Hello, This is Contents Team History tellers!

waited so long, huh?

Like always, we brought you interesting historical stories.

Guess what?



Here we go~


Today's topic is!!!!

The history of the division of Korea.


We are going to cover about the process of division of Korea and conflict and discord happened because of this.

First, let's adress what divided country is.

Divided country means, 2 or over 2 country which was originally one country, but separated due to war or colonization.


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▲Korean Peninsula

In case of Korea, we were divided into North and South in 1945. And until then, still this tension continues.

We can say that state of tension still goes on until nowadays.



Then, was Korea the only divided country in the world?  



No. It's not!



Germany and Vietnam also has a history of devision.


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▲East Germany and West Germany.


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▲North Vietnam and South Vietnam


but they were unified as an one nation 1990 and 1975 each. 


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Unification of Germany.


So, now Korea is the only one divided country in the world.

Then, why did Korea became an divided country?



Independence movemnet carrieid on from colonial area. and it was split into 2 forces, democratic force and socialist force.

Ideologies were different but both sides has same goal as democratic republic so, everything went on smoothly.


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▲Independence of Korea



However, Korea regained unexpected independence during World War Ⅱ(1945).
Of course, Independence is so meaningful, but it had more independence by the war situation (like dropping atomic bomb) than of our own.

So, Korea handed over sovereignty to the Allied Force again.



The Soviet Union started to be stationed in North Korea territory and US also entered in South Korea accordingly.
From this moment division occupation started and ideological confrontation appeared apparently.
And even the two Joint *Soviet-American Commission broke up, an argument suggested that South Korea should establish single government.


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▲ ** The Soviet-American Commission : It was established to solve Korean independence and any other problem related independence. (December 1945, The Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers)



At that time, America suggested to hold general election by population ratio of South&North Korea. But Soviet Union rejected it because of consideration of population difference.



Eventually, this situation was placed on the conference tables of the United Nations.

Little Assembly of the United Nations decided to hold an election only at South Korea. (1948, May 10th. The first General election of Korea)



After General election, South and North Korea established single goverment each other.
In this situation, the North invaded South to reach one-sided reunification by military power.

So, Korean War broke out in 1950.




Even now, The South and North are in conflict each other with the *MDL.
**MDL : the Military Demarcation Line



Here, did you see how Korea devided?
Then Why the South and North still remain in truce?

Let's learn about the example of confliction chronologically.



1. 1960's : Armed Communist Guerrilla Invasion
Ⅰ. January 21th Invasion.
The Armed Communist Guerrillas of North invaded Seoul to make sudden attack on *Blue House in January 21th, 1968.
Taking this incident, South Korea government set up a homeland reserve forces to prepare North Korea's unconventional warfare and extended the period of soldiers.


**Blue House : the Presidential residence of Korea



Ⅱ. Invasion in Ulchin and Samchock Areas

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This provocation recorded largest scale.
During two month, 120 of North Korea's armed guerrillas invaded Ulchin and Samchock Areas for three times. (1968, October 30th ~ November 2nd)
In December 28th, they were all swept. 




▲ At that time, the child named Seung-Bok Lee was killed with his crying, " I hate the Communists"
- War memorial of Korea in Yongsan, Seoul -


This provocation was thrown into a strained relations in the Korean Peninsula.
And South Korea reinforced strong anticommunist ideas.



2. 1970's : Digging out underground tunnel, The axe murder incident
Ⅰ. Digging out underground tunnel
The underground tunnel is military path for invasion of the South.
From 1974 till 1990, 4 of that discovered.




▲ The Fourth underground tunnel in Yang-gu



Ⅱ. The axe murder incident
August 18th 1976, North Korean army killed US officers with an awe in the Joint Security Area of Panmunjeom.
This is called the axe murder incident

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3. 1980's : The Burma terror incident
In October 9th, 1983, South Korea president, Doo-Hwan Jeon, invited Burma with his entourage. And at this time, the North committed bomb terror aimed at them.
With this case, three countries broke off diplomatic relations with North Korea.
And 69 countries like US issued a proclamation about denunciation on North Korea.


4. 1990's : Invasion of the North Korean submarine in the East Sea



In 1998, North Korean submarine invaded the East Sea of South Korea.
At that time, captain of fishing boat notified it.
This led to know the invasion routh of North on the sea.



5. 2002 : Yeon-Pyeong Naval Warfare
In June 29th, 2002, The North Korean patrol craft invaded *NLL.

Soon fighting broke out between North and South Korean army. ( 2nd Yeon-Pyeong Naval Warfare)




This incident is day before the final event of World Cup in 2002.

*NLL : Northern Limit Line




▲ Chamsoori 357, It was sinked in 2nd Yeon-Pyeong Naval Warfare
- War memorial of Korea in Yongsan, Seoul -


Through this war, South Korean Army modify their rules of engagement from passive responses to taking up a challenge more aggressive.


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6. 2009 : Cheonan incident and Gunfire in Yeon-pyeong island
Ⅰ. Cheonan incident


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The Cheonan was destroyed by a torpedo on March 26th 2010, killing 46 South Korean Navy sailors.
In those days, Cheonan incident drew attention for Korea society and even surrounding countries.
And many problems were brought up about investing the cause.


Ⅱ. Gunfire in Yeon-pyeong island 



The North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island left two South Korean Marines and two civilians dead in November 23th 2010.



Like this, North Korea use stick-and-carrot strategy.
These incidents are just representations and historically many conflict were there.


Then, why South and North cannot reunify even nowaday?

Is it just because of conflictual incidents?


The most great reason is.... there was Korean War.
Although we are same vein, there is antagonism between South and North because of warfare.



▲ Korean War



North Korean Nuclear problem is also related this antagonism.
Especially North Korea's withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 2003 and owning nuclear-weapeon make the conflict deepen.



The second is political and ideological matter.
The North adopted communism based on Juche Idea,
and the North adopted liberal democracy.
So, opinion about reunification and it's method are different each other.



Linguistic and Ecomomical matters are also the chief obstacle of reunification.

It's because the North and South are farther and farther apart from each other during 60-year-division.



But, there are also conciliatory gestures between South and North.
In 1969, the whole world was carried along by the atmosphere of Detente by the Nixon Doctrine and so does Korean Peninsula.
Of course, after Detente many gestures for reunification are there!
You can know more detail about that in our next posting =P



Here is the end of our story 'Korea division history - focused confliction-'
Like those, the division of the Korean Peninsula became permanent by repeated confliction and reconciliation.
It seems so hard to achieve reunification!



Then, The Contents Team Histroy Tellers will come soon at the next time with interesting story for you!
please stay tuned for next time! 

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