Book 4 Chapter 2: The Korean War (Tension within Korea (Background…
Book 4 Chapter 2: The Korean War
Tension within Korea
At the start of the
, Russia and Japan fought for control over Korea.
Korea was annexed by Japan
opposition from the Koreans was met with oppression
and any industrial
development was primarily for the Japanese
Koreans resented Japanese rule and longed to be free.
Partition of Korea
, during the Potsdam Conference,
Korea was to be divided at the 38th parallel
USA would occupy the south
Soviet Union would occupy the north
agreed that Korea should be unified
they did not know how to go about doing so
Truman and the UN wanted Korea to have free election
s, however the
Soviet Union refused to comply
Formation of Two Koreas
Syngman Rhee was elected as president
with the support of the USA and the UN in
Rhee's rule was
increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of dissent
Harsh laws were placed against his political opponents
, arresting or even killing them.
Suspected communists and North Korean spies were
detained, tortured or killed
60 000 dead
He was still seen as
a better candidate as he was anti-communism
Kim Il Sung was chosen as the leader on
9 September 1948
Kim was convinced that the whole of
Korea should be unified under one rule
to achieve this through violence
used propaganda extensively
, thus he was respected by North Koreans.
Isolated North Korea
so as to limit their Western influence.
Internal Reasons for the Korean War
Both sides saw unification as an
immediate and pressing goal
South Korea: The border clashes in the
summer of 1949
displayed Rhee's aggressive stance.
Many conservative politicians from South Korea attended the unification conference in Pyongyang in the
spring of 1948
peaceful unification became impossible
due to both leaders believing themselves to be the righful leaders of Korea.
North Korea: The Korean's worker party was created by merging the north and south communist parties.
Military and strategic imbalance between North and South Korea
Americans saw Rhee as rash
and could possibly involve them in an unwanted war.
USA continued to provide economic and military support however they
did not want to enable Rhee to invade North Korea
South Korea was only equipped with
agreed to provide military suppllies and economic support
to Kim but warned him that they would not be heavily involved in the war.
This gave the North Koreans the means of invading the South.