CHAPTER NINE: Post-War Korea: Tradition and Change

Pratt, Keith
January 2007
Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea;2007, p264
In 1953 Korea confronted a new and unwelcome phase of its modern history, the prospect of a peninsula divided once more between rival states. Of course, everybody hoped, and still does, that 'post-Armistice' Korea really would mean 'post-war'. But earlier plans for unification and national elections had clearly foundered; talks at P'anmunjŏm dragged on and became meaningless; and North and South failed to sign a peace treaty. Tension between them periodically rose and fell, and Korea remained one of the world's flashpoints where devastating conflict could break out at any moment. Yet though the paths followed by the two halves of one country since 1945, still more since 1953, have led them to utterly different destinations, the people on both sides of the DMZ have a strong sense of ethnic and cultural unity, and neither side is willing to abandon the prospect of eventual reunification.


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