McCain Campaign gave us SO MUCH INFORMATION.
I wish we had this for every candidate!
So much information in one place…
It’s easy to ridicule the megalomania of Kim Jong-Il. It’s easier to cry out against the humanitarian crises and nuclear threats that exist inside North Korea. What’s difficult, however, is attempting to understand the world’s most isolated autocracy.
Searching for historical context to Kim Jong-Il’s rule, I found this well-written article; “An Essay on why North Korea is the way it is.”
Below I’ve outlined a brief summation of 20th century politics in the Korean Peninsula prior to the period covered in the aforementioned article to make for a more holistic portrait…
In 1905 the Taft Administration gave imperialist Japan the go-ahead to force the Korean Empire’s leadership to hand over power. The opinion of the U.S. government at the time was that Japan’s subjugation of the Korean people would “…contribute to permanent peace in the Far East.”
Following three-and-a-half tumultuous decades, World War II marked the end of Japan’s control over Korea’s international affairs.
The victorious United States and Soviet Union claimed a trusteeship over the Korean Peninsula. Despite the Koreans clear stance against a division, the two powers coercively demarcated North and South Korea, dividing them at the 38th parallel. The Soviet Union allowed the people to organize themselves into independent committee’s and slowly manipulated these committees into a provincial, centralized communist government. The interim government was headed by Kim Il-sung, who would become the first President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In the South MacArthur’s delegate, Lieutenant General John Hodge was charged with overseeing the establishment of the new governing body. The southern Korean people organized themselves into The Provincial Government of the Republic of Korea, however, when the group sent a delegation to meet with Lieutenant General Hodge, he refused to speak with them or recognize the provincial government in any manner. Instead, Hodge selected a staunch anti-communist expatriate named Syngman Rhee to head the interim government. Rhee had lived and studied in the U.S. as an exile from Korea and as interim leader worked to eliminate left-wing communist insurrection within South Korea. Rhee would eventually become the first president of the Republic of Korea.
These two countries were soon to become the battleground for the opposing ideologies of the Cold War…