, becomes more difficult with each passing day.
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