The Korean War
This July 27th marks the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the combat phase of the Korean War, but the conflict did not end on July 27, 1953, it merely came to a temporary halt. Though the Korean War may been overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War in the minds of many Americans, it had a dramatic effect on social change in the United States ("Korean War had major impact on race relations..."). We have spent the past 60 years living not in a post-war era, but under a ceasefire. The Cold War may have ended 20 years ago with the fall of the USSR, but the same feelings remain alive and well on the Korean Peninsula. In this period and during the last years of the Bush administration as well, North Korea conducted nuclear weapons tests and flight tests of missiles. It built a uranium enrichment plant and is constructing a new nuclear reactor ("Strategic Patience Has Become Strategic Passivity"). The results of the Korean War have had an extremely negative influence on present day USA - DPRK relations and have also created an increased nuclear threat to the world due to the lack of a peace treaty and proper actions to create a more unified Korea.
Before World War II, the Korean peninsula was controlled by the Japanese Empire. Under the Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945, the Japanese imperial government implemented the "divide and rule" policy, which demarcated the Korean peninsula according to its geographic characteristics to utilize and exploit the natural resources more effectively ("Overview of the Korean War and its Legacy"). The original conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea began on June 25, 1950 and ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation. In 1948 rival governments were established: The Republic of Korea was proclaimed in the South and the...
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