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Koreans on either side of the dividing line . . . are brothers and sisters and cousins from the same heritage, and at the same time they are bitter enemies who have been waging fierce struggles against one another for half a century. The Korean peninsulaan area of eighty-five thousand square miles in northeast Asia jutting from China and abutting Japanwas a unified kingdom for thirteen hundred years.

For the past half century, however, it has been a land divided. Koreas partition was a product of externally imposed events, specifically the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union . Although the Cold War ended with the Soviet

Unions dissolution in 1991, Korea has remained divided.

The United Nations passed a 1947 resolution calling for elections for a single government, but the Soviet Union refused to cooperate. In 1948 two governments were formed: the Sovietbacked Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, with its capital in the northern city of Pyongyang, and the American-backed Republic of Korea, with Seoul as its capital. The conflict between the two Koreas reached its bitter peak in the 19501953 Korean War, which was both a civil war between Koreans and an international conflict involving soldiers from around the world.

North Korea, armed and advised by the Soviets, invaded South Korea in 1950 in an attempt to unify the country. The United States responded by influencing the United Nations to pass a resolution authorizing a police action to protect South Korea
The results of the paths chosen by the two Koreas are two very different societies



North Korea had one type of government and South Korea had another and they were fighting as to which would control the country. North Korea wanted a communist form of government while the South wanted democracy.

The United States got involved because of the Cold War policy of containment, which meant to contain the spread of Communism.

The war proved devastating to the peninsula, with an estimated 2 to 4 million Koreans killed from war-related causes (out of an initial population of 30 million) Landscapes obliterated by heavy bombing, industry and agriculture destroyed, and its people embittered and divided. The fact that Koreans fought and killed each other created a foundation for real mistrust and hatred toward each other.


The proposal of founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Korea (DFRK) set forth by President Kim Il Sung. The proposal is to found to establish a national reunified government in which the north and the south equally participate on the principle of recognizing the system and government of other side. Then co-presidents or co-chairmen of the national unified government will be elected from the north and south under a rotational system. The proposal for founding the DFRK is the most reasonable and fair way of reunification which keeps one side from seeking interests and doing damage to the other side.


The number of casualties of the Korean War will never be fully known. Both the US and China have very varied estimates of the number of casualties of war. It is known, however, that millions of people, both military personnel and civilians, were tragically killed. The economies of both North and South Korea took a major hit during and after the war. While North Korea recovered fairly quickly after the war, it slowed down rapidly and is almost nonexistent today. South Korea, on the other hand, took a long time to begin recovery but today is a booming economy. A demilitarized zone, which is heavily guarded, separate North and South Korea today. The Korean War was the first real confrontation of the Cold War. The Korean War set many of the standards for later conflicts in the Cold War.