In August 1945, the Japanese surrender to the US and with that the 40-year long occupation of Korea by Japan ends. The Koreans with their newly gained freedom start to create the basis of an independent country.

So-called people's committees are being established in every province. The leaders of these committees organise the Central People's Committee which later creates the Korean People's Republic (KPR). TheJapanese during the 40 years spent on the peninsula established a system which ensured that it wouldn't work without Japan thus the country was in an economic turmoil. In spite of this, the Korean people were enthusiastic about their freedom and the seeds of a self-governing the country started to be put down.

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The US had plans

The US had different plans for Korea though. With the Soviet Union, they decided to take it under joint trusteeship before the complete independence, without even consulting the Koreans. Two young colonels Dean Rusk and Charles H. Bonesteel were given the job and 30 minutes to draw the border, the so-called 38th parallel-between the now Soviet-backed north and US-backed south. Only two days after the KPR was formed US troops started to arrive to give military backup to the formal occupation of the south. The KPR was announced to be illegitimate and the US concluded that its duty should be to stand behind conservative politicians in the Korean Democratic Party, formed with the help of the US. Syngman Rhee, a Korean who had been living in America for over 40 years was put into power, as a perfect puppet.

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Not long after this Rhee and his US advisers realised that to build the Korea they want they need to get rid of the KPR. A few months later the KPR - which was supported by most of the Koreans - and every activity which had anything to do with it was declared illegal. From here, with thousands of disgruntled people on the streets, with a barely existing economy and with alien forces trying to force their ideology on them things escalated to a point where there was no way back. The US forces were told to find and eliminate everybody who is against the regime. Villages were systematically searched for dissidents, the people were rounded up, killed and dropped into mass graves. The estimates of tortured and killed civilians range from 200.000 to 800.000 by the time the war started.

The War

In 1949 extensive fights broke out by the 38th parallel, the north and south both pushed the front line back and forth. Hundreds of villages were torn down and villagers were killed. Napalm, which was invented at the end of the Second World War was excessively used by the US.

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During the three-year-long period of the war more than 600.000 tons of bombs and 40.000 tons of napalm were dropped, more napalm than in Vietnam. And even though they tried to avoid civilian loss by dropping flyers before the bombing, it was mainly useless. An estimated 20% of the population was killed in Korea during the war. More than 5 million people lost their lives, which is comparable with the nazis bloodshed.

A veteran described it like this:

"I had seen the war-battered cities of Europe, but I had not seen devastation until I had seen Korea…"

Jimmy Carter makes an agreement

In the 1990's #Jimmy Carter former US president was called to Korea and after persuading the Clinton administration, he travelled there for a meeting with the North Korean leader Kim II Sung. An agreement between the US and #North Korea was signed which meant that the economic embargo, which had been strangling the country since the war, was lifted and in return, the Koreans ended their nuclear program. This was until the Bush administration decided to dismantle the agreement. In response, Korea restarted its nuclear program and strengthened the rhetoric against the US. In turn, Obama started the war games again by a simulated nuclear attack on North Korea. Now we have a president who won an election by saying that he's going to build a wall on the Mexican border...

In a lecture at Lafayette College Jimmy Carter addressed the issue:

"I've been there two or three times since the 1994 agreement, and I can tell you what the North Koreans want is a peace treaty with the #United States and they want the 60-year economic embargo lifted against their people so they can have an equal chance to trade and commerce. It's a very paranoid country. They are honestly convinced that the United States wants to attack them and destroy their country, to eliminate the Communist regime. They make a lot of mistakes, but if the United States would just talk to the North Koreans…I believe…we could have peace, and the United States would be a lot better off in the long run."

The question is when is enough? When will we realise that we only have one planet? When will we say no to the aggression and try to find another way? When will we step up to the system which doesn’t recognise humans only numbers?

It's time to change before it's not too late!

"Men is still as he was. Is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive.

And he's built a society along these lines."

Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian philosopher 1895 - 1986