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  • Author: Chang-Il Ohn
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Immediately before the Japanese surrender in the Pacific War (1941-5), there was one Korea, though it had been under Japanese colonial rule for 36 years. The 38th parallel, which the American policymakers hastily picked out as the operational boundary between U.S. and Soviet troops in the Far East at the last stage of the Pacific War, divided one Korea into the two, North and South.1 Soviet troops occupied North Korea, Americans entered the South, and the two sides began military occupation in the two Koreas. The latitude, which Washington policymakers conceived to be a temporary line to halt the further southward advance of Soviet troops and thereby physically eliminate the possibility of Soviet participation in the Japanese occupation, and to facilitate the process of establishing a Korean government "in due course," however, began to embrace new political and military connotations. The two Koreas, even on a temporary basis, thus appeared. The status of and situations in the two Koreas were almost the same at the beginning of the military occupations. In both parts of Korea, people were very poor mainly because of the harsh Japanese mobilization for conducting the Pacific War. There were neither major factories, nor organized indigenous troops, nor influential political groups except the strong popular desire to establish a Korean government right away. Almost every well-informed Korean had a distinctive idea about the future of Korea and the nature of its government. As a result, "too many" political organizations and parties were formed, and, especially, the American military government judged that the Koreans were "too much" politicized. All in all, the situations in the two parts of Korea were almost identical as much as the status of being the occupied. The policies and strategies of the two occupiers—the United States and the Soviet Union—toward Korea, however, were different. Despite the wartime agreement with the United States that Korea should be independent "in due course," which meant that a Korean government should be established after the period of multinational trusteeship, the Soviet Union was not enthusiastic about the idea of multi-tutorship for Korea. Instead, the Soviet authority was busy in communizing the northern half of Korea, trying to make it a stronghold for securing the entire Korean peninsula. The Chief Soviet Delegate, Colonel General T. F. Shtykov, made it clear, at the Joint Commission convened in Seoul on March 20, 1946, that Korea should be "loyal to the Soviet Union, so that it will not become a base for an attack on the Soviet Union" in the future.2 This Soviet position was directly contrary to the primary objective of the United States in Korea, that is, "to prevent Russian domination of Korea."3 Unable to find a compromised solution on Korea through the Joint Commission, the United States internationalized the Korean issue by turning it over to the United Nations. The Soviet Union, however, did not accept the U.N. resolution that a Korean government would be established through holding a general election throughout Korea, and the Soviet authority in North Korea rejected the entry of U.N. representatives. As a result, the two Korean governments were created, one in the South blessed by the United Nations and the other in the North brewed by the Soviet Union, in August and September 1948 respectively.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Washington, South Korea, North Korea, Soviet Union, Korea
  • Author: Richard Kuisel
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The new millennium brought the loss of the most eminent American historian of modern France. Gordon Wright, emeritus professor of history at Stanford University, died on the 11 th of January in his California home. Gordon Wright was a member of a generation that matured during the war who managed to combine academic life with public service. Born in Washington State into a family of farmers, teachers and preachers, he attended Whitman College. His first encounter with France came in 1937 as an American Field Service fellow. Although he originally wanted a career in the diplomatic corps, he took his Ph.D. in history at Stanford in 1939, published his thesis on the presidency of Raymond Poincaré,1 and began his academic life at the University of Oregon. The war interrupted the peace of academia. While serving as a liaison with the State Department in 1944 he was assigned the job of leading a convoy of vehicles and personnel from Lisbon to Paris to help set up the embassy.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, France, Lisbon
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Early in September 2000, a front- page story in the Washington Post nicely captured the newly prevailing view among international "North Korea watchers" concerning the DPRK economy's current condition and immediate outlook.. The article, titled "North Korea Back From The Brink", reported that "[visitors and other analysts] say the North Korean economy is growing for the first time in nine years, the mass starvation is over....". It remarked upon "nascent signs of recovery—more traffic on the roads, more livestock in the fields, peasants who look healthy." The story further noted that the Republic of Korea Bank of Korea (BOK) recently "concluded—with some surprise—that the North's economy grew last year by a sustainable 6.2 percent, the first growth since 1990", and quoted the South Korean central bank as stating that "it's reasonable to predict that the worst is over for the North Korean economy".
  • Political Geography: Washington, South Korea, North Korea