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Super_Duper_Shy t1_j2f8lhs wrote

After Japan was kicked out of Korea people in both the north and south started developing their own democratic systems. Then the US arbitrarily divided the country at the 38th parallel, and established a military occupation in the south. This occupation destroyed the democratic institutions that had been set up, and kept officials and collaborators from the Japanese colonial government in power. Then the US installed a dictator to rule the south. Syng-man Rhee made it his mission to suppress and kill anyone he thought might be socialist. Given that context I don't think it was that North Korea was trying to force anything on the south, but that they were trying to drive an occupying force out of their country, like they had done with the Japanese.


domine18 t1_j2fdrcj wrote

You are correct in that they wanted to drive out a force from “their” country. Much in the same way Russia wants to drive a force from “their” country in ukraine. They invaded. Japan gave up control in 1945. Leaving a vacuum for power differing opinions took root. Communism in the north( supported by USSR) and Democracy in the south (supported by USA). They were all Koreans but had different ideologies. America wanted to support a budding new democracy and stop the advancement of communism. A line was created in 1945 after WWII at the 38th parallel agreed by America and USSR to separate the two ideologies that both countries supported. Then June 25, 1950 North Korea crossed the line invading South Korea. And kicked off the Korean War.


Super_Duper_Shy t1_j2fkmeu wrote

If the US was trying to support democracy then why did they destroy the people's councils that had been established in the south, fill the government and police force with former Japanese collaborators, and install a dictator in Syngman Rhee? And then after Rhee was eventually overthrown, why did the US support the military juntas that came into power?


domine18 t1_j2fn490 wrote

As I said, they did a bad job of it. I am not arguing that the USA did a good job. But to say the USA provoked or threw the first punch is just wrong.


Super_Duper_Shy t1_j2foo0y wrote

Actively suppressing democracy is not doing a bad job of supporting democracy, it is actively suppressing democracy.


WatRedditHathWrought t1_j2fgujf wrote

So, let me get this straight, you think the United States, all on its own, decided that the commies could have the northern part of the Korean Peninsula? Is that what you think?


Super_Duper_Shy t1_j2floiw wrote

The facts are that the USSR and the Korean people (many of them being led by Kim Il Sung) were the ones who drove Japan out of Korea. The US didn't want the USSR to have influence in all of Korea so they drew a line at the 38th parallel. The USSR agreed to that line because they didn't see it as a hill they wanted to die on (they didn't want to chance a war with the US since they had just lost 27 million people in WWII).