Throughout most of its history, Korea has existed as one country with a rich culture and history. Then in the 1940ís, Korea was controlled by Japan. World War II broke out, and the Allies defeated the Axis powers. The country of Korea was divided into two parts -- the north and the south. The north was occupied by communist Russian forces and the south by American troops. The dividing line was the 38th parallel(see map). In 1950, a civil war began between the two Koreas, further separating them. Both countries have since established totally different ways of life that include government, economics, and lifestyles. As a result of all that has transpired and recent incidents, it would appear to be highly improbable that there will be a united Korea in the near future.
The known history of Korea dates back thousands of years before Christ. It was a nation with a common heritage, language, and ethnicity. Due to Japanís role in World War II and the fact that Japan had occupied Korea, the country was divided. Many Koreans had been displaced by Japanese colonization and others by the establishment of the 38th parallel border line. Korea was not an axis power. It is difficult to understand why Korea would have to be divided as was Germany.
At first, Korea was supposed to be unified with a multilateral administration. But the cold war changed the United Statesí mission to unilateral containment of the spread of Soviet communism. Supported by the Soviets, North Korea attacked South Korea in June of 1950. The South Koreans pushed into North Korea with American aid. But the Soviet Union, helped the North Koreans to push the South Koreans back . "During the bitterly destructive Korean War, the entire peninsula was devastated. Some three million of its population were killed and more than ten million were left homeless and jobless." (History in modern) Stalemate resulted in 1953 in terms of land gain. The 38th parallel remained the dividing line. The Korean War did not resolve anything, allowing problems to continue up to today. After that time Soviet influence in the North diminished with the Chinese taking their place. Throughout the Korean War period, Koreans were trying to adjust to the changes in their lives from Japanís colonization forward.
As a result of the 46-year separation, North and South Korea have grown increasingly opposite. "ÖThough the regimes of both north and south were authoritarian and owed their inception to foreign powers, the two parts of the peninsula were set to evolve in very different ways."(pg.Korea the search) They have different ideas about religion and education, different governments and different economies. The many contrasting elements adopted by each of the two countries have existed since the Korean War. Neither country has shown signs of changing its ways. The differences that divide the two countries cannot be overstated.
South Korea is a very open society. South Korea contains many types of practiced religion. Buddhism has the largest amount of followers. In South Korea, education is used to teach the cultural heritage of the country and to promote democratic institutions. Both education and religion are considered vital to the people. In government, the controlling party is democratic. The leaders are elected by the people. The government guarantees freedom of the press and religion with few limitations. South Koreaís economy has been growing at an incredible rate. The countryís economic growth has increased by more than five percent in the last few years.(InsouthKoreaBuisiness ) It is stepping forward into the age of technology by putting satellites into space, building nuclear power plants, creating telecommunication systems, and building and utilizing high speed railways.
North Korea is a closed society. North Korea is ruled by communism. Because of communist philosophy, religion is discouraged, and more than two thirds of the people are non-religious. Unlike South Korea, the North Korean government uses education as a tool by which to instill communism. There is a constitution which guarantees freedom of the press, religion, and speech. However, the communists limit these freedoms to ensure control of the country. Presently, the North Korean economy is in shambles and barely functions. Due to natural desators and the fact that trade basically occurs only with its communist neighbors. Surrounding countries are tired of supporting it, and South