As we all know, the sibling countries of Korea are vastly different from each other. South Korea, raised with the ideals of western societies like the U.S., and North Korea, raised with brutal Soviet styled governing. Before I go into the actual topic, I’ll give some background between the two and why they’re so different from each other today.
In 1897, the Korean Empire was established on the Korean Peninsula to protect their independence. At the time, both North and South Korea didn’t exist yet, instead being combined as one. Unfortunately, this short lived empire was only around for around 20 years before the Japanese managed to take over the entire peninsula in 1910. Now, you’d think that its neighbors, Russia and China, wouldn’t let this happen. However, the Japanese had a large military power, winning both the Russo-Japanese War and the Sino-Japanese War. After WW2, Japan gave up Korea to both Russia and the United States. They divided the peninsula along the 38th Parallel. Unfortunately, due to different political and economic strategies, the tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union rose. During this, the once united brothers were forced to become enemies as their ideologies were influenced by their controlling countries. This caused the Korean War in 1950, lasting only 3 years. In the following years after this war, both sides grew with the resources provided by their controlling countries. With the Soviet Union’s horrid economy, they left North Korea to fend for themselves. Unlike the U.S., who despite letting them grow by themselves, provided a stable economy for their half of the country.
Now to the present, with the modern country of South Korea and the severely outdated country of North Korea. Tensions between the two varied, from hating each other, to trying to unite like once before, and back to hating each other. If you’ve checked the news, you’ve probably heard of North Korea’s missile testing. Now, many countries test their bombs and nukes, but what makes North Korea’s testing much more intimidating? The fact that the country has practically no more allies, and is standing alone. Both countries that once supported it no longer exist. This means that North Korea is a country with nothing to lose, willing to cause a nuclear war whenever and wherever. Now as of recently in 2024, South Korean intelligence has found North Korean preparing for total war.
Cover photo credits to Roman Harak on Flickr