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  • The Korean peninsula is unified by the Silla dynasty in 668 AD

  • during 12 centuries of independence the Korean people develop a strong sense of identity

  • distinct from China and Japan

  • in 1910, Japan colonizes Korea ending their independence

  • Koeran nationalist groups arise hoping to regain their independence

  • Some associate with Chinese and soviet communists

  • others hope to gain favor with western nations like the United States

  • Kim Il-sung aligns with the Chinese communists

  • and leads small guerrilla forces fighting the japenese in the wilderness of Manchuria

  • Syngman Rhee goes to the U.S.

  • 1945. End of world war II

  • Japan has defeated and their 36 year occupation of Korea ends

  • A rushed agreement is reached to fill the power vacuum

  • Soviet forces control the northern half of the peninsula

  • installing communist Kim Il-sung as the leader

  • and U.S. forces control the southern half installing anti-communist Syngman Rhee in the south

  • creating a de facto divide at the 38th parallel

  • mistrust on both sides and the emergent cold war prevents cooperation on country wide elections

  • that would keep Korea unified

  • August 15th, 1948. Syngman Rhee declares the formation of the Republic of Korea in Seoul

  • claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea

  • 25 days later. Kim Il-sung declares the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Pyongyang

  • also claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea

  • June 25th, 1950. Confident of a quick victory and driven by the desire to control all of Korea

  • Kim Il-sung backed by communist China and the Soviet Union launches an attack on the south

  • and the Korean war begins

  • the U.S. intervenes helping to push the north back

  • the war devastates the entire peninsula, tearing famlies apart

  • and taking the lives of millions

  • July 27th, 1953. An armistice assigned to end major hostilities

  • however to this day the Korean peninsula remains technically at war

  • the only separation between north & south is a 2.5 mile wide demilitarized zone

  • the most heavily fortified border in the world

  • over the next few decades both Koreas rebuild

  • North Korea's development is initially faster than the south

  • massive effort is put into propaganda campaigns to create a personality cult around Kim Il-sung

  • their eternal president

  • Juche the heart of north korean ideology ingrains the attitude of self-reliance

  • in order to resist foreign invasion and guard against outside intervention

  • by the 1960s, the north provides medical care, universal education, food, and housing to the people

  • the south experiences periods of dictatorship, rapid economic development, and democratization

  • later emerging as one of the most successful democracies in Asia

  • communism collapses in eastern europe and the Soviet Union

  • major sources of aid and trading partners for North Korea are eliminated

  • July 8th, 1994. Kim Il-sung's death triggers intense national mourning.

  • his son Kim Jong-il prepared for power decades in advance replaces him as leader

  • under Kim Jong-il's military first policy precious resources are diverted away from the North Korean people

  • and massive efforts go into developing nuclear weapons

  • ensuring the security and survival of the regime continues to be the top priority

The Korean peninsula is unified by the Silla dynasty in 668 AD

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Everything You Need to Know About Korea

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    姚易辰 posted on 2014/04/11
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