The 38th Parallel Analysis

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After the split and prior to the Korean War, there were many conflicts between the North and South. The 38th Parallel exemplified the growing tension between the North and South, as between 1948 and the initial invasion of South Korea in 1950, there were around 10,000 deaths that took place at the border, displaying that violence and division were escalating between South and North Korea. Using realist theories of international relations, we can begin to explain the actions taken by North and South Korea prior to and during war, as well as the reasons why foreign intervention took place. First, realism itself must be discussed. Realism is a theory that is based on the belief that politics amid nations are and will always be, about power and…show more content…
The plan that was devised set the North up to take South Korea in 3 weeks before American intervention could happen, if it was even going to happen. The reasons for the intervention from Russia and China can be seen through the realist argument of hegemony and transition of power. It would require looking at hegemony in terms of political systems instead of the two national hegemons of the US and Russia. This would place democracy as the hegemon in the world, as many of the leading nations in the world at the time were democratic, such as Britain and the US, and the rising hegemon being communism, which included the countries of Russia and China. Because these were all major players in the world and had been opposing each other, the communist saw Korea as the perfect situation to challenge the hegemon and attempt to begin transitioning from democracy being the strongest political system, to communism. Korea would allow the might of communism and communist countries to be seen, which could then be used as a starting point for communism to begin its path to become the new hegemon with Russia being at its head. However, this would be met with resistance once their plans…show more content…
In the weeks leading up to the invasion, the insurgent activity intensified in order to draw Southern soldiers away from the 38th Parallel; to weaken any attempt to stop Northern forces at the border. They waited for the right time and then began their invasion. That time was June 25th, 1950; on which North Korea invaded South Korea marking the official beginning of the Korean War. North Korea sent about 75,000 troops across the 38th Parallel during the invasion. Then two days later, on June 27th, the United Nations (UN) condemned the actions of North Korea. This led to the passing of Resolution 83, which called all members of the UN to lend military aid to the Republic of Korea. The countries to send military aid were the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Colombia, Ethiopia, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Philippines and Luxembourg. The military help given to South Korea by the UN, was placed under the command of American military officers. On the same day that Resolution 83 passed, Syngman Rhee ordered the Bodo League Massacre, or as some labeled it, the Summer of Terror. This was dubbed a massacre because it involved the death of around 100,000 communists including some people who were just sympathetic to the North
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