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Kim Dae Jung
from book 'To be free' by Chee Soon Juan
Map of South Korea
The history of Korea's monarchical rule can be traced back to 18 BC. Five Kingdom, the Paekche,Koguryo,Shilla,Koryo and the Choson,ruled the peninsula until 1910,when Japan colonised it.The Korean culture is heavily influenced by Buddism and Confucianism brought about by migrations of the Chinese, Mongolian and Japanese peoples through the centuries.
Christianity,in particular Protestanism, bloomed in South Korea in recent decades,attracting almost 20% of the population.It remains the fastest growing religion in the country.
When Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender at the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Soviet Red Army had just begun advancing into Pacific Asia.Even before the Japanese could get out of the Korean peninsula,the Americans and Russians moved in to claim their positions.
Two colonels, Dean Rusk and Charles H.Bonesteel,were entrusted with the task of dividing the peninsula so that the regions could be administered independently by the Soviets and Americans. Within half an hour,the two colonels returned with the proposal that the 38th parallel be used as the divider--any line closer to the Equator would have conceded Seoul to the Soviets.
When the communists, surprisingly,made no objections, the Americans drew the line through Phanmunjom and ended
Next (Part Three)
Old Style Chinese Garden
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