The DMZ or demilitarized zone of Korea is what partitions the country in half. It is located around the 38th parallel where a stalemate between the North and South took place and later an armistice was signed in 1953. The conflict was known as the Korean War. It started in 1950 when the communist North Koreans backed by the Soviets invaded the South. Under the Truman Doctrine, America fought on the side of the anticommunist South Koreans. During the early period of the 3 year war, victory seemed to be in the favor of the anticommunists but this soon changed when China intervened and drove them back. Although General MacArthur wished to use drastic measures to change the tide of the war, President Truman did not want to escalate the conflict any further. MacArthur was removed from his position after making critical remarks of the President.
If the United States did not intervene in the war, then North Korea today would probably be a much bigger threat to the world’s security. However, if the North never invaded the South then Korea would probably be the same with less animosity between the North and South. Military training is required for all South Korean males today, but without a belligerent North Korea this would not be the case. In American society the Vietnam war always eclipses the horrors of the Korean War, so even if there was no Korean war, things would probably be the same more or less. The biggest change would probably be General MacArthur keeping his job. He was quite influential in the East especially Japan, so if he continued to supervise Japan’s reconstruction things might have been different for my parents who were born only years after the Korean War.