The roots of the Korean war
- Korea was roughly 600 miles North to South, and 150 miles East to West
- For 40 years the Korean people were the subject of brutal Japanese rule and repeated attempts to wipe out their culture and replace it with a Japanese one
- Syngman Rhee was a christain and spoke English. He had been sent to the USA in 1905 in hope he could assist the cause of Korean independence in the talks that brought about peace between Russia and Japan
- Born Kim Song Ju in 1912, his parents tried to escape Japanese rule and move into China. He joined the Chinese communist party and took a new name; Kim il Sung. From 1932 he led a geurrilla group against the Japanese.
- The defeat of Japan in August 1945 suddenly made a possible fufilment of both Kim's and Syngman's dreams; an independent Korea.
The division of Korea
- Russia had agreed to join the war against Japan
- The use of the atomic bomb meant that the USA did not need them in the end
- Soviet troops poured into Manchuria (Northern China) and into the Korean Peninsula
- There were no American troops in Korea at 2A.M on the morning of 11th August
- The USA rushed troops to Korea with orders to halt at the 38th parallel - Thus two Koreas were born
- Kim il Sung arrived first in North Korea. Syngman Rhee arrived a month later in the American zone.
The establishment of the North Korean state
- The USSR appears to have been better prepared for how it propsed to run its occupied zone
- Kim was welcomed in October 1945
- In February 1946 an interim People's Committe was set up under Kim's chairmanship
- Many of the landowning class had co-operated with the Japanese. The Junior administrators under Japanese rule now began to flee from the North and enter the US zone.
- 800,000 were eventually to cross the 38th parallel heading South
- A mini - version of the Soveit totalitarian state had been created
- In September 1948 an indpendent governement was established in North Korea and the Soviet troops formally withdrew; the withdrawal was completed by Decemeber.
- The key insitution came to be the NKPA (North Korean People's army) established in February 1948 . It was placed under Soviet-trained commanders like Kim withh plentiful supply of advisors.
- Collectivisation was to take back land from peasents
- The US army under General Hodge had to rely on Japanese officals, which caused much resentment
- Rhee emerged in the South as the most effective ruler with a reputation for reistance in Japan.
- The USA were increasingly anxious to pull out of Korea
- The US authoritys came to accept that Rhee was the best they had
- KDP (Korean Diplomatic Party) assumed power after winning the UN supervised elections of May 1948
- Rhee president and the Republic of Korea came into exsistance in August 1948
- Both claimed to speak for Korea
- Civil War was invetiable, but neither Kim or Rhee accepted partition