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The Korean War (25 June 1950 27 July 1953) was a war between the Republic
of South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic
of North Korea, at one time supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet
Union. It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of
the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The
Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World
War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American
administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces
occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half. The
failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the
division between the two sides; the North established a communist government, while
the South established a right-wing government. The 38th parallel increasingly became a
political border between the two Korean states. Although reunification negotiations
continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes
and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when
North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. In 1950, the Soviet Union
boycotted the United Nations Security Council, in protest at representation of China by
the Kuomintang/Republic of China government, which had taken refuge in Taiwan
following defeat in the Chinese Civil War. In the absence of a dissenting voice from the
Soviet Union, who could have vetoed it, the United States and other countries passed a
Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention in Korea. The United States
of America provided 88% of the 341,000 international soldiers which aided South
Korean forces in repelling the invasion, with twenty other countries of the United
Nations offering assistance. Suffering severe casualties within the first two months, the
defenders were pushed back to a small area in the south of the Korean Peninsula,
known as the Pusan perimeter. A rapid U.N. counter-offensive then drove the North
Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, when the People's Republic
of China (PRC) entered the war on the side of North Korea. Chinese intervention forced
the Southern-allied forces to retreat behind the 38th Parallel. While not directly
committing forces to the conflict, the Soviet Union provided material aid to both the
North Korean and Chinese armies. The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the
armistice agreement was signed. The agreement restored the border between the

Koreas near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean nations. Minor
incidents still continue today.

Just two years before the creation of the United Nations, North and South Korea
could have been united in 1943 by a declaration due to a meeting not in Seoul or
Pyongyang, but in Cairo. American President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill and one of the Chinese leaders had agreed to ensure the
independence of Korea as a unified country. But the two countries are light years apart
in every aspect.
You can see the great differences between life in North and South Korea by
looking at a NASA satellite image taken of the Korean Peninsula at night. The northern
part is totally dark, while the southern part is completely illuminated. Or how about
looking at the per capita income? North Koreas per capita income is about $500, while
South Koreas per capita is about $ 32,000. Both countries have almost the same land
area, which is the size of the American state of Pennsylvania (around 45,000 square
miles). South Korea has about 50 million people, while North Korea has about 24 million
people. Both countries are different from each other in every social, political, industrial,
education and technological sector. And even though they share common borders, the
North and South Koreans have direct contact through a common industrial plant near
the borders. But most ironic is that they are still at a state of war since 1953. So what
made South Korea a world class country with advanced technology and a high standard
of living with respect all over the world, while North Korea at the bottom of the list in
democracy, education, economic development and infrastructure. Many people in North
Korea are starving, but they have the highest percentage of military expenditure in the
world. Every North Korean is a soldier and spy. North Koreas main policy is everything
for the armed forces. Both South and North Korea were under Japanese rule. After the
end of World War II, the North was controlled by the Soviets and the South was
controlled by the Americans. In 1948, a United Nations election led to the division of
the peninsula into North and South Korea. And just two years later, the North invaded
the South in 1950 and the two countries were engaged in one of the most ferocious
wars that almost dragged the Chinese, Soviets and the United States to a third world
war. The fighting ended in a cease-fire in 1953. There was no formal peace treaty
between the two countries, which means that both countries are officially at war after
63 years of the cease-fire. But what did the two republics do and what did they

accomplish in the past 63 years after the cease-fire? South Korea accomplished being a
country for hard working and educated people, while North Korea taught their people
how to weep and shed alligator tears when their leaders pass away, but never mind the
empty stomachs. North Korea accomplished the minimum in every development. It was
ruled by Kim II-Sung who is ironically still the ruler even though he was dead. He is the
only ruling dead president in the history of mankind. He was declared an eternal
president after his death on July 8, 1994. On the day of his burial, the world saw the
alligator tears at its best. Now, North Korea is ruled by the supreme ruler Kim Jong-Un.
He became the youngest world leader at the age of 29. He rules North Korea in a very
strict dictatorial system even though it is speculated that he attended his early schools
in one of the richest and most open countries in the world, Switzerland. Both North and
South Korea had been through the most difficult times. They experienced occupation
and they both were at an armed conflict for three years. Both countries were in ruins
after the 1950 war. North Korea never recovered from the backward life they have been
living and the standard of living is among the lowest in the world. At the same time,
South Korea was able to recover from its wounds and political instabilities to became
the 12th country in economic developments in the world with a Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) of more the 1.6 trillion in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). South Korea now is one
of the most advanced in technology, science, education and infrastructure in the
worlds. It has a diplomatic relations with 188 countries and a member is many trade
organizations. North Korea on the other hand has only an estimated (GDP) (PPP) of
only $ 40 billion and has a very limited number of diplomatic relations with the outside
world. And this is what makes North Korea a danger to the world. They simply have
little or nothing to lose. North Korea now is threatening the world to use their nuclear
arsenal. At this stage there are many efforts from the only solid friends of North Korea,
the Russians and the Chinese to diffuse the conflict. And even though many people
doubt the North Korean ability to launch a surprise attack, the threat using a nuclear
weapon will have catastrophic consequences to the world, and especially South Korea
and Japan, which are in close proximity to the North Korean arsenal.