Two Koreas: History At A Glance

Courtesy of Al-Jazeera
  • After the defeat of the Japanese empire in World War II (1945), Korea was split into two spheres. The Soviet Union controlled the territory in the North and the Americans controlled the South.
  • In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the 3-year-long Korean War.
  • Since the signing of the Armistice Agreement in 1953, the North and South have been divided with a demilitarized zone stretching 155 miles.
  • As world leaders have come and gone, North Korea's Kim dynasty has remained in power. After withdrawing from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty in 2003, North Korea has gone on to conducting several nuclear tests, most recently in September 2016.
  • As recent as July 4, 2017 — NoKo has successfully tested an ICBM missile.
  • When it comes to soldiers and artillery pieces, North Korea enjoys a two-to-one advantage over its old enemy — North Korea’s armed forces might be immense, their weapons and equipment are largely obsolete.
  • South Korea’s much smaller armed forces, by contrast, benefit from some of the best American-supplied weapons and equipment, including more than 2,000 tanks and hundreds of F5, F15 and F16 fighter jets and fighter bombers — more importantly, it nestles under the US security umbrella, the THAAD System — and there are 28,500 American troops permanently based in the South.
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