Thursday, December 25, 2014

Fact Not Fiction: The Unending Korean War

South Korean soldiers stand guard facing North Korea at the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, June 25, 2014. (Photo: Woohae Cho / The New York Times)South Korean soldiers stand guard facing North Korea at the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, June 25, 2014. (Photo: Woohae Cho / The New York Times)
The fact that the Korean War ended with a temporary cease-fire rather than a permanent peace treaty has given the North Korean government justification to invest heavily in the country's militarization. Another 50 years failed policy that needs to change?
..............More bombs were dropped on Korea from 1950 to 1953 than on all of Asia and the Pacific islands during World War II, with the near possibility of the deployment of an atomic bomb. One year into the Korean War, US Major General Emmett O'Donnell Jr. testified before the Senate, "I would say that the entire, almost the entire Korean Peninsula is just a terrible mess. Everything is destroyed. There is nothing standing worthy of the name . . . There [are] no more targets in Korea."
Nearly 4 million people were killed in the three-year Korean War, which has come to be known by historians as the "forgotten war." In 1953, North Korea, China and the United States, representing the United Nations Command, signed a temporary cease-fire agreement with a promise to sign a peace treaty. That promise was never upheld. Sixty years later, millions of Korean families are still separated by the world's most militarized border - the two-mile wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) - and are still living in a state of war.

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