Thread about Korea 1/ Surrounded by Russia, China and Japan, and with its unique language and culture Korea had long been referred to as “The Hermit Kingdom” due to its insularity.
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2/ Having suffered previous invasions, Korea attempted to maintain cordial and peaceful relations with its neighbours. However, once Japan began its imperialist drive though Asia for resources and power,
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3/ the first nation Japan occupied was Korea, beginning in 1876. Koreans were banned from speaking Korean, wearing Korean dress, and even cooking Korean food and using Korean names. Koreans lived under this horror for 70 years.
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4/ This gave rise to a movement of freedom fighters and anti-imperialists across Korea, north and south, one of whom was Kim Il-sung. Koreans had long maintained a fiercely independent and unique identity. Japanese occupation forged this further with the desire for sovereignty.
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5/ Kim further developed the traditional Korean approach of self-reliance, which he called Juche. Although the North had some support from the Soviets, Kim’s philosophy was that Korea could ultimately rely on no one but itself.
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6/ After devastating Nagasaki and Hiroshima with atomic bombs, the US occupied Japan, which included occupied Korea. Soviet forces came down from the North to help evict the Japanese, but unlike the US, would soon withdraw.
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7/ The US, claiming to be there to “liberate” the Koreans from the Japanese, quickly installed a puppet leader, Syngman Rhee. Educated in the US and a Christian, the US considered him a good bet to stifle bubbling communist/leftist sentiment.
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8/ The US effectively maintained the oppressive dreaded Japanese police force the Korean people had so despised, and kept many of the quislings in power who had ruled under the Japanese.
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9/ So-called communists and left-leaning sympathisers were rounded up and kept in horrific concentration camps, such as the one on Jeju Island. An uprising in the island was “put down” by Rhee and 30,000 “communists” were murdered between 1948-9.

6:11 AM · Jun 14, 2018

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10/ The New York Times referred to these operations throughout the late ‘40s as “mopping up reds”.
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11/ Gen. Douglas MacArthur pushed for a split into North and South, disingenuously arguing that unification was simply not possible.
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12/ US Lt Gen Hodge established the Korean Advisory Council, made up largely of members of the Korean Democratic Party, formed at the encouragement of the US and primarily made up of large landowners, wealthy businessmen, and former officials in the colonial government.
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13/ Elections were held in 1948, overseen by USAMGIK (The United States Military Government in Korea) but were boycotted by the north since the popular People's Republic of Korea (PRK) had been banned.
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