The North, South, East, And West

1994 words - 8 pages

Following World War II, capitalist countries were having tense relations with communist ones and ideological conflict grew to encompass the globe. In an effort to achieve philosophical domination, Russia and China pressured another communist nation, North Korea, to cross the 38th parallel into their neighboring South Korea, a nation supported by the US. This became a major problem and the US had to intervene. War was waged with many countries coming into play. In 1953, however, both sides signed an armistice or treaty to stop fighting. This conflict was the start of the Cold War, and though short, resulted in many effects. The main and problematic effect is that the US is now a sworn enemy of North Korea. And, at their current rate, the North Koreans are advancing towards building missiles with the capability to attack the US. Students should care about this global issue because it deeply affects their safety within the US and will most likely cause problems in the near future.
This story of the division of a nation and the differences between them ideologically begins in the early 1900’s. During this time period and further back, nations around the world were industrializing and becoming increasingly imperialistic; especially Japan. With increasing western abilities to travel long distances across the globe, Japan had begun to feel the power of westernization and entered a period called the Meiji Restoration. One outcome of this move was to go to war with Russia over the Korean peninsula. This was called the Russo-Japanese war and Japan prevailed, imperialistically naming Korea as its own. This situation remained until the end of WWII when Russia and the US, both fighting against Japan, seized Korea and “[reoccupied] the peninsula [with] Soviet troops in the north and U.S. troops in the south.” (Caprio, Mark E. "North Korea–South Korea Relations") Officially, by 1948 a division was sealed between the North and South parts of Korea along the 38th parallel due to failure to hold free elections throughout the peninsula. The South was named the Republic of Korea (ROK), supported by the US and its ideals, and the North was named the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), supported by Russia and its ideals. As Caprio puts it, “This division was accepted and respected by Moscow. Both sides believed the division would last until peninsular elections could be held and the country returned to independence. But North–South politics, supported by Cold War ideological differences, cemented the division between the two states, preventing the realization of elections at a national level.” (Caprio, Mark E. "North Korea–South Korea Relations") This set the stage for one major bloody war.
Two years later, war officially broke out on 25 June 1950. “Relations between the two sides were never good, with both the United States and the Soviet Union installing leaders generally friendly toward their respective ideologies, leaders who grew increasingly...

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