Trivia

Korea: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Korea, a look at the Korean War and the United States, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, President Park in Korea.

KOREA

NOTES

Supporters of each side claim the other started the Korean War, and their claims are virtually impossible to prove. Regardless, both governments considered themselves lawful governments of all Korea. North Korean troops seemed better prepared. They poured across the 38th parallel, nearly driving the South Korean Government (which had already been weakened by guerrilla fighting) into the sea.

The U.S. got United Nations' sanction--a Security Council resolution, in Soviet absence--to intervene. It landed troops and began a heavy bombing campaign. The U.S. drove North Korean military forces back to the Chinese border. At that point Chinese "volunteer" troops intervened in support of the North Koreans, fighting the U.S. back down to the 38th parallel. After long truce negotiations, the 2 sides agreed to an armistice in 1953.

The U.S. spent as much as $80 billion on the Korean conflict, losing 54,246 men. The war was more costly for the Koreans, especially in the north. U.S. bombers destroyed virtually every building in the Democratic People's Republic.

Kim Il Sung was an important independence leader, and he has led North Korea since independence. But the government campaign to glorify his thoughts and actions is incredible. His name is always preceded with titles such as "Beloved and Respected Leader, Comrade" and his pictures (and statues) are posted prominently throughout North Korea, and may even be found at the bottom of soup dishes.

South Korea's armed forces, now numbering over 630,000 men, have been subsidized by the U.S. since their inception, for a total of $5 billion in loans and grants. The U.S. currently has 42,000 troops stationed in Korea.

Under martial law President Park has outlawed all opposition to the Government. Under his emergency decrees, suspected critics can be arrested without warrants and imprisoned without trial.

The Korean CIA has a network which not only spies on the activities of people within South Korea, but keeps tab on Koreans abroad. In 1973 it kidnapped Kim Dae Jung, Park's 1971 presidential opponent, while Kim was in Japan, and then smuggled him into Korea.

In late 1973 large student demonstrations and a national petition with hundreds of thousands of signatures called for democracy. Park's regime responded with repression, arresting hundreds of students, journalists, churchmen, and others.

Anticommunist evangelical Protestants, including the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Genri Undo sect, are important backers of the Park regime. They have been subsidized by the ROK Government and right-wing U.S. evangelical organizations. The U.S. based Campus Crusade for Christ staged its "Explo '74" evangelical student congress in South Korea, drawing several hundred thousand believers.

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