Geopolitical Characteristics of the Korean Peninsula
By the 19~20 century, the struggle between China, Japan and Soviet Union seeking for leadership in Asia, depended strongly on who could influence the Korean peninsula most. This is the background of the modern history that brought misfortune to the Korea peninsula, and the primary factor that induced the Korean (6.25) war.
Restoration of Independence and Partition
As the Pacific war has come to end, Korea, colonized by Japan until then, seemed to have gained the long desired independence. However the U.S and Soviet Union sent their armies to bring the Korean Peninsula to their scope of power. Thereafter, the associative trusteeship of U.S, Soviet Union, England and China (Nationalist Party) was considered in the Korean Peninsula. However from spring 1946, the civil movement opposing the trusteeship has arisen and has spread continuously among the KoreansAt this point, England and China has resigned but U.S and Soviet Union continued to discuss on this matter. One again, the Right- constitutionalists and the Left- socialists clashed at several places in the Korean Peninsula. These two powers separated from one another and as the result a different country have come into being
▶ August 15, 1945 After the unconditional surrender announced by Japan, the leaders of national independence movement were released from prison and the cheering crowd stood in front of the Seoul Seodaemun prison to enjoy their glory. (1945.8.16). 11thousand leaders of the national independence movement under suppression and mistreatment, seeking for restoration of independence were released from prison.
▶ After the Pacific War Soviet Union entered Manchuria and North Korea which by the time was under control of Japan. Considering Soviet Union, the U.S army stationed their military force at Okinawa, 1,000km away from the Korean Peninsula and selected the 38 degrees north latitude position as the line to stop the southward advance of Soviet Union. August 11, 1945 2 A.MThis data that determined the fate of the Korean Peninsula is kept in the National Archives
▶ Just before the outbreak of the Korean War(6.25 War) ,A signpost is set up carelessly near the weedy 38 degrees north latitude position. This line was set temporarily by the U.S and the Soviet Union as the zone of responsibility to disarm the Japanese army. However the ominous boundary line divided the country in two disorganized the nation and finally the Korean people had to suffer the tragedy of fratricidal war.
The railroad that crosses the heart of the Korean Peninsula was cut off by the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) (1945. 10). A tree growing on top of it. After the agreement of armistice, the Korean Peninsula was divided into the South and North for about 50 years.
Crowd welcomes the 1st U.S armed forces arriving to occupy and stay at Seoul.Instead of the Japanese flag the U.S flag is raised on the flag pole at the Capitol Hall. (1945.9.7)
The Soviet Union army landing at Wonsan port. Soviet Union quickly crossed the Wonsan port, advanced their army and occupied North Korea in 5 days after the end of war. Lead by Kim Il Sung of North Korea they began to exert their evil influence.
December 16, 1945 at “Moskva” 3 power conference, the trusteeship of Korea for a period of up to five years was settled. According to this, general “Hodge” and general” Shtikov,” headquarters representing each army discussed the process of the U.S and Soviet Union cooperative committee. The committee was held twice. However no mutual agreement could be reached and finally it was handed over to the “UN”
An anti-trusteeship demonstration held by the Nationalist camp just after the leftists suddenly changed to support trusteeship. Placards with slogans such as “traitor” “extermination” are hanged out.
1st U.S-Soviet Joint Commission(d1946.3.20)
The constitution drafting members gathered after the enactment of constitution on July 12, 1948, The legal foundation of the establishment of Republic of Korea was set according to the constitution.
Representative Kim Il Sung waselected prime minister atthe 1st Supreme people’s council of North Korea (1948.9.2)
Celebration for the historical formation of a new government of Republic of Korea. General “Hodge” of the U.S occupation forces announces abolition of the U.S military administration at August 15. As the single legitimate government Republic of Korea came into being and declared widely inside and outside the country.
Kim Il Sung visiting Soviet Union. Representatives from North Korea and Soviet Union attending the Chosun-Soviet Union Economy-Culture agreement. Left to Kim Il Sung is Vyshinskii, Minister of Defense of Soviet Union. To the right are the North Korean representatives such as Park Hun Young.
On February 8, 1948, North Korea organized the People’s army even before establishing the government. After Kim Il Sung has returned from Soviet Union, 3 divisions were organized, centered on his followers. Just before the southward invasion, they reinforced the remaining divisions with military forces and weapons from China and Soviet Union to prepare invasion. The People’s army lined up at the 4th anniversary of Liberation. (1949.8.15)
The preemptive attack plan of the North Korean army for the 6.25 southward invasion:The dotted line arrow below the 38th parallel shows the 1st stage attack and the deviant line shows the 2nd stage attack position. The dotted line crossing Suwon and Samcheock indicates the 1st target occupation territory.