I may not like either George W. Bush, current President of the United States of America (USA), or Kim Jong-il, current Chairman of the National Defense Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), aka North Korea. But I am glad they have, at least temporarily, come to a peaceful settlement.
George W. Bush was probably more flexible than he would have liked to have been because he needed something to save his sinking presidency. Kim Jong-il has problems of his own: the DPRK has a lot of hungry citizens sitting next to two of the world's economic powerhouses, China and the Republic of Korea (aka South Korea).
So we don't have to worry so much about the USA and DPRK fighting an actual war, something that has not happened since the 1953 armistice.
In planning my book The U.S. War Against Asia I realized my knowledge of Korean history was weak. Since then I browsed a book in the Point Arena Community Library and peeked at Wikipedia as well. The situation pretty much parallels U.S. aggression against Japan, China, and the Philippines. However, it is complicated by Japan's aggression once it decided to modernize in order to avoid the fate of other colonized Asian nations.
Back before Christopher Columbus and Magellen, Korea was an independent kingdom of ancient origins. Compared to Europe it was highly civilized. In the colonial period, 1500 to 1850, it was allied with China. In the late 1800's between China's weakening (caused by the aggression of European powers and the United States) and Japan's growing strength, Korea came increasingly under Japanese influence. In 1910 Japan annexed Korea.
At the end of World War II it was obvious that Japan would not be allowed to keep Korea. An independence movement had always existed in Korea, and hopes were high. But white people still did not believe that Asians could govern themselves. Russia grabbed northern Korea and the U.S. grabbed southern Korea, both with the blessings of the United Nations.
Now both Koreas are capable of independence, but they have been divided for so long, and used as pawns by others, that it is hard to imagine a path to unification that both would agree with. Hopefully some day the people will overrule their rulers and create a Korea that is independent and prosperous.
III Blog list of articles