Contributor Perspectives

Falling Into Old Habits at the 38th Parallel

Ian Morris
Board of Contributors
Apr 18, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
South Korean soldiers stand on duty at the Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel, the line distinguishing North Korea from South Korea.

South Korean soldiers stand on duty at the Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel. The history of the line separating North Korea from South Korea traces back much further than the Cold War.

(ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

After this year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang ended, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a call to "write a new history" of the Korean Peninsula's unification. I doubt that this column is what he had in mind, but a look at Korea's history over the long term does cast fresh light on its divisions. The North-South divide is not, in fact, an artificial and interim arrangement. Rather, North-South divides have characterized Korea for most of the last 6,000 years. Geopolitics has always answered the questions of whether and where the peninsula would be divided....

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