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Korean War - Essay Example

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At the beginning of the 19th century, Korea was under the influence of Japan, and the Japanese had forced Korea to engage in international trade starting in 1876. Trade improved tremendously during this period (1876-1910) especially in the agricultural sector where corn and rice…
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Korean War At the beginning of the 19th century, Korea was under the influence of Japan, and the Japanese hadforced Korea to engage in international trade starting in 1876. Trade improved tremendously during this period (1876-1910) especially in the agricultural sector where corn and rice productivity was on the increase. The acceleration of development in Korea took effect in 1905 when Japan secured Korea as a colony from Russia. Japanese peasants and proprietors came into Korea and invested heavily in rice farming through improvement in technology such as irrigation and new rice seeds. The colonial started in 1910, which was marked by positive developments such as population growth because of improvement in hygiene and introduction of modern medicine. The colonial government was also responsible for many other improvements besides health such as implementing policies to modernize institutions and the Korean economy (Thomas White International, Ltd.). Other developments were expansion of railway, roads, harbors, telegraph, and the telephone network. Following Korean was not happy with the colonization by the Japanese. As much as the colonization brought development, Koreans were being oppressed by the Japanese rule. It was common for them to carry out demonstrations for independence from time to time. One incident was when young Koreans mostly students and Christians were inspired by US president Woodrow Wilson Idealism in 1918 and decide to carry out peaceful demonstrations. This did not go down in favor of the Koreans because the Japanese responded with brutal force, which comprise of beheading schoolchildren, and nailing Christians on crosses.
Korea had been divided into two after the World War II, the north and south. The north had been occupied by Soviet troops and the south by Americans. The Korean War broke out when the northern communist side invaded the southern democratic side; historians see it as the first armed battle of the Cold War. Post war South Korea for several years underwent political hardships under various autocratic rulers. Most notorious being Major general Park Chung Hee, however coincidentally his rule saw significant economic growth of the country. Protests led to the military regime holding elections in 1987, which led to a stable governance starting in 1990. In terms of economy, South Korea impressively has transformed from poverty to one of Asia’s greatest economies. Its per capita GNP has grown greatly from $100 in 1963 to over $16,000 by 2005 (Thomas White International, Ltd.). As much as the political situation was tough, the country focused on economic revival programs promoting industrialization, implementing them in series of five-year plans. The government directly supported the economy through offering incentives to businesses, enforcing fiscal policies, and regulating foreign exchange. Before 1960, North Korean economy seemed to perform better than South Korea. However, since then the economy deteriorated and is worsened by the collapse of communist governments in 1991, which was the country’s main source of support. North Korean in contrast to its neighbor South Korea remains to be among the poorest and least developed countries in the world.
References
Thomas White International, Ltd. South Korea. Investment report. Chicago: Thomas White International, Ltd, 2010. Document. Read More
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