This is a map of the Korean Peninsula depicting how both North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK) and South Korea (Republic of Korea or ROK) were divided during the Korean War in the early 1950s.
The Conversation notes that after World War II ended in 1945 through the surrender of Japan (who annexed Korea from 1910-45), the Korean peninsula was divided into two halves by the so-called 38th parallel. This imaginary line paved the way for the Soviet-controlled North and U.S.-ruled South, as well as a different style of government for each side.
In 1950, throughout the course of the Korean War, the jurisdiction of both Koreas changed depending on the movement of each nation’s armies or people.
A ceasefire agreement was signed between the two sides in 1953, which created the coordinates of both Koreas. It also established a demilitarized zone (DMZ) just off the 38th parallel line. These coordinates remain to this day, as without a peace treaty, the two Koreas remain technically at war almost seven decades on.
These books explore those dark days in Korean history:
- The Korean War: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
- Ghost Flames: Life and Death in a Hidden War, Korea 1950-1953
- After the Korean War: An Intimate History (Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare)
- Killing Korea: The Fight for Control of Korea
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