Historical documentation depends on both the perspective and the interests of the writer, and the interpretative convenience of the reader. The last war on the Korean peninsula is no exception to this thesis. From the left they say: The Yankee imperialists invaded the north to take the entire peninsula and pressure the People’s Republic of China.
From the right the story is that: The Chinese Communist army, after its victory over the Kuomintang, invaded the south, to control the entire territory.
The fact is that as a result of the Second World War, first, and the Cold War, later, the Korean Peninsula remains divided into two antagonistic states, one south of the 38th parallel and the other north.
South Korea, after the 1953 armistice that ended the fighting but not the war, became the thirteenth largest economy in the world, a world leader in the shipbuilding industry, production of electronics and telephones, the country with the third highest number of broadband internet users per capita, in short: the fourth largest economy in Asia.
North Korea, meanwhile, created the fourth largest army in the world: 45 soldiers per 1,000 inhabitants and armed itself with nuclear weapons. The south is now a democratic country. The north an oppressive family dynasty now headed by the government of the grandson of Kim Il Sung, founder of the North Korean state.
The continuing tensions between the two Koreas; between the north and neighboring Japan; between Korea and the United Nations on nuclear proliferation; have marked the last 60 years since the signing of the armistice. Lately it seems that the new dictator is proving to his people their willingness and ability for conflict and and has put the world in a dangerous situation of nuclear war.
This is not the first time this has happened; the first fruits of that nonsense that corresponded to the Cuban dictatorship during the so-called Caribbean Crisis, in October 1962. Let us trust, once again, that the objectivity and prudence of governments of the countries involved, meeting at the United Nations, will manage to deter this new bellicose challenge that nobody in their right mind wants.
2 April 2013