The Division of the Korean Peninsula

Paper Info
Page count 5
Word count 1151
Read time 5 min
Topic History
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US

­ Introduction

Korea has been a point of contention for many parties in the world, as a developing nation close to a large number of other nations that wanted to use its development for their benefit (Division of Korea). Up until 1910, Korea was a united nation ruled by a single dynasty for over 5 centuries. Having established a relationship with both China and Japan, Korea ended up being annexed by Japan and stayed under its rule for 35 years (Lee, 2020). At the end of World War 2, Japan was forced into surrendering, which meant that the territory of Korea had to be split into two, among other things. The two zones fell under the influence of two rivaling mega-nations – the United States and the Soviet Union (Pruitt, 2018). The influences from outside made the two now separate nations develop in extremely different directions while retaining a similarity in their language, culture, and tradition (Korean History and Political Geography). The separation between the two has severely impacted the economic development of the region in both positive and negative ways. It led to the creation of a separate democratic nation open to foreign relations and a closed-off militaristic state on the other. The continued division between the two has created a tense atmosphere and led to armed conflicts.

Effect on the Asia-Pacific Region

The separation of Korea has had both a positive and a negative effect on the region, its culture, economic relations, and overall development. To name the positives, Korea is no longer under the ownership or influence of the Japanese, who were a negative force on the Korean people. During the Japanese rule, the people of Korea were continually mistreated, subjugated, and used as labor, allowing Japan to acquire resources by using another nation’s people (The Japan-South Korea Trade Dispute: What to Know). The relationship between the two nations is strained to this day (Harding, 2019). Japan’s loss of control made Korea free once again, meaning that the country could start to recover from the effects of its colonization. This process was ended after the second world war, only for Korea to fall under foreign influence once again. The nations fighting for control during the cold war sought to use Korea as an ally and a bargaining chip, hurting its own pace of development in an attempt to win the competition. After the foreign influence subsided and the country had recovered from the effects of war, its South part had the opportunity to quickly grow and develop in the fields of science, technology, education, and culture. South Korea has been influenced by the United States and has developed an open democracy in collaboration with other countries, allowing it the benefits of the open market and travel. The developmental boom has strengthened the economy of South Korea and made it a reliable ally and a strong part of the world economy.

On the other hand, the separation between north and south Korea has also had some negative consequences, such as the continued development of North Korea which has led to its isolation from the global community and the world. By putting Korea under militaristic rule, the Soviet government tried to take more strict control of the area in hopes of reaching their own political goals, which ended up establishing a violent regime actively hostile to outside influence. This means that in the modern age, North Korea does not contribute much to the economic prosperity and growth of the region, instead of amassing larger military power and seeking to protect itself against any foreign influence. China almost exclusively is the only trading partner for North Korea (Buchholz & Richter, 2019). Keeping up economic relations with a single other country restricts the mobility of funds within the region and makes a large economic market almost entirely unavailable for trade and other interactions with the outside world. Furthermore, North Korea has come to view most of its neighbors as actively malicious entities that seek to destroy its regime, which leads to small-scale violent conflicts and generally negative attitudes among Asian countries.

The Korean War

One of the larger effects of the division of Korea was the Korean war, which had an overarching and devastating effect on the Asia-Pacific Region as a whole. The war raged on soon after the end of World War 2, each side being supported by other larger nations fighting out of personal investment into North or South Korea. South was supported by the united states and its large army that did most of the fighting instead of the small and collapsing Korean army. The North, on the other hand, was largely assisted by two communist nations – the Soviet Union and China. Soviets sent over guns, ammunition, and tanks to help with the war effort, while china bolstered the country’s manpower with its people (Stack, 2018). North Korean forces were also few and roughed up from previous conflicts. The effects of the war on the region were truly devastating.

Both countries suffered very heavy losses, mostly from the civilian population as not many soldiers were there to fight. The northern side had to endure constant bombing of the US, who were using areal raids and napalm to spread fear and destruction. The event has left roughly 25% of the total population dead. The war came to an abrupt end, with neither side reaching its goals or annihilating the enemy, and the countries have settled into an uncomfortable coexistence that has persisted into the present decade. The war has stunted economic development and forced both sides into a long recovery period which saw them solving the issues of depopulation and housing. It has also contributed to a divide between the Soviet Union and China when the latter saw the former as using them as proxies to help with the war (Radchenko, 2019). Taiwan also got a bit closer to becoming independent from china, which was one of the few positive effects the Korean war had.


In conclusion, the separation of North and South Korea has had a variety of positive and negative effects on the world climate and economic relationships between different countries. The South part has managed to gain relative independence and emerge as a democratic nation, leading development and innovation in many fields, and strengthening the economy of the region (The Effects of the Korea Division on South Korea after the Korean War). The trade with South Korea opened new opportunities for both the Chinese and Japanese markets, as well as other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. North Korea, on the other hand, has suffered a far harsher fate after the separation, being cut off from all of its external allies and suffering almost destruction at the hands of the U.S. the course of the country’s development was shaped by a dictatorship that was put in place by the Soviets, which then went their separate way.

Reference List

Stack, L., 2018. Korean War, a ‘Forgotten’ Conflict That Shaped the Modern World. Web.

Division of Korea. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web.

Lee, J.-Y., 2020. 4 things to know about North and South Korea. The Conversation. Web.

Korean History and Political Geography. Asia Society. Web.

Pruitt, S., 2018. Why Are North and South Korea Divided? Web.

The Effects of the Korea Division on South Korea after the Korean War. IvyPanda. Web.

Radchenko, S., 2019. The Sino–Russian relationship in the mirror of the Cold War. China International Strategy Review, 1(2), pp.269–282.

Buchholz, K. & Richter, F., 2019. Infographic: Who Is North Korea Trading With? Statista Infographics. Web.

The Japan-South Korea Trade Dispute: What to Know. Council on Foreign Relations. Web.

Harding, R., 2019. Divided by history: why Japan-South Korea ties have soured. Subscribe to read | Financial Times. Web.

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EssaysInCollege. (2022, May 24). The Division of the Korean Peninsula. Retrieved from


EssaysInCollege. (2022, May 24). The Division of the Korean Peninsula.

Work Cited

"The Division of the Korean Peninsula." EssaysInCollege, 24 May 2022,


EssaysInCollege. (2022) 'The Division of the Korean Peninsula'. 24 May.


EssaysInCollege. 2022. "The Division of the Korean Peninsula." May 24, 2022.

1. EssaysInCollege. "The Division of the Korean Peninsula." May 24, 2022.


EssaysInCollege. "The Division of the Korean Peninsula." May 24, 2022.