The border conflict between North Korea and South Korea

The border conflict between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean conflict between South Korea and North Korea traces can be traced Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 which sparked the emergence of radical and nationalist groups in the preceding decades as they struggled to gain independence (Lavelle). These groups different considerably in terms of their approaches and outlooks. The crisis finally took a divisive shape in August 9, 1945 after the Soviet Union attacked Korea which had been annexed by Japan (Wan Heo). The US got interested in war given her competition with the Soviet Union to determine the ultimate global super power. Under the General Order No. 1, the Soviet Union took control of the north of the Korean Peninsula which would later become known as North Korea (Walker). On the other hand, the US government took control of the south of the Korean Peninsula in what would also become known as south Korea. Both north Korea and south Korea have gone into war on a number of occasions and although they signed a ceasefire

The lingering political tensions between North Korea and South Korea stems back to 1945. This coincided with the end of World War Two. For more than three decades, Korea was considered part of the Japanese Empire following its annexation in 1910.  In August 1945, Japan’s Kwantung Army sought a ceasefire from the Red Army, thereby liberating the north Korean peninsula to demarcate South Korea and North Korea (Sputnik International). This was an army boundary that allowed the Americans to accept Japanese forces surrendering in South Korea while also permitting the Soviet Union to accept Japanese forces surrendering in the north Korean peninsula.  In 1950, the Korean war broke out, pitting South Korea with the United Nations and the US on one side and North Korea, Soviet Union and China on the other side. This war was the result of mounting political and military tensions between the two nations, which was largely influenced by their divergent political and social regimes. In July 1953, as ceasefire agreement was reached between the two waring factions, thereby bringing the war to an end (Lavelle). A DMZ (Demilitised zone) that runs a distance of 240 km across the Korean Peninsula was created (Elliot). Today, it has acted as the site for numerous conferences on issues involving South and North Korea.

In the preceding decades, North Korea and South Korea were embroiled in various crises of varying magnitudes, further escalating relations between the two countries.  The latest took place in August 2015, after both nations broadcasted propaganda over the DMZ . This led to exchange of artillery fire by military personnel manning the DMZ on both sides of the peninsula.

Tense talks between North Korea and South Korea ensued, culminating in an agreement to reduce tensions.

An underlying factor in the near seven-decade long conflict between South Korea and North Korea is that when the Korean war ended in 1953, the two nations did not sign a peace agreement.  A proposed lasting solution to the prevailing crisis is to re-establish the Four Party Talks started in 1997-98, which brought on board South Korea, North Korea, the United States and China. The main objective of these talks was to set the stage for peace agreement with the intention of realising stability and peace in the Korea Peninsula and by extension, the entire region. However, the talks collapsed owing to reciprocal cageyness between Pyongyang and Washington. Initialing these talks would thus set the stage for South Korea and North Korea to sign peace agreements and hence end the nearly seven-decade long war.

Works Cited

Eliott. “The World’s Most Dangerous Border – A Tour of North Korea’s DMZ” Earth Nutshell,

Lavelle Moira. A brief history of broader conflict between North and South Korea. August 20, 2015. Web. 13 November 2017.

Sputnik International. History of Conflict Between North and South Korea in Facts and Details. 20 August 2015. Web. 13 November 2017.

Walker Philip. The World’s Most Dangerous Borders. June 24, 2011. Web. 13  November 2017.

Wan Heo “4 Things You need To Know About The Current Conflict Between North And South     Korea.”  Huffpost, 21 August. 2015,