38th Parallel: The Superficial Divide of the Korean Peninsula

By RJ BARRETE

The Korean Peninsula is a region located in Eastern Asia extending from the Asian continent and is presently politically divided into North Korea and South Korea; geographically located in the north that extends from China; south to the 38th parallel and encompasses the rest of the Korean Peninsula.

Korea, a disputed border, is bounded with different conflicts that continue to clash both nations influenced and supported by China and the United States of America. And as such, growing conflicts between the two rival countries into long-standing tensions and intense escalation of hostilities continue. Although conflict between the north and the south is not new, as tensions with one another dates back prior the Korean War, which ended in 1953.

In retrospect, the peninsula was occupied by Korea alone, however it was ruled by several different dynasties, including the Japanese and the Chinese. For example, from 1910 to 1945, Korea was colonized and controlled by Tokyo and was almost part of the Empire of Japan.

Korea and the 38th Parallel

During the World War II, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan in 1945 that caused the occupation of the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Aftermath, Korea was then divided into northern and southern portions at the 38th parallel by the Allied Chief of Staff at the Potsdam Conference.

The division, therefore, started when the two Koreas separately followed different forms of government; the northern region followed the Soviet Union (USSR) and adopted the communist form of government while the south extremely carried a strong opposition and formed a capitalist government.

In July 1945, the southern region drafted a constitution and started conducting national elections which were subjected to terrorism. However, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was officially founded and Syngman Rhee was elected as president in 1948.  Subsequently, the USSR established a communist North Korean Government called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with Kim-Il-Sung as its leader (considered as the father of communism of the north).

Furthermore, both leaders worked to unify Korea but conflict continue to arise because each wanted to unify the Korea under their own political system.

Follow me on Twitter: @rjamesbarrete

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