Profound Demographic Effects
It is geography that designs a nation’s vulnerability, dictates people’s mode of thinking, their attitude and their lives as shaped by their own society.
With Korea’s geographical location, in the middle of competing powers, it had struggled in warding off external forces on their prismatic corner on earth. Feuds continuously haunted this small peninsula, both externally and internally. War is in the fabric of its history.
The War Memorial of Korea seeks to commemorate the history of warfare in Korea. On the grounds which used to be the headquarters of the Korean Infantry, there is an outdoor exhibit of tanks, missiles, helicopters, and planes which were used during the war.
Korea was under the Japanese occupation from 1910 until WWII. On August 1945, Russia declared war on Japan and moved its forces into Manchurria and North Korea. During that time, the US forces landed in South Korea and moved up to the 38th parallel. There, both forces came to a standstill. There was an agreement to divide the nation into protectorates, with the southern part overseen by the U.S. and the northern part by USSR. This ultimately divided the two Koreas, turning them into rival republics. After Syngman Rhee became the first president of South Korea in 1948, the US forces left South Korea. Mainland China and Russia signed a friendship treaty in February 1950. On June 25, 1950, North Korean soldiers crossed into the South, marking the start of the Korean War which ended in 1953.