The Independence And Isolation Of North Korea

1828 words - 8 pages

North Korea, also referred to as the bridge between Japan and China, is located in the eastern part of Asia. North Korea is half a pennisula, particularly the northern half, in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea, is a bit smaller than Mississippi, and about eighty percent of its land it mountainous (Kummer, 19-20)
Signs of human activity date back to 3000 B.C., but Korea was known as Choson. Historians are not yet sure where the origins of the Korean culture come from but, “..archeologists have determined that some prehistoric peoples of the Altaic language group probably migrated to the Korean peninsula from Siberia, Manchuria and Mongolia.” (DuBois, 19) Like any other civilization, the ...view middle of the document...

D, Yi Sŏng-Gye, established the Yi or the Chŏson [Joseon] Dynasty, it was based after the ancient name for Korea. Under Yi Sŏng-Gye’s son King Sejong, considered Korea’s greatest ruler, inventions like the rain gauge, the use of a movable type, and the birth of Korean alphabet called Hangeul, still in use today, surfaced. (Piddock, 27-28) They ruled the entire peninsula for 500 years. Then Korea was annexed by neighbors Japan in 1910. Korea continued to be under Japan until 1945 when it was liberated at the end of World War II. (“North Korea”, Culturegrams) “With the defeat of Japan in 1945, the Allies agreed to divide the Korean Peninsula between the Soviet Union and the United States at the thirty-eighth parallel as a temporary measure.” (Piddock, 30) The Soviet Union received the Northern part of Korea, and the United States the South. “.. Soviet forces closed off northern Korea at the thirty-eighth parallel and placed Korean communists in power there.” Evidently, North Korea was bound to turn communist.
Kim Ill-sung took power of North Korea in 1948, and two years later the Korean War commenced. (Piddock, 31-32) “on June 25 [1950], soldiers from communist North Korea (known as the North Koreans People’s Army, or NKPA) had launched an invasion of their noncommunist neighbor, South Korea. South Korean troops(known as Republic of Korea, or ROK, forces) were surprised, outnumbered, and outgunned by the invaders. .. In the first week of the war, ROK forces suffered 44,000 casualties..” (Isserman, 1) The U.N and The United States, entered the war in support of South Korea, but China also entered the war, but in support of communist North Korea. A deadlock was reached, neither side could do no more. “EFFECTS OF THE WAR South Korea eventually gained about 1,500 square miles of territory. Seoul was nearly leveled, and cropland throughout South Korea was ravaged. North Korea suffered as well, with its population reduced by more that one and a half to two million, or nearly 12% of the total.” (DuBois, 28)
“North Korea, though allied with the Soviet Union, became and isolated and almost xenophobic nation under Kim Il [Ill] Sung. In addition to the extreme policy of self-sufficiency, Kim placed heavy emphasis on reunifying the Korean Peninsula, sometimes sending spies into South Korea or digging invasion tunnels near the border.” Reunifying a nation with many diverse political aspects is a great challenge, and 50 years of seperation changes the whole picture. Kim died in 1994, 46 years of ruling with an “iron hand”. (World Book, 298)
Kim Jong Ill, Kim Ill Sung’s son, took over the position. “The following year, the legislature (The Supreme People’s Assembly) abolished the presidency but named Kim Jong Ill chairman of the National Defense Commision, the nations highest public office.” (World Book, 298) Two major issues came to be noticed, food and nuclear energy. ”North Korea had threatened to withdraw from the global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty...

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