After World War II, who controlled North Korea? South Korea?

1 Answer
May 7, 2018


Initially, Japan was still occupying Korea, but they withdrew, seeing two leaders emerging- Syngman Rhee and Kim Il-Sung


After WW2 ended, Korea was still occupied by the Japanese for a short while before being freed. Now there were two people claiming to be the leader of Korea- but in reality, they were just leaders of what would become North Korea and South Korea, respectively.

In the North of Korea we had the Communist Kim Il-Sung, inspired by the Chinese communist takeover by Mao Zedong in 1949, he too wanted to unite his country under communist ideals.

In the south, we had the hardline anti-communist Syngman Rhee, while he was not necessarily more democratic than the northern counterpart he was strongly anti-communist.

Eventually, the interests of these two men would clash when the North Invaded the south in 1950, aided by the Soviet Union- prompting a response for the United Nations and beginning the Korean War.