Wednesday, 13 April 2011

CASE 259 - The History of South Korea

Korea – South and North Korea, respectively is a region and former country of East Asia that was unified under one state, but now divided into two separate states. Located on the Korean Peninsula, it is bordered by People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and separated from Republic of China ("Taiwan") to the south by the East China Sea.
Korea was one state until 1948, when it was split into North Korea and South Korea. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a free market, democratic, and developed country, with memberships in the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, has a centrally planned industrial economy, without memberships in the United Nations, IMF, WTO, ISO, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and other international organizations they have done ok for themselves and survived after very harsh periods of time.

Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest the origins of the Korean people were Altaic language-speaking people from south-central Siberia, who populated ancient Korea in successive waves from the Neolithic age to the Bronze Age. The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("Hanja" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea. During the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of the colonial designs of Japan. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan, becoming part of the Japanese Empire, and remained so until the end of World War II in August 1945.

In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender and disarming of Japanese troops in Korea; the Soviet Union accepting the surrender of Japanese weaponry north of the 38th parallel and the United States taking the surrender south of it. This minor decision by allied armies soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The two Cold War rivals then established governments sympathetic to their own ideologies, leading to Korea's current division into two political entities: North Korea and South Korea. The ensuing conflict between the two was largely a proxy war.

Republic of Korea

North Korea

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