The United States And The Soviet Union Essay

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Before the 38th Parallel , there was no North Korea and South Korea – only Korea. The 38th Parallel was initially created to guarantee that Japan would surrender to the Soviet Union in the north and the south would surrender to the United States, but it later became a barrier between the two states. (Gupta 1972). The line was proposed by the United States and agreed to by the Soviet Union. Author William Stueck names the 38th parallel as the first step in the Korean War, writing, “the war originated in 1945 with the division of the peninsula into occupation zones by the Soviet Union and the United States, and the perpetuation of that division as a result of the two nation’s subsequent failure to agree on terms for unification.” (Stueck 1995) In September of 1947, the United Nations General Assembly organized a commission to supervise elections with the purpose of setting up a “national government of Korea”. The Soviet Union opposed the presence of the commission in the north and the communists boycotted the election, so elections were held in the south. The United States backed Syngman Rhee’s representation of conservative factions and he was elected. In the north, Kim Il Sung rose to power and conformed to the Soviet model of politics. After the UN sponsored the elections, the United States and USSR pulled their forces out of the south and the north. The United States persuaded the UN to establish a special commission, the United Nations Commission on Korea (UNCOK) , to

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