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K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Why South and North Koreas are hostile to each other?

Published : Monday, 14 July, 2014 10:46 AM 
 
Relationship with few countries is perceived different but important which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting our relationship with other countries.
 
Read:  Why South and North Koreas are hostile to each other?
 
To understand why South and North Koreas are hostile to each other, one would have to go back in past time. The Korean Peninsula has had several competing kingdoms, but it was a unified nation till the Japanese occupation in 1910. The different regions of the Peninsula have minor variations in their dialect, but the division along the 38th Parallel was done mostly for geopolitical reasons and not cultural or geographic considerations. 
 
 
Formation of Two Koreas
 
When the World War II came to an end, both the United States and the USSR agreed to temporary divide the peninsula along the 38th Parallel till a provisional government was established in Korea. However, with the Cold War starting between the two allies, the dreams of a unified Korea did not materialize. The 38th Parallel that separated north from South Korea became the international border in 1948, with the formation of Republic of Korea in the South and a month later, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the North. 
 
The Korean War
 
In June 1950, North and South Koreas went to war and very quickly South Korea was overrun by North Korea, which ended up occupying quite a bit of the southern half of the Peninsula. This is when the United Nations stepped in and adopted several resolutions that facilitated use of force against North Korea. 
 
By October 1950, South Korea along with the United States and 15 other nations had managed to push back North Korean army close to the Chinese border. This, in turn, caused the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army to intervene and a stalemate developed at the 38th Parallel. The peace negotiations between the two Koreas started in 1951, but the fighting along the Parallel continued for another two years. 
 
The Korean War was brutal and more than a million people lost their lives. Furthermore, most of the Peninsula was razed to the ground. The brutality of the war and destruction further heightened the ill-feeling the two Koreas had towards one another. This laid a permanent foundation for the present-day tensions that prevail between North and South Koreas. 
 
The wars that have been in the past have given tremendous losses to all the countries that were involved in it. However, these have also led to stronger ties between some but the hostility of North and South Korea has risen even more. 
 
Their conflicts are not going to be over yet but they have gained friends in other territories that are always ready to take up their side at times of war. The future of the two is not yet decided as the conflicts are still going on. 
 
We can only hope that such feuds end peacefully and they all live at peace. But that is surely going to take a long time because of the current situation. Even with the peaceful involvement of the UN, there might still be chances of further conflicts as the two countries hate each other.
 
 
 
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