Why Did Korea Split in to North and South?


This video is made possible by wix if you ready to create a website head over tosdsd wix.com/go/infograficsccc to tryout one of their premium plan rightnow Relations between North and South Korea have been rather tense for some time. Which might be — an understatement. But this year we saw North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un walked over the border to shake hands with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-In. Until then, most South Koreans and most of the world, for that matter, saw that North’s head honcho is some kind of evil dictator. After the meeting, some South Koreans referred to him as a cute teddy bear. So, is everything okay now? Following handshakes and slaps on the shoulder? Well, even though a third summit has been proposed between the two leaders, right now the North isn’t exactly in the USA’s good books.South Korea’s big brothers certainly watches over this relationship like a brooding mother. Let’s have a look at how this division started. In this episode of The Infographics Show, why did North and South Korea split? You probably already know that North and South Koreans are very similar in many ways, even culturally. The language is pretty much exactly the same, except for a few small differences. You could say that North Korea likes to keep the language free from impurities, such as borrowing words from English. But besides regional dialects being slightly different, we can say you speak Korean, not North or South Korean. North and South Korea originally came together in the 7th century under Silla Dynasty, and they remained united up until 1945. So, what happened? How could a country united for so long suddenly just split in two? The answer is WAR. The SECOND WORLD WAR. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. Prior to the second world war, there was something called the First Sino-Japanese war, which was a war between China and Japan between 1884 and 1895. Based on a western industrial model, Japan had become a very powerful country in the 19th century. No longer a backwater, as the members of the British empire used to call it. Japan emerged as an empire itself. Korea, on the other hand, had been rather fearful of foreigners and western industrialization, especially the elite that ruled over the country. They didn’t want outsiders messing in their business. But then, in 1880, things started to change. Korean diplomats went on a mission to Japan that year. While in Japan, they were presented with a study from a Chinese diplomat, which was called “A Strategy for Korea”. In part, that study warned that the Russians were coming. It also said “Stay friendly us, the Chinese, and don’t get on the wrong side of Japan.” Japan wasn’t at an immediate threat at that time, but the Chinese diplomat advised the Koreans to stay close with the burgeoning nation, at the same time, Korean was also advised to form good relations with the United States, who also could provide protection from the Russian juggernaut. In 1882, Korea signed a treaty with the US, called the “The Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation”. So far, so good. Open trade, modern industries, and the bonus of added protections. But, there was a catch. The Chinese wanted the treaty to say that the Korea belonged to China. The Americans were not keen on that, and insisted that Korea was independent. In the end, they agreed that Korea had a kind of independent status, but was still a tributary state of China. To cut the long story short, China had a massive influence on Korea, and tried to reform the country. That was in line with embracing some western ideas, and using western technology. So, Korea became more modernized to some extend. China just kept pushing and soon was involved in running Korea as well as dispatching its own troops there. We can’t spend too much time on this, but the war between the Japanese and China was fought hardly in Korea. Japan came out on top and in 1910 the country annexed the Korean Peninsula. From then until the end of the second world war, Korea was part of the Japanese empire. This wasn’t exactly great news for many Koreans as some historians said the Japanese treated them like second class citizens. But then, the war ended, and Japan was on the losing side. What to do with Korea? That was in the hands of the winners. The allied powers. “No more empire for you”, said the allies to Japan. It was up to the USA to take over the administration side of Korea, but it wasn’t keen on the idea of running the country. The Soviet Union was keen, and wanted the land it thought it deserved. Russia had lost a war with Japan in the early 20th century, called the Russo-Japanese War. That’s why the Soviets, to some extend, at least, thought they deserved control of Korea. Under developed Korea, for so long had been standing between these giants of Japan, China and Russia, and basically everyone, at some point, wanted a piece of it. Or should we say — all of it. It was actually quite surprising that the Japanese had defeated the Russian empire. And so perhaps Russia had been left with some eggs on his face. After winning wars both against China and Russia, the Wests knew that Japan certainly was a mightier power. But that ended with its defeat at the hands of the US in the second world war. Two Americans called Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel had the responsibility of making orders in the US occupied territories in East Asia. They came up with the idea of splitting Korea into two, almost in half, divided by what’s called “The 38th Parallel”. This was done without Korea having a word in it. The Americans said that half the country would be run by the Soviets, and half by them. Not surprisingly, America got the better half of the cake, which included the more modern city of Seoul. That’s not to say that North wasn’t out bad, it too had many major heavy industries; the South had the light industries. Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin and President Roosevelt agreed to the split, while the Koreans were not even invited to the meeting. Of course, many Koreans were passionately against this, but not those that had ties to the Soviet Communist Party. Actually, at the end of the war, many Koreans from the North and South were over the moon. FINALLY They would get their independence back. Brothers in arms, they embraced in plan for the future together, but of course, that didn’t happened. Brothers in arms were about to become quarreling siblings. Soviet forces quickly took a control from the Japanese forces in the North; and in the South the same happened with the Americans. Easy. Well, not really. The US, as we know, was afraid of the spread of communism as one might fear an outbreak of Ebola. The country didn’t even want any of the South Korean political parties to have much say and how of the now half country was wrong. Just in case they lean ever so slightly to the left, as things turned out the US wanted both North and South to have a democratic government and democratic principles, while the Soviets wanted the entire peninsula to be communist. Now, we have a divide of the former two allies, although America had been wary of communism for a long time. The US and Soviet leaders were even supposed to meet in 1948 to discuss the idea of reunifying Korea, and leaving the country to its own devices. But, both countries were so afraid of the other that this didn’t happen. In 1948, the Americans pretty much installed their own idea of a good leader for the South. A staunch anti communist called Syngman Rhee; the Soviets installed Kim Il-Sung as leader. He’d been a fighter in the Red Army, and of course, was a puppet for the Soviet Empire as much as Rhee was the puppet for the empire that dare not speak its name — i.e. America. Like Stalin, the North had to be ruled by a God-like character, and the cult of personality was sewn into the minds of those Koreans living in the North. You must remember at this point, the Koreans were still just Koreans, they’d been split in half without any saying in it. Of course, North Koreans were not born with such things as supreme leaders, and all that attended propaganda. But, if you feel like Plato, you’ve heard of the “Noble Lie”. Plato said that “If the elite must rule, they must tell a huge offer, create a mythology for the not so clever public consumption”. Plato said that he was noble because the normal folks need this lie to bring them together under one great myth, just as religion brought people together under one truth. Plato said if the first generation don’t buy it, the second will, mostly. And you’ll have the 3th completely, if you fill their heads with his idea from being children. That’s how many North Koreans became so enamoured with their godly leader. Well, that and fear. But then in 1950, Kim Il-sung got ambitious, and decided he wanted to rule the whole peninsula. That was the start of a three-year long war called “The Korean War”. The Americans joined the South with other countries of the United Nations, and they defeated the North. 3 million people died, and in the end nothing at all really changed, Korea was still divided at the 38th Parallel. After that, the demilitarized zone was set up to prevent more blood from being spilled, and to prevent people from reuniting or escaping. People did get through though, most of the Northerners trying to get into the South. Both countries though, soon became enemies, or at least enemies in ideas. The North was strictly communist with its Korean workers party, and the South espoused capitalism, individual freedom, and American values. The Americans have kept bases in Korea’s sense, as you watch this, there are about 28,000 US troops base in South Korea. Will they stay? Or will they go? Well, you’ll have to keep your eyes on the news. Sadly, some North and South Koreans still hate each other. But one thing we guarantee, is you won’t hate Wix. With free hosting, and hundreds of ready to use templates Wix has every creative solution you need to make a fantastic site. And we mean every solution. In a rush or is design not your strong point? No problem! Wix AI will weep up a stunning website for you in seconds! Just by asking you a few simple questions click the link in the description below or go to wix.com/go/INFOGRAPHICS today and check out just how fast and easy wix makes it to have your own amazing website could any of this been avoided? would you hate the other half of Korea if you lived in either the North or the South are you Korean? let us know in the comments also be sure to check out North Korean vs South Korean how do they compare? thanks for watching and as always don’t forget to like share and subscribe

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. When thinking of Koreas – what comes to your mind first – Kim Jong-un of the North or the tech companies of the South?

  2. South Korea has the 11th largest GDP in the world. North Korea is 113th. South Koreans are 2+ inches taller, have a longer life expectancy and actually have electricity at night.

    It’s pretty obvious who won and would have been better leaders for a unified Korea.

  3. The south did not won the war. It could be said as draw or stalemate. The North korean did not have clear stategy for diplomacy and war despite their military superiority over south in first months of war. Also other factor is that Soviet Union decide not to involve in war directly

  4. One fact that makes Korea angry is that the Soviet ran into war with Japan only few weeks before WW2 ended. They declared war on Japan right before Japan got nuclear-bombed and surrendered. That's partly because the Soviets knew Japan's defeat is obvious and they wanted some crops out of east asia after the war. But the reason why Soviet did not declare war on Japan at the early times of the war in the first place is something else. They did not want war with Japan initially. Germany was enough for them. But when the war was closing to its end, the US and the allies found landing on Japan was too risky. Japan's defeat was so obvious, but Japan did not surrender believing the Japanese people's samurai souls are so strong that it can overcome economical and mechanical inferiority. They kept the war longer and longer than they were capable of. That's why the US finally chose to bomb them with nuclear weapons. But the decision they made before the nuclear bombs was making Soviet declare war on Japan so that they could fear another additional enemy, and then surrender to the US to protect itself from communist Soviet. So Japan's irresponsible and irrational hesitation of surrender made Soviet invasion right before the end of the war, making an excuse to the Soviet to demand something in Korean peninsula. So Japan is partially responsible for the division.
    What is worse is that Japan tried to destroy institutions and manufacturing basis they built on the Korean peninsula as much as possible before they surrender and leave the peninsula. Reducing future risk of Korea becoming strong and invading Japan is understandable, but not acceptable. Colonizing a neighbor country massacring people and drafting all the golds out of it devastated the country. When they leave the country, they destroy everything because they hate them? That's worst. Korea started from the bottom after the Korean war. Unlike how Japan claims they contributed to Korea's modernization, Korea started from stone age all over again in the 60s.

  5. ONE THING FOR SURE IS THAT BOTH KOREA DON’T HATE EACH OTHER. IT’s neighbor country’s media who wants two Koreas stay divided.

  6. When people ask me if I'm from the South or North, I used to tell them, "To save you some time, just assume every Korean you see is probably 99.9% from the South." Now I joke with them that Kim Jung Eun is my uncle and I have a crazy backstory of how I escaped that dreaded motherland. I say just kidding in the end to relieve all the shock.

  7. Ppl who used to leave in there stuck when the line was desided. Before that, civilian is just live in own hometown. They dont consider themself as north or south before. Not even during the war. After all this is not what civilan wanted to happen. Its all desided by politicion and other country. So when this line happen many mess up thing happen. Large Familly who live spirite with two side of country suddenly become enemy side without own will. And become never meet again in lifetime. And there is many ppl who just runaway from war also become lost. Stuck in there. its not suprise we have same historical culture. But also north korean languige feel so strange to south korean. too. (Its lifetime ago. So..yea..) it feel like they come from past. I somehow like it. They knew many word in past south korean never use nowday. And as i hear there is illegal movie or drama ppl watch in north korea…

  8. 여보세요? but in person? Idk about NK but SKs don't say that in person as a greeting. and there are many differences. The main one is lack of loan words, but I don't think they're identical with only a FEW small differences. This is only the very beginning so I'm sure this video is filled with errors.

  9. Hey I'm South Korean I just hope they end Second World War in Peace and be as one together. Instead of war why don't we just do Sports Competition or like Gaming competition? it's more of a peace war.

  10. Ana musada bashir wo zhan baxier i will prosecute bashir je me penalizado bashir я наказаю башир yo me penalizado bashir

  11. "Just like religion brought them together under one great truth."

    Uh, no, that's still a myth, just one that people still believe in.

  12. 1:11 made me laugh a little bit xD. I'm not Korean, but I'm currently studying Korean, and just so you're aware, "여보세요" is only used when saying "Hello?" on the phone.
    "안녕하세요" is the generic, polite "Hello." or "안녕" for short if you're speaking casually.
    It's a small point, but it'd be a bit awkward in spoken Korean. It'd kinda be like the equivalent of someone walking up to you in person and saying "Who is it?" instead of "Hello."

  13. 1:10 is incorrect context.
    여보세요 (Yeoboseyo) is how one answers the phone when the receiver of a call. It is never how people greet one another in person.
    The only exception in person would be if you were yelling at someone or telling them off then you would use it to call their attention. Even then, not often used in person.

  14. I got lucky enough to live in Korea for 2 years. Beautiful country, awesome people, great food, etc….hope I get the chance to go back someday.

  15. So after the war the U.S. didnt want to run the country.

    Funny I once hear by a politician say "America doesn't have to police the world." Yet we have troops all over the world policing it.

  16. Why did you ruin this video with an obnoxious ad for a really bad web writing platform integrated into the content? I won’t be watching anymore of your channel.

  17. Short answer: America support the south and soviet support north and america and soviet so south and north became enemies

  18. This is a way proves russia never ownd any bit of eastern siberia and just conquerd what it wanted and if they got there way Korea would just be apart of russia and most people would call it russia, imagine what other ASIAN countries would have been forms if russia didn't take it

  19. Let me get this straight: North Korea and South Korea divided from each other because one was run by the Soviets and the other by the United States? And the North had heavy industries, while the South lighter? And from the two nations, the Americans wanted democratic principles and the Soviets communism?

  20. Angry that the thumbnail is insulting Kim Jong-Un, he has his own beliefs, and may not have to agree with our views, but he is more powerful than the owner of this dumb show will ever be.

  21. Big countries jst ruined most of the world by ruling other countries…and when they got thrown out of them or even weren't able to rule…..they jst divided them …many countries that were split …are result of this evil politics

  22. For people to come together you have to tell a big lie like nobelism for example people come together
    Under a religion under a big truth…

    I am a little confused… 🤔 🤔 🤔

  23. So many historical errors… defeated the north? So far from the truth.. China joined the war and pushed the Americans back to the 38th parallel. It was a stalemate like the Vietnam war… I love infomercial but sometimes their history is soooo wrong

  24. USA & Russia have always benefited from fights of other countries whether its
    Israel – Palestine , North – South Korea , India – Pakistan and many more!! I hope some day everyone realises this, USA never wants peace on earth, the more the fights the more they are benefited, who would buy their ammunitions if there is no fight?

  25. I think you must make video why did korea not unite after wwII like vietnam and germany. We all know why they split

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