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EASC 150 - Final Essay Study Guide

EASC 150 - Final Essay Study Guide - 1 The separation of...

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1. The separation of the two Koreas has been addressed in The Pacific Century segment The Fight for Democracy ” and the book The Koreans . Provide a brief historical account of Korea’s separation, including the basic causes of the split, and discuss the efforts that have been made to reunify the two parts of Korea. What do you think the prospects for unification might be? What are the key factors promoting unification and the key obstacles to prevent it? Korea refers to South Korea and North Korea together, which were a unified country until 1948. It is situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia, bordering China to the northwest and Russia to the northeast. It is populated by a homogeneous ethnic group, the Koreans, who speak a distinct language (Korean). Korea was partitioned into two halves following World War II. South Korea, supported by the United States, is now a capitalist liberal democracy, and sometimes referred to simply as "Korea". North Korea, supported by the former Soviet Union, remains a Communist state, often described as Stalinist and isolationist. The Unification Flag may represent Korea at international sporting events, but is not an official flag of either country History and Division In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan. Japanese occupation lasted until 1945 when Japan was defeated by the Allied Forces at the end of World War II. The occupation by the Japanese is characterized by most historians as a period of brutal repression. Many Koreans were forcibly sent all around the empire, men as slave laborers and women as "comfort women", or military sex slaves. Although some Japanese historians argue Korea received some benefits of modernization and infrastructure building during Japanese rule, anti-Japanese sentiment still runs strong in Korea and other areas of Asia, as a result of various Japanese war atrocities and what Koreans see as continuing unrepentant actions. In 1945, in the aftermath of WWII, the United Nations developed plans for a trusteeship administration, the United States effectively began administering the peninsula south of the 38th parallel and the Soviet Union administering north. The politics of the Cold War resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate governments. In June 1950, North Korea invaded the South, beginning the Korean War. After three devastating years of fighting that involved China, Soviet Union, the US, and several United Nations countries (including Canada, Great Britain, and Turkey to name a few), the war ended in a ceasefire agreement at approximately the same boundary. The two countries never signed a peace treaty. Since the 1990s, with progressively liberal South Korean administrations, as well as the death of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung, the two sides have taken halting, symbolic steps towards cooperation, in international sporting events, reunification of separated family members, and tourism.
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