Inconsequential Decision In 1945

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In August 1945, at the request of then Secretary of State James Byrnes and Brigadier General George A. Lincoln arbitrarily divided a nation that had existed for over 2,000 years. Based on “a guess at how far the Soviets could get…he decided on the thirty-eighth parallel,” His methodology for the division of Korea at the 38th parallel was purely one of military convenience, “to denote a line above and below which Soviet and American forces were to accept the surrender of Japanese troops.” Subsequently, it has become one of the most hotly contested regions in the world. This paper will discuss how a seemingly inconsequential decision in 1945 continues to have far-reaching impact on the stability and balance of power in the region. Furthermore,
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