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CASE STUDY korea - Jeff Mylet Government and Law 236...

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Jeff Mylet Government and Law 236 Professor Fabian 3/13/2008 CASE STUDY – Korea The Korean War is not a simple topic that one can just read a few sentences about and feel that they fully understand the implications of it. To gain a perspective on this subject, one must really understand who was involved in this conflict, why there was a conflict, what the conflict was over, and how this conflict came to be in the first place. As a direct result of World War II, more specifically, the Allied Powers victory in 1945, Japan’s occupation of Korea was finally over. Japan had been occupying Korea for 35 years before the Allied success in WWII. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin originally agreed to an international trusteeship at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. The original rationale of this trusteeship was to establish a Korean provisional government which would become "free and independent in due course 1 ." The United States would occupy south of the 38 th parallel (partially because of a fear of Soviet occupation of Japan), and the Soviets would occupy to the north while Korea attempted to hold elections to establish a provisional government. The United States, a democracy, and the Soviet Union, a communist nation, obviously supported different leaders in these elections and no resolution could be reached. Neither side wanted the other to have full control of Korea. Ultimately, two sides were formed: To the south, was the Republic of 1 Cumings, Bruce. The Origins of the Korean War: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947. Princeton University Press, 1981.
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Korea (ROK); to the north was Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK). Unfortunately for the ROK, the DPRK wasn’t content with sharing the peninsula, and had other plans in mind. The communists had built a formidable political and military structure in North Korea under the guidance of the Soviet command. They had created a regional Five- Province Administrative Bureau in October 1945, which was reorganized into the North Korean Provisional People's Committee in February 1946 and shed the "Provisional" component of its name twelve months later. The communists also expanded and consolidated their party's strength by merging all of the left-wing groups into the North Korean Workers' Party in August 1946. Beginning in 1946, the armed forces also were organized and reinforced. Between 1946 and 1949, large numbers of North Korean youths were taken to the Soviet Union for military training 2 . By June 1950, North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into ten infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division. Soviet equipment, including automatic weapons of various types, T-34 tanks, and Yak fighter planes, had also been pouring into North Korea in early 1950. These forces were to fight the ill-equipped South Korean army of less than 100,000 men; an army lacking in tanks, heavy artillery, and combat airplanes, plus a coast guard of 4,000 men and a police force of 45,000 men 3 .
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