Whose Korea is it Anyways?


Clark English, Social Media Manager

So a couple of decades ago this little peninsula off the coast of Asia asked themselves a question, “How do we implement a communist regime?”. So to set the scene, it’s 1945 and some smart dudes in America made this super powerful bomb, they then dropped said bomb in this little town called Hiroshima. Then for good measure they dropped another one in the neighboring city of Nagasaki. Japan surrenders, WW2 comes to a close and the Japanese lose a lot of their land. The majority of that land being in the pacific ocean, with the exception of their claim on the Korean peninsula.

So America rolls up to the southern part of Korea in their gunboats and said, “Hey, you guys are a country now, would be super cool if you guys formed a democracy. Maybe even draft up a constitution or something.”. Unfortunately for them, Uncle Stalin drives down from the USSR and enters through the northern part of Korea and says, “Not so fast comrade, let me tell you about this dude named Karl Marx.”. A temporary border is made for a little bit to stop the US and the USSR from literally blowing up the entire world with atomic weapons and for the most part things go pretty smoothly. Both sides claim to be the rightful government of all of Korea and everyone is happy through sheer denial of the other governments existence.

Then in 1950 North Korea, backed by the USSR and China (who’re both communist if you aren’t keeping up) invaded South Korea, who wasn’t backed by anything other than an empty chair with a sign reading “Reserved for US”. The newly formed United Nations saw this all happening and they were all like, “Woah hey stop you can’t do that. Invasion is illegal.”. Then they got 21 other countries to contribute to the United Nations force (even though the US provided 88% of that force). War happens for a little bit, and the capital of Korea changed hands a total of four times. Eventually an armistice was signed and both Koreas agree to go back to the way things were, with both of them claiming that they were the rightful government of all of Korea. Keep in mind that only an armistice was signed. They are still technically at war.

So why do you need to know this? Recently, North and South Korea have started talking again, including talks about returning fortified demilitarized zones to their respective states and outlining an end to the confrontation. This will also transition nicely to the planned meetings that the North Korean leader and President of the United States will be having coming late May/early June. So keep an eye out, history is being made as we speak.