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Partition

Historical Background

With Japan’s surrender in the Pacific War in August 1945 four decades of Japanese colonial rule ended and U.S. and Soviet troops came to be stationed on the Korean Peninsula to both the south and north of the 38th parallel respectively. This resulted in the division of Korea into two separate countries.
On June 25, 1950, North Korea attacked the South on all fronts, igniting a three-year internecine war. The tragic war was stopped with the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953. The peninsula has remained divided ever since, but a mood for peace has recently developed after years of tension.

Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation

Between September 1990 and October 1992, the two Koreas engaged in a total of eight bilateral meetings, including the first High-Level Talks held in Seoul. In December 1991, the two sides signed the Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between the South and the North (also called the Inter-Korean Basic Agreement). The agreement was focused on mutual respect between the two nations, the renunciation of armed aggression, exchange and cooperation in many sectors, and the guarantee of free exchange of people between the two countries.
From the mid-1990s onward, the South’s government continued to provide support to the North, which was continuing to experience serious economic difficulties.
In the period 1999-2007, the South supplied a total of 2.55 million tons of fertilizers to the North in an effort to help the North Korean people who were suffering from a food shortage caused by the inefficiency of the North’s farming system and a lack of fertilizers and chemicals.
Such assistance was later suspended due to North Korea’s nuclear tests and other provocations, but humanitarian aid through private organizations was resumed in 2015.
The Inter-Korean Summits held in 2000 and 2007 provided the momentum for a dramatic invigoration of dialogue, exchange, and cooperation between the two sides. However, the South temporarily suspended the supply of food and fertilizers after the North’s continuing series of provocative actions culminated in the launch of long-range missiles and nuclear tests, but did not stop providing humanitarian support for children or emergency relief aid.
The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea has led to some instability in the relations between neighboring powers (United States, China, Japan, and Russia). However, the Moon Jae-in administration has made aggressive efforts toward peace. In September 2017, the Moon government deliberated and approved a plan to send a humanitarian aid worth USD 8 million to North Korea at the request of an international organization under the United Nations. The South Korean government also invited North Korea to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which it accepted. Such a reconciliatory mood led to the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit, paving the way for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Efforts for Lasting Peace

The government of the South has made efforts for a permanent settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula and the development of good relations with the North through dialogues and exchange and cooperation. It has stuck to its basic stance, i.e. it will continue to strive to improve its relations with the North through dialogue and cooperation even during periods of extreme tension such as that occasioned by the North’s temporary closure of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex. Generally speaking, the government of the South and the South Korean people have succeeded in maintaining a calm and stable social atmosphere. The South copes flexibly with all outbreaks of tension on the Korean Peninsula by continuing dialogue and cooperation to maintain peace with neighboring countries. As such, South Korea may be claimed to be one of the safest countries in the world.
The Moon Jae-in administration, which was inaugurated in May 2017, has strived to improve inter-Korean relations, settle peace on the Korean Peninsula, and lay the groundwork for future unification by building mutual trust based on dialog and cooperation. In particular, the Panmunjeom Declaration signed on April 27, 2018, which reaffirmed the goal of completely denuclearizing the peninsula and building a peace regime, has been supported by related countries and the international community.
The government of the Republic of Korea, together with North Korea, will continue to accelerate the joint development of the two Koreas and to solidify the foundation of peaceful reunification.
To this end, South Korea and North Korea are discussing current issues through regular talks and a direct communication line to build trust with the ultimate aim that a unified Korea will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the region and the world.

Source: Korean Culture and Information Service 'Facts about Korea'

Image source: Korea Open Government License

ReplyPlease leave a comment about any information you wanted to add!
RAGGIE LIBUTAN
3 months ago

Korean War, conflict between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South🎐🧧🧧🧧🏯🏯🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷

Diana Gabaldon
3 months ago

The separated families are families who don’t know each other’s news at all because of the division of the two Koreas. The Korean War devastated the country, and many people were killed or injured. Among them, the biggest hurt and pain is that numerous families are scattered and doesn’t even know each other’s life or death. It's a shame to think that there are so many people who end up not seeing their families in their lifetime. In February 1983, the "10 million separated family reunion committee" was created, and this program was aired live for 138 days starting from June 30 of the same year. Of the 10,952 applications, 53,536 appeared and were introduced, of which 13,189 were reunited. After that, there are reunions of separated families scattered from the two Koreas every few years.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The war had lasted for three years and one month and resulted in roughly 4,000,000 casualties, including civilians. South Korean casualties were some 1,313,000 (1,000,000 civilians); communist casualties were estimated at 2,500,000 (including 1,000,000 civilians). The United States lost about 37,000 in action (the official figure, which had been recorded as some 54,000, was revised in 2000 after it was discovered that a clerk had incorrectly included military noncombatant deaths worldwide), South Korea some 47,000, and the UN forces 3,194; but the estimated losses of China in action were 900,000 men and of North Korea 520,000. During the war, two-fifths of Korea’s industrial facilities were destroyed and one-third of its homes devastated.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Soviet delegate to the United Nations proposed a discussion of a cease-fire and an armistice in June 1951, and in July negotiations began between the United Nations and the communist commanders at Kaesŏng, later resumed at P’anmunjŏm (both about 30 miles [50 km] northwest of Seoul). Many issues stood between the two negotiators. The first was the Chinese demand that all foreign troops be withdrawn from Korea, which was met by a steadfast refusal by the United States. The second issue was the boundary: the communists demanded the restoration of the 38th parallel, but the United States insisted on the existing battle line. The third and most important issue was that of prisoners. The UN forces held 171,000 prisoners, 50,000 of them unwilling to return to their communist countries. The communists, not to lose face, were determined to have all prisoners back. On this matter the negotiations were deadlocked and did not resume until after the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The North Koreans continued to advance, despite the presence of U.S. troops in the field. In early August the UN retreat came to an end in a defense perimeter along the Naktong River, forming a semicircular beachhead around Pusan in Korea’s extreme southeast. On September 15 MacArthur counterattacked, catching the communists on the flank by an amphibious attack on Inch’ŏn (on the coast west of Seoul). North Korean forces were trapped and either surrendered or fled in panic. By October 1 the UN forces were back at the 38th parallel. On September 27 the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had ordered MacArthur to destroy the North Korean armed forces, and two days later Truman authorized him to advance into North Korea. On October 7 the UN General Assembly approved the resolution to permit entry into North Korea and created a UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea. On October 20 the UN forces entered P’yŏngyang.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

On June 26 (June 25 in New York City) the UN Security Council approved a resolution condemning the invasion of South Korea. The Soviet Union was unable to impose a veto, because its delegate had been boycotting the meetings to protest the fact that the People’s Republic of China had no representation in the United Nations. On June 27 U.S. Pres. Harry S. Truman issued the order for U.S. air and naval forces to resist communist aggression in Korea; that afternoon the UN Security Council ratified Truman’s decision to send air and sea aid to Korea, calling upon UN members to render such assistance to Korea as might be necessary to restore peace. But Seoul fell on June 28, and most of the South Korean army was destroyed. On June 30 Truman ordered U.S. ground forces in Japan into Korea; the first U.S. troops reached the battlefield on July 4. The UN approved the creation of a unified command in Korea, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

November 18, 1947, the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea set up a committee to draft a constitution. The committee adopted the new constitution in April 1948, and on August 25 elections for members of the Supreme People’s Assembly were held with a single list of candidates. On September 3 the constitution was ratified by the Supreme People’s Assembly, which was holding its first meeting in P’yŏngyang. Kim Il-sung was appointed premier, and on September 9 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was proclaimed, with the capital at P’yŏngyang. On October 12 the U.S.S.R. recognized this state as the only lawful government in Korea.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The United States presented the question of Korean unification to the United Nations (UN) in September 1947. In November the UN General Assembly in New York City adopted a resolution, proposed by the United States, that called for general elections in Korea under the observation of a UN Temporary Commission on Korea. Those elected were to make up a National Assembly, establish a government, and arrange with the occupying powers for the withdrawal of their troops from Korea. The U.S.S.R., however, barred the Temporary Commission from entering the northern zone. The south, however, held elections under the supervision of the Temporary Commission on May 10, 1948. The National Assembly convened on May 31 and elected Syngman Rhee as its speaker. Shortly afterward a constitution was adopted, and Rhee was elected president on July 20. Finally, on August 15, the Republic of Korea was inaugurated, with Seoul as the capital, and the military government came to an end.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Moscow Conference of December 1945, which called for a four-power trusteeship, created a Joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. Commission of the rival U.S. and Soviet military commands in Korea to settle the question of establishing a unified Korea. When the commission convened in Seoul from March to May 1946, the Soviet delegates demanded that those Korean political groups that had opposed trusteeship be excluded from consultation. The United States refused, and on this rock foundered all attempts by the commission to prepare for the unification of Korea. The commission met again from May to August 1947, but it achieved nothing toward the creation of a unified Korea.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

On September 6 the delegates attending a “national assembly” that was called by the committee proclaimed the People’s Republic of Korea. But the U.S. military government, under Lieut. Gen. John R. Hodge, the commanding general of the U.S. armed forces in Korea, refused to recognize the republic, asserting that the military government was the “only government” in Korea, as stipulated in General Order No. 1. The exiled Korean provisional government, on returning, also was compelled to declare itself a political party, not a government. U.S. policy in Korea was to establish a trusteeship that would supersede both the American and the Soviet occupation forces in Korea.