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How peaceful was Korea before the North/South divide???
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itiswhatitis



Joined: 08 Aug 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: How peaceful was Korea before the North/South divide??? Reply with quote

We hear about the North and South divide in the media.

Nothing is ever mentioned about any civil wars/serious conflicts that happened within Korea before the North/South divide.

Was there any other civil wars in Korea before the North/South divide?

We all know about the Japanese/Chinese invasions, but I wonder how peaceful the Koreans have been amongst each other throughout the centuries.

Any book suggestions???

Any insight/information/opinions???

Thanks!!!
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I studied a bit of Korean history. Prior to it's divide, it was a very turbulent country. I learned that Korea has been invaded more than 900 times by neighboring countries throughout it's history. After country has been looted and women raped, they'd have to rebuild again and again.

Pre-KyoRyo dynasty, Korea was divided into three countries: Ko-Gu-Ryo, Baek-Jae, and Shilla. They were constantly at war, but at the end Shilla kicked arse and unified Korea. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at that. You could go to Kyobo book store and find many Korean history books.
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toby99



Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Location: Dong-Incheon-by-the-sea, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newb wrote:
I studied a bit of Korean history. Prior to it's divide, it was a very turbulent country. I learned that Korea has been invaded more than 900 times by neighboring countries throughout it's history. After country has been looted and women raped, they'd have to rebuild again and again.


If anyone wonders why some Koreans seem to hate waygooks, there's your answer.
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everything-is-everything



Joined: 06 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the Japanese got their azz handed to them by the Americans and retreated from the Korean Peninsula the Americans came in from the south and the Soviets from the north dividing the nation from the get go.


The Soviets had previously supported guerrilla groups in Manchuria so the political leadership in the northern half was composed of a bunch of commies.

The south on the other hand had a more American influence and much of the leadership was composed of Koreans who worked closely with the Japanese during Korea's occupation (wtf?)


Then the Americans and Soviets left and what remained were two factions influenced by the Soviets and Americans respectively.

So in the power vacuum the Korean War erupted when the North (heavily armed by the Soviet Union) invaded the South. (although minor skirmishes happened prior to that).



This is South Korea's dirty little secret. Much of its political, military and economic elite in its early stages (and to this day) worked closely with the Japanese during the occupation of their country.

Knowing this, you can understand the Norks hatred for the South.

And to be honest, they were probably a better representatives of the Korean people as a whole. The Norks fought the Japanese while the elite from the South worked close with them and aided in their occupation of their own nation.
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everything-is-everything



Joined: 06 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add that I am not in anyway a North Korean sympathizer. I despise their government.
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orosee



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Location: Hannam-dong, Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

everything-is-everything wrote:

This is South Korea's dirty little secret. Much of its political, military and economic elite in its early stages (and to this day) worked closely with the Japanese during the occupation of their country.


This is not only true for SK but more or less all US occupied countries after WW2, plus of course a number of uninvolved countries in Central and South America and Africa.

Basically all the fascist, militarist and allied power structures were of course strictly anti-communist, which was exactly what "the West" needed during the Cold War. So after a very brief ban in the late 40's, most of the bureaucracy that didn't commit too many atrocities in WW2 was back in power and kept on to power at least until the late 1960's.

Ironically it was only in the Soviet occupied countries where those responsible for WW2 and the atrocities committed by the aggressors were brought to (more or less) justice, after the USSR won WW2 in Europe. The Cold War was the necessary evil for the US/UK to keep the Soviets from winning WW2 in the East as well.
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on my study of Korean history and my humble opinion suggest that Korea would not have achieved economic and political success without Japanese colonial influence. Without Japanese influence, Korea would've been another 3rd world country similar to or worse than Philippines.

During Japanese colonial period, Korea was forced to open it's door to the West. Although Japan looted much of Korean natural resources during WWII, Japan built the infrastructures that Korea would never have. End of WWII also brought Americans influence to fuel the economic and political success. If you study closely, the Korean constitution and economic structure are carbon copy of that of American's.
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everything-is-everything



Joined: 06 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newb wrote:
Without Japanese influence, Korea would've been another 3rd world country similar to or worse than Philippines.


I understand that prior to Japanese occupation (and consequent Korean industrialization) that Korea under Chosun rule was extremely backward and hostile to foreign influence.

But there is something to the Korean psyche which makes me challenge your notion that Korea would've been another 3rd world country similar to or worse than Philippines.



If you examine Korean history (pre-Chosun) you would know that they have always been an industrious people. Furthermore, (albeit with a lot and I mean a lot of help) South Koreans developed a war torn country into one of the most successful economies in the world.


Like them or not, Koreans should have some respect for where they've come. I believe the potential of the Korean people has always been there it's just that geography and corrupt leadership had for a long time held them back.
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sublunari



Joined: 11 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of people have been reading The Cleanest Race, it seems...I wonder if it's also possible to debunk the myth of the victimized nation invaded a thousand times by its treacherous neighbors. Goguryeo invaded and conquered much of Northern China, and for a couple of centuries Silla was the dominant force in the region, and closely associated with Tang China; while Baekje was so friendly with the Japanese that some Japanese nobles are descended from them. There was a big invasion by the Chinese in ancient times and a major war with the Mongols and the Japanese in the Middle Ages, but between that period and the middle of the nineteenth century I haven't seen too much in the way of catastrophe. The country was poor, backward, and a vassal of Qing China, but they didn't fight any wars until the colonial Japanese lost to the Americans.
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

everything-is-everything wrote:
newb wrote:
Without Japanese influence, Korea would've been another 3rd world country similar to or worse than Philippines.


I understand that prior to Japanese occupation (and consequent Korean industrialization) that Korea under Chosun rule was extremely backward and hostile to foreign influence.

But there is something to the Korean psyche which makes me challenge your notion that Korea would've been another 3rd world country similar to or worse than Philippines.



If you examine Korean history (pre-Chosun) you would know that they have always been an industrious people. Furthermore, (albeit with a lot and I mean a lot of help) South Koreans developed a war torn country into one of the most successful economies in the world.


Like them or not, Koreans should have some respect for where they've come. I believe the potential of the Korean people has always been there it's just that geography and corrupt leadership had for a long time held them back.


In my opinion, without Japanese infuence during it's colonial period, Korea would've remained poor and backward hermit kingdom as it was known for during 19th century.

After the Korean War, it had to rebuild but the corrupt government slowed the process. Recently, it's been reported that government corruption reduces country's growth by 2-3%. However, in early 1960's through late 1970's things changed rapidly after coup d'eta lead by General Park who promoted industrialization and built additional infrastructures which became the foundation of the economic success of Korea today. While some people might disagree because General Park's iron fisted ruling of the country, but I think Korea was lucky to have him.

By the way, General Park graduated from Japan Military Academy and was a commission officer of the Japanese Army during colonial period.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newb wrote:
In my opinion, without Japanese infuence during it's colonial period, Korea would've remained poor and backward hermit kingdom as it was known for during 19th century.

Will have to disagree with you slightly. I would say if Korea were united after WWII then Korea would still be a very very poor country. The division of Korea and Park Jung-Hee were godsends to people south of the DMZ. Without out the division Park could have never justified his heavy handed approach to ramming development down the throats of an extremely poor country.
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvalmer wrote:
newb wrote:
In my opinion, without Japanese infuence during it's colonial period, Korea would've remained poor and backward hermit kingdom as it was known for during 19th century.

Will have to disagree with you slightly. I would say if Korea were united after WWII then Korea would still be a very very poor country. The division of Korea and Park Jung-Hee were godsends to people south of the DMZ. Without out the division Park could have never justified his heavy handed approach to ramming development down the throats of an extremely poor country.


Thanks in part by Japanese invasion or colonization which help started the whole process of division. Razz
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Jimskins



Joined: 07 Nov 2007

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the Japanese left General Park was also an active member of the communists (he liked to always be on side that was winning).That was until he was caught and gave the names of 300 of his comrades (who were subsequently executed) to save his own skin. He then subjected the Koreans (apart from those living in Gyeongsangdo of course) to twenty-odd years of utter misery.

Yeah, top bloke all-round. They were 'lucky' to have him.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like a countries, Korea has a very turbulent and violent history.

sublunari wrote:
A lot of people have been reading The Cleanest Race, it seems...I wonder if it's also possible to debunk the myth of the victimized nation invaded a thousand times by its treacherous neighbors. Goguryeo invaded and conquered much of Northern China, and for a couple of centuries Silla was the dominant force in the region, and closely associated with Tang China; while Baekje was so friendly with the Japanese that some Japanese nobles are descended from them.


Not really. Learning history in school, I basically learned that if Korea invaded another country, it showed how awesome we were, but if we were invaded, showed how treacherous foreign nations were.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Western powers had a few forays into Korea during the 19th century, none of which came to much.

After the last of the Manchu invasions Korea obviously still underwent political turmoil and intrigue but it seems to have stagnated.
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