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Korea Two Pieces of a Puzzle

Korea is a nation that is rich with culture and corruption. Korea has been a unified nation for over 1500 years and in that time they have been persecuted and then divided. Before all this happened the Koreans were becoming a very culturally enriched society. Around the same time as the fall of the Roman Empire the Koreans were coming up with new ideas on architecture, art, science and even a central government. The Korean people lived in peace for 500 years under the rule of Choson (Yi) dynasty.

After Japan defeated China in 1895 and then the Russians in 1905, Korea was then under complete control by the Japanese. This is when the Japanese entered the scene. When the Japanese took over they first annexed Choson in 1910 and then began their attempt to destroy the Korean culture for the next 35 years. The Korean government was taken over; every upper level government position was taken from the Koreans. The Japanese went as far as to outlaw the Korean language and even tried to ban Korean family names. Not until the end of World War II, was when the Koreans finally overcame Japans rule.

At the end of World War II is when Korea became a divided country. The United States, Great Britain and the former U.S.S.R defeated nazi Germany and then went on to take out Japan. After Japan was out of the picture the U.S., U.S.S.R. and Great Britain decided that Korea should become their own nation once again. The U.S. was to accept the Japanese defeat south of the 38th parallel and the Russians were to accept the Japanese defeat north of the 38th parallel. This was the first step into dividing the Koreans as a people. All forces and all foreign military were to be evacuated from Korea; this is what was supposed to happen. What actually happened was a result of the Cold War tensions. Because of the Cold war the Russians imposed a Communist government on all Koreans north of the 38th parallel and the United States imposed a nationalist/capitalist democracy south of 38th parallel. After the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. imposed their own style of government on Korea came the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean in the north and in the south was the Republic of Korea, in 1948. With the differences between the two governments the people were pushed apart. There were attempts to bring Korea back to a whole but it just ended up in the Korean War.

With the onset of the Korean War the United States decided to help the South Koreans because of the help that the North Koreans were getting by the Russians. Eventually the U.S. decided to send troops. After a long battle and an astonishing number of deaths the war was back at the 38th parallel. General Douglas MacArthur, who was the commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, wanted North Korea’s defeat and to invade China. This was not what Harry S. Truman wanted to do at all. Since the two had different opinions and MacArthur’s were strong Truman replaced MacArthur as commander.

After the end of the Korean War Korea was unchanged. The north is still a communist government and the south is still a capitalistic society. The people that reside in Korea still remain Korean. After all the people of Korea have gone through they have kept their rich Korean culture. Since the end of the Cold War between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R., Korea has kept the war alive. Sine communism is still alive in North Korea and the South is still capitalistic government, which creates tension between the two.

Korea is a land of a diverse environment. North Korea and South Korea are both covered with mountains and vast lush vegetation runs down the center of the nation. Rivers and wide plains are found on the western side of the nation and when looking at pictures from space you can see that Korea as a whole does not differ much in the landscape. This peninsula even has the same climate throughout and an abundance of natural resources that do not differ between the two halves.

Although North and South Korea are similar in many different ways they still are about fifty years apart. Since the split of the nation after World War II the two pieces of this puzzle are growing farther apart but still capable of becoming a whole nation once again. In the last fifty years South Korea has taken their cities into the twenty-first century while North Korea is lagging. The difference in the two governments is at the extremes of the spectrum.

When looking down from space, at night, the differences in technology is prevalent. At night the South Korean city of Seoul can be seen from space and so can a number of other cities through out South Korea. North Korea on the other hand seems to be in complete darkness. This example shows how far North Korea is falling behind. The level of central government in South Korea is stronger than the communist society to the north because of the strong economic development in the south. South Korea is establishing a stronger economy than the north could ever hope for.

Although the north and the south are different in many ways this nation is a nation of the same people, the same language and the same historic culture. This nation is not to far to still become one again and with that become stronger.

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