Imposed Divide: Exposing the Roots of the Korean Conflict
This documentary dispels many myths promoted by Western media about the real purpose of US sanctions against North Korea. Predictably the real purpose of North Korean sanctions isn’t to end the North’s nuclear program but, as in Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria etc., to cause sufficient civilian misery to bring about regime change – either through popular uprising or a military coup.
The film begins by describing Korea’s historical division along the 38th parallel. During World War II, the entire Korean peninsula was occupied by Japan. When the latter surrendered on August 14, 1945, Soviet troops accepted their surrender north of the parallel and US troops in the South.
While Soviet troops withdrew, US troops continued its occupation of South Korea, installing a series of puppet dictators to brutally suppress any dissent through surveillance, arrest, torture and assassination. Under US pressure, in 1948 the UN issued a declaration of two separate states – the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south.
In 1950, North Korea attempted to reunify Korea by invading and “liberating.” the south. They were welcomed and supported by resistance fighters opposed to US occupation. With the help of UN forces, by 1953 the Americans drove North Korean troops north of the 38th parallel. They abandoned their plan to invade the North when Communist Chinese troops entered the Korean War on the side of the North Vietnamese. Instead the US unleashed a massive carpet bombing campaign that destroyed all major North Korean towns and killed 20% of their population.
After a July 1953 truce restored the original North/South boundary, the US maintained a permanent military presence (ie occupation)* in South Korea. A growing number of South Korean civilians have joined the movement protesting continued US occupation. South Korea’s National Security Act, which criminalizes praise of North Korea, criticism of the US and all human rights campaigns and protests, is equally unpopular.
This documentary also explodes Western myths about the origin of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The latter was the North’s response to a 1958 US decision to install tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea. They were removed in 1991 as part of President Bush Senior’s decision to eliminate America’s total arsenal of short range nuclear weapons.
In 1994 President Clinton signed an agreement to build North Korea a light water nuclear reactor in return for their commitment to end their nuclear weapons program. His Republican congress refused to ratify the treaty.
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I found this “review” of a documentary film quite interesting. It is less a film review than a blatant diatribe about America’s involvement in Korea and the history of the North/South partition. I don’t deny that both ends of Korea have been pulled like puppet strings by global leaders vying against each other for power. But this review seems to focused solely on “myths” of the West’s intentions in Korea and fails to acknowledge the in-depth interviews with experts and lay people that actually lead to a better understanding of the complex issues involved.
The documentary actually explores the subject with a great deal more finesse and fairness, pointing out that after WWII, South Koreans willingly fought against infiltration and invasion of Communist rule. The reviewer seems to imply that Stalin had benevolent intentions in his support of North Korea. Does anyone really believe that Stalin did NOT envision himself a global leader, with Russia (his form of communism) ruling the world? I think that is utterly disingenuous and revisionist. It is interesting that the Korean conflict came to a halt, without a resolution, after Stalin’s death.
Obviously, the SK government has embraced US involvement, despite the often ill effects of having a huge military complex plunked down on previously agricultural land, with all the attendant miseries that come with such an installation: pollution, noise, violence, and sexual misconduct, to name a few.
Yes, there are problems in NK and there are problems with US involvement in NK. When institutions like Brother’s Home go rogue, human rights are violated. The important thing is for these travesties to be unearthed and corrected. The US and Canada and probably every country in the world have harbored similarly unfortunate travesties…for example The Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
As far as I’m concerned, the most frightening circumstance in the world today, is continued stockpiling of nuclear weapons around the world, with those weapons being used as cudgels of power by incompetent megalomaniacs such as the current child president of the United States.
The film is more worthy of viewing, than the review is worthy of reading.