Division of Korea

Closeup of the Korean Demilitarized Zone that surrounds the Military Demarcation Line
The Korean Peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel north from 1945 until 1950 and along the Military Demarcation Line from 1953 to present.
Lyuh Woon-hyung giving a speech in the Committee for Preparation of Korean Independence in Seoul on 16 August 1945
South Korean citizens protest Allied trusteeship in December 1945
Welcome celebration for the Red Army in Pyongyang on 14 October 1945
Japanese handed over the government to the US army in Seoul on 9 September 1945
South Korean demonstration in support of the U.S.-Soviet Joint Commission in 1946
South Korean general election on 10 May 1948
General MacArthur at the handover ceremony from SCAP to President Syngman Rhee on 15 August 1948
The division in 2016 is clearly visible from space with a higher amount of light emitted into space from the South than the North
Moon and Kim shaking hands over the demarcation line

The division of Korea began with the defeat of Japan in World War II.

- Division of Korea
Closeup of the Korean Demilitarized Zone that surrounds the Military Demarcation Line

312 related topics

Relevance

Clockwise from top:A column of the U.S. 1st Marine Division's infantry and armor moves through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir

UN landing at Incheon harbor, starting point of the Battle of Incheon

Korean refugees in front of a U.S. M46 Patton tank

U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon

F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft

Korean War

Fought between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953.

Fought between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953.

Clockwise from top:A column of the U.S. 1st Marine Division's infantry and armor moves through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir

UN landing at Incheon harbor, starting point of the Battle of Incheon

Korean refugees in front of a U.S. M46 Patton tank

U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon

F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft
Territory often changed hands early in the war, until the front stabilized.
Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans fled south in mid-1950 after the North Korean army invaded.
A U.S. howitzer position near the Kum River, 15 July
Man of the Year, the American soldier on Time magazine cover, 1951
G.I. comforting a grieving infantryman
M24 Chaffee light tanks of the US Army's 25th Infantry Division wait for an assault of North Korean T-34-85 tanks at Masan
Crew of an M-24 tank along the Nakdong River front, August 1950
Pershing and Sherman tanks of the 73rd Heavy Tank Battalion at the Pusan Docks, Korea.
General Douglas MacArthur, UN Command CiC (seated), observes the naval shelling of Incheon from USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7), 15 September 1950
Combat in the streets of Seoul
Pershing tanks in downtown Seoul during the Second Battle of Seoul in September 1950. In the foreground, United Nations troops round up North Korean prisoners-of-war.
US Air Force attacking railroads south of Wonsan on the eastern coast of North Korea
Chinese forces cross the frozen Yalu River.
Three commanders of PVA during the Korean War. From left to right: Chen Geng (1952), Peng Dehuai (1950–1952) and Deng Hua (1952–1953)
Soldiers from the US 2nd Infantry Division in action near the Ch'ongch'on River, 20 November 1950
A column of the US 1st Marine Division move through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir.
Map of the UN retreat in the wake of Chinese intervention
B-26 Invaders bomb logistics depots in Wonsan, North Korea, 1951
US Marines move out over rugged mountain terrain while closing with North Korean forces.
British UN troops advance alongside a Centurion tank, March 1951
US M46 Patton tanks, painted with tiger heads thought to demoralize Chinese forces
New Zealand artillery crew in action, 1952
Men from the Royal Australian Regiment, June 1953
Delegates sign the Korean Armistice Agreement in P'anmunjŏm.
A U.S. Army officer confers with South Korean soldiers at Observation Post (OP) Ouellette, viewing northward, in April 2008
The DMZ as seen from the north, 2005
Korean War memorials are found in every UN Command Korean War participant country; this one is in Pretoria, South Africa.
A soldier of the Dutch detachment of the UN forces in North Korea prepares to return sniper fire, 1952
To disrupt North Korean communications, USS Missouri (BB-63) fires a salvo from its 16-inch guns at shore targets near Chongjin, North Korea, 21 October 1950
A B-29 Superfortress bomber dropping its bombs
A US Navy Sikorsky HO4S flying near USS Sicily (CVE-118)
Pyongyang in May 1951
A USAF Douglas B-26B Invader of the 452nd Bombardment Wing bombing a target in North Korea, 29 May 1951
Mark 4 bomb, seen on display, transferred to the 9th Bombardment Wing, Heavy
South Korean soldiers walk among the bodies of political prisoners executed near Daejon, July 1950
Civilians killed during a night battle near Yongsan, August 1950
A US Marine guards North Korean prisoners of war aboard an American warship in 1951.
Two Hill 303 survivors after being rescued by US units, 17 August 1950
Bob Hope entertained X Corps in Korea on 26 October 1950.
The Korean Peninsula at night, shown in a 2012 composite photograph from NASA
North Koreans touring the Museum of American War Atrocities in 2009

The United States and the Soviet Union divided Korea along the 38th parallel into two zones of occupation.

North Korea

Country in East Asia.

Country in East Asia.

Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea
Territory often changed hands early in the war, until the front stabilized.
Statue of Chollima Movement in Pyongyang
Pyongyang Metro with bomb shelter functions
Topographic map of North Korea
North Korea map of Köppen climate classification
Mansudae Assembly Hall, seat of the Supreme People's Assembly
North Korean citizens paying respect to the statues of Kim Il-sung (left) and Kim Jong-il at the Mansudae Grand Monument
Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong (right) in March 2018
The close China-North Korea relationship is celebrated at the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, 25 April 2019
Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shake hands during the inter-Korean Summit, April 2018
South Korean aid convoy entering North Korea through the Demilitarized Zone, 1998
A North Korean police car in 2017; the Chosŏn'gŭl lettering on the side translates to "Traffic safety".
Ilyushin Il-76 strategic military airlifter used by Air Koryo
The Memorial of Soldiers at the Mansudae Grand Monument
Development of life expectancy in North Korea and South Korea
A dental clinic at Pyongyang Maternity Hospital
English lecture at the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang
Chilgol Church in Pyongyang, where Kang Pan-sok—the mother of the late supreme leader Kim Il-sung—served as a Presbyterian deaconess.
Historical GDP per capita estimates of North Korea, 1820–2018
A proportional representation of North Korea exports, 2019
Apartments along Pyongyang
An industrial plant in Hamhung
Foreign tourists in Masikryong Ski Resort
Satellite image of the Korean Peninsula at night, contrasting use of night-time lighting in North and South Korea.
Unha-3 space launch vehicle at Sohae Satellite Launching Station
Pyohunsa Buddhist Temple, a National Treasure of North Korea
A North Korean bookstore with works of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il
Pyongyang TV Tower
North Korean pibimbap
North Korea (in red) against Brazil at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
A scene from the 2012 Arirang Festival

In 1945, after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, Korea was divided into two zones along the 38th parallel, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States.

South Korea

Country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea.

Country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea.

The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, also known as Koryŏ, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Changdeok Palace, one of the Five Grand Palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty and another UNESCO World Heritage Site
The War Memorial of Korea, built in remembrance of the Korean War (1950–1953)
Between 1962 and 1994, the South Korean economy grew at an average of 10% annually, fueled by annual export growth of 20%, in a period called the Miracle on the Han River.
President Park Chung-hee played a pivotal role in rapidly developing South Korea's economy through export-oriented industrialization.
President Kim Dae-jung, the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient for advancing democracy and human rights in South Korea and East Asia and for reconciliation with North Korea, was sometimes called the "Nelson Mandela of Asia."
South Korea became the first non-G7 chair of the G-20 when it hosted the 2010 Seoul summit.
Topography of South Korea
Jeju Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cheonggyecheon river is a modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul.
Separation of powers and the election system of South Korea
The National Assembly of South Korea
Population pyramid of South Korea in 2021
Koreans in traditional dress
Seoul National University is considered to be the most prestigious university in South Korea.
KAIST main campus in Daejeon
Dialects of the Korean language
Buddha's Birthday celebration in Seoul
Development of life expectancy in North Korea and South Korea
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007–2016), Ban Ki-moon
The Joint Security Area
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shake hands inside the Peace House
South Korean president Moon Jae-in meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin
Liancourt Rocks have become an issue known as the Liancourt Rocks dispute.
President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden having lunch on 21 May 2021, on the Oval Office Patio of the White House
ROKN Sejong the Great, a King Sejong the Great -class guided-missile destroyer built by Hyundai Heavy Industries
The South Korean-developed K2 Black Panther, built by Hyundai Rotem
ROKAF FA-50, a supersonic combat aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries
ROKS Dokdo, the lead ship of the, built by Hanjin Heavy Industries
Haeundae Beach in Busan
A 3D OLED TV made by Korean LG Display, the world's largest LCD and OLED maker
Naro-1 at the launch pad
Albert HUBO, developed by KAIST, can make expressive gestures with its five separate fingers.
A musician playing a gayageum
A blue and white porcelain peach-shaped water dropper from the Joseon Dynasty in the 18th century
Namdaemun
Bulguksa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Bibimbap
BTS, one of the most successful K-pop groups
Psy became an international sensation with "Gangnam Style" in 2012.
Seoul Sports Complex, Korea's largest integrated sports center
Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan. Baseball is one of the most popular sports in South Korea.
Taekwondo, a Korean martial art and Olympic sport

Japanese rule ended following the former's surrender in World War II, after which Korea was divided into two zones; a northern zone occupied by the Soviet Union and a southern zone occupied by the United States.

Dean Rusk

The United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, the second-longest serving Secretary of State after Cordell Hull from the Franklin Roosevelt administration.

The United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, the second-longest serving Secretary of State after Cordell Hull from the Franklin Roosevelt administration.

Dean Rusk with President Johnson and Robert McNamara, February 9, 1968
L–R: Llewellyn Thompson, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Rusk in 1967 during the Glassboro Summit Conference
Rusk in his later years.

In the same year, he suggested splitting Korea into spheres of U.S. and of Soviet influence at the 38th parallel north.

Map of South Korea with Jeju highlighted at the bottom in red

Jeju uprising

Uprising on Jeju Island from April 1948 to May 1949.

Uprising on Jeju Island from April 1948 to May 1949.

Map of South Korea with Jeju highlighted at the bottom in red
Jeju inhabitants awaiting execution in late 1948
Recreation of the Daranshi cave massacre on Jeju Island

Residents of Jeju opposed to the division of Korea had protested and had been on a general strike since 1947 against elections scheduled by the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) to be held only in the territory controlled by the United States Army Military Government in Korea.

People's Republic of Korea

Short-lived provisional government that was organized at the time of the surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II.

Short-lived provisional government that was organized at the time of the surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II.

Associate Chairman Lyuh Woon-hyung giving a speech at a YMCA in Gyeongseong (16 August 1945)

It was proclaimed on 6 September 1945, as Korea was being divided into two occupation zones, with the Soviet Union occupying the north, and the United States occupying the south.

General Order No. 1

Prepared by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and approved by President Harry Truman on August 17, 1945.

Prepared by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and approved by President Harry Truman on August 17, 1945.

It also had the effect of leading to the eventual division of Korea at the 38th Parallel in that Japanese forces to the north of this parallel were ordered to surrender to the Commander in Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East, and those to the south were directed to surrender to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific, in accordance with Section 1, paragraphs (b) and (e), respectively.

US and Soviet sailors and seamen celebrating together on VJ Day

Soviet–Japanese War

Military conflict within the Second World War beginning soon after midnight on 9 August 1945, with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

Military conflict within the Second World War beginning soon after midnight on 9 August 1945, with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

US and Soviet sailors and seamen celebrating together on VJ Day
About 1,831,000 Soviet personnel were awarded the Medal "For the Victory over Japan" following 30 September 1945.

The division of Korea between the Soviet and US occupations led to the creation of the separate states of North and South Korea, a precursor to the Korean War five years later.

Allied troops in Vladivostok, August 1918, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War

Cold War

Period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II.

Period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II.

Allied troops in Vladivostok, August 1918, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, 1945
Post-war Allied occupation zones in Germany
Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, 1945
Post-war territorial changes in Europe and the formation of the Eastern Bloc, the so-called "Iron Curtain"
Remains of the "Iron Curtain" in the Czech Republic
C-47s unloading at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin during the Berlin Blockade
President Truman signs the North Atlantic Treaty with guests in the Oval Office.
Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin in Moscow, December 1949
General Douglas MacArthur, UN Command CiC (seated), observes the naval shelling of Incheon, Korea from USS Mt. McKinley, 15 September 1950
US Marines engaged in street fighting during the liberation of Seoul, September 1950
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1959
From left to right: Soviet head of state Kliment Voroshilov, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Finnish president Urho Kekkonen at Moscow in 1960.
The maximum territorial extent of Soviet influence, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961
Western colonial empires in Asia and Africa all collapsed in the years after 1945.
1961 Soviet stamp commemorating Patrice Lumumba, assassinated prime minister of the Republic of the Congo
The United States reached the Moon in 1969.
Che Guevara (left) and Fidel Castro (right) in 1961
Soviet and American tanks face each other at Checkpoint Charlie during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
Aerial photograph of a Soviet missile site in Cuba, taken by a US spy aircraft, 1 November 1962
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1973
US combat operations during the Battle of Ia Drang, South Vietnam, November 1965
A manifestation of the Finlandization period: in April 1970, a Finnish stamp was issued in honor of the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth and the Lenin Symposium held in Tampere. The stamp was the first Finnish stamp issued about a foreign person.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968 was one of the biggest military operations on European soil since World War II.
Suharto of Indonesia attending funeral of five generals slain in 30 September Movement, 2 October 1965
Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat with Henry Kissinger in 1975
Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger in 1976
Cuban tank in the streets of Luanda, Angola, 1976
During the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot, 1.5 to 2 million people died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.
Mao Zedong and US President Richard Nixon, during his visit in China
Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II treaty, 18 June 1979, in Vienna
Iranian people protesting against the Pahlavi dynasty, during the Iranian Revolution
Protest in Amsterdam against the deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe, 1981
The Soviet invasion during Operation Storm-333 on 26 December 1979
President Reagan publicizes his support by meeting with Afghan mujahideen leaders in the White House, 1983.
President Reagan with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a working luncheon at Camp David, December 1984
The world map of military alliances in 1980
US and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945–2006
Delta 183 launch vehicle lifts off, carrying the Strategic Defense Initiative sensor experiment "Delta Star".
After ten-year-old American Samantha Smith wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov expressing her fear of nuclear war, Andropov invited Smith to the Soviet Union.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty at the White House, 1987.
The beginning of the 1990s brought a thaw in relations between the superpowers.
"Tear down this wall!" speech: Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate, 12 June 1987
Otto von Habsburg, who played a leading role in opening the Iron Curtain.
Erich Honecker lost control in August 1989.
August Coup in Moscow, 1991
The human chain in Lithuania during the Baltic Way, 23 August 1989
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Since the end of the Cold War, the EU has expanded eastwards into the former Warsaw Pact and parts of the former Soviet Union.

General Douglas MacArthur then advanced across the 38th Parallel into North Korea.

Lyuh Woon-hyung

1945 August, In Seoul's YMCA, Lyuh Woon Hyung had a meeting with the representatives of "the Committee for Preparation of Korean Independence" who came from all over the country.
1946 May, Lyuh Woon-Hyung (right), at the Soviet-US Committee.
Resting place in Seoul
Flag of the People's Committee of Korea
"Blood is thicker than water - Lyuh Woon-hyung"

Lyuh Woon-hyung or Yo Un-hyung (May 25, 1886 – July 19, 1947) was a Korean politician who argued that Korean independence was essential to world peace, and a reunification activist who struggled for the independent reunification of Korea following its national division in 1945.