South Korea History

In the Korean language, South Korea is called Daehan Min-guk, literally “The great people of Han or the great nation of Han.” The name Han dates from the ancient Samhan Confederations of the era of the Three Ancient Kingdoms of Korea. In Spanish, as in most western languages, the nation is often referred to as Korea. This word derives from the Goryeo dynasty, which adopted its name in reference to the even older Kingdom of Koguryŏ.


The Korean nation, with its peculiar culture that differentiates it from its Chinese and Japanese neighbors, has existed for three thousand years. They are typical characteristics of the societies of that Asian region, including the Chinese, the Vietnamese and others.

By agreement between the United States and the Korean authorities, Protestantism was introduced in that country in 1892. It is estimated that currently in South Korea about 25 percent of the population is Christian and a similar number is Buddhist. Confucian philosophy exerted great influence on the spirit of Koreans, who are not characterized by fanatical practices of religion.

Christians opposed the Japanese colonial system, including Syngman Rhee, born in March 1875. The Japanese empire had been brutally repressive with the Korean population. The patriots resisted Japan’s colonialist policy with arms and managed to liberate a small area in the mountainous terrain of the North during the last years of the 1890s.

Republic of Korea

As a country located in Asia according to HYPERRESTAURANT, the Republic of South Korea was born on August 15, 1948. Its first president was Syngman Rhee, elected in elections that were held with the presence of US military troops in the territory. For 14 years Rhee ruled the country in an autocratic manner and imposed a Constitution to perpetuate himself in power as a constitutional dictator.

The Rhee government was a staunch ally of US politics. Americans aware of the defeat of the Chinese Kuomintang party at the hands of the Communist Party, which had support in the rural areas of the neighboring country, urged the South Korean government to carry out a land redistribution plan, compensating the owners and with a maximum of three hectares per person.

Korean War 1950-1953

The antecedents of this war can be found in the unstoppable advance towards the south of the troops commanded by Kim Il Sung against the Japanese invaders. McArthur, chief of the North American forces in the Pacific, decided to order a landing of the Marines by Incheon, in the rear of the forces of the North, which they could no longer counteract. Pyongyang fell to the US forces, preceded by devastating air strikes. This prompted the idea by the US military command in the Pacific to occupy all of Korea, since the People’s Liberation Army of China, led by Mao Zedong had inflicted a crushing defeat on the pro – Yankee forces of Chiang Kai-shek, supplied and supported by the United States. All the continental and maritime territory of that great country had been recovered, with the exception of Taipei and some other small nearby islands where the Kuomintang forces, transported by ships of the Sixth Fleet, took refuge.

The United States accused North Korea as the aggressor. The Security Council of the newly created United Nations Organization approved the resolution without the Soviet delegate being present (because he was against the exclusion of China from the Security Council). An agreement was approved giving the war the character of a UN military action against the aggressor: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

China saw its unfinished struggle for national liberation threatened and sent Prime Minister Zhou Enlai to Moscow to express his point of view on the inadmissibility of the presence of UN forces under the command of the United States on the banks of the Yalu River., which delimits Korea’s border with China, and request Soviet cooperation.

The 19 of October of 1950 over 400 thousand combatants, following the instructions of Mao Zedong, crossed the Yalu and went out to the passage of US troops advancing towards the Chinese border. Stalin, who was extremely cautious, provided much less cooperation than Mao expected, by sending MiG-15 jets with Soviet pilots, on a limited front of 98 kilometers, which in the initial stage protected the ground forces in his fearless advance. Pyongyang was again recaptured and Seoul occupied again, defying the relentless onslaught of the United States air force.

General MacArthur, leading the US troops fighting under the UN flag in Korea, even proposed the use of the atomic bomb and the attack on China. These proposals precipitated the reaction of President Truman and he was succeeded by General Ridgway in April 1951.

Along with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Canada, Turkey, Ethiopia, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Colombia participated in the Korean adventure.

After bloody fighting on Korean territory, the 38th Parallel was once again the boundary between North and South. It is estimated that about two million North Koreans, between half a million or a million Chinese and more than a million soldiers allied to the Americans died in that war. On the part of the United States, around 44 thousand soldiers lost their lives; Not a few of them were born in Puerto Rico or other Latin American countries, recruited to participate in a war that led them to be poor immigrants.

South Korea History 2