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Explain why the Korean War cannot be seen as simply a war between superpowers, and discuss the multiple causes of the War. Essay Example

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Korean War

1). Explain why the Korean War cannot be seen as simply a war between superpowers, and discuss the multiple causes of the War.

History records that from the year 1950 to 1953, the known powerful countries in the world engaged in a confrontational war. It was a major war which took place on the Korean peninsula. This war, termed as the Korea war, was not a war between proxies of the major superpowers in the world but rather a conflagration of a significant magnitude. This war resulted in changes on how the West and the East dealt with one another. This marked a revolution in the conduct of the Korean War (Malkasian, 2008, p. 5).

The Korean was simply a conflict that was existent because of two prizes. The first prize was Korea`s political control. The second prize was power in the east of Asia and the whole world. The Communist and the right wing nationalists, historically, vied for the control of Korea politically. Following the event of the Second World War, the Communist gained control of North Korea. The rightist on the other hand took over control of South Korea. The two groups, the Communist and the right wing nationalist, by then wanted to unify the whole of Korea peninsula under their respective authorities. This is the reason why North Korea engaged South Korea in war in the month of June 1950 (Feffer, 2011, p. 33).

The Korean War marked a significant Cold War`s turning point. The conflict in the small peninsula in the East of Asia had its own effects. It affected the international system entirely and the balance of powers between the respective super power countries. Through this conflict, the West demonstrated its decision to thwart the aggression of the Communist (Malkasian, 2008, p. 6).

2). Explain the deep ambivalence in South Korean society about the Park Chung Hee regime. Why has he divided public opinion and how do you evaluate his regime?

The Park Chung Hee regime`s lights and shadows have, for long, been the subjects of great interest with regard to the general public. The general public as well as the academic communities of the within Korea have had wide debates concerning this same regime. The Park regime took 18 years to lay the economic base to allow for economic modernization of South Korea. It is a fact that South Korea has undergone tremendous transformation from a weak state in the periphery of the East of Asia, which suffered from colonialists` protracted rule and civil war, into a strong and industrialized country (Yi, 2006, p. 63). There are other remarkable achievements which have been realized by the republic of South Korea under the Park Chung Hee regime. This include; liberation from the bondage of slavery by the Japanese colonial rule, establishment of a state nation, albeit and not a unified one, democratization and lastly the competition of the dual revolutions with regard to modern times (Kim & Vogel, 2011, p.3).

The public`s opinion from the Koreans themselves, industrialization to them has a broader meaning. It is more than the view of being in a position to fully enjoy the benefits of modern civilization industrially. It encompasses a much lesser value that is tangible, and can extend beyond physical fulfillment. Through the experience and process of industrialization, a concrete foundation for independence in the economic and political states for the Korean people has been successfully laid (Kim, 2012, p.72).

Focusing on the international arena, stagnation of failure of capitalistic industrialization in other parts of the world seems to contrast with the idea of industrialization of Korea and its establishment of national economy. All these reveal to as that Park Chung Hee regime`s successful industrialization of South Korea and the growth in national economy are matters of great significance. Evaluating this regime, the Korean story presents a striking contrast to the failure of experiments with state socialism in the 20th century, and also to the system transformation in the East from state socialism to capitalism (Kim & Vogel, 2011, p.4).

3). To what extent do female characters in Madame Freedom and A Stray Bullet exemplify anxieties about modernity, capitalism and nationalism in South Korea?

The films “Madame Freedom” and “A Stray Bullet” were created during the postwar period in South Korea. They had similar dramatic strictures and affective forces pertaining women characters. In both scenarios, unbelievable coincidence compounds are provoked by social circumstances that desperate as well as a woman`s desperate choice (Jeong, 2010, p. 101).

The “Madame Freedom” film reflects the period and the social up heal of the post Korea War era during which it was created. The female character, Melodrama, is brought forward in negotiating social crises and cultural interactions in South Korea. Feminity is sort to suit the South Korean Nation. According to this film, a traditional housewife and a mother (Son-yongs), has a husband who is a professor. He is a cold, withdrawn man and is only interested in his work. This occupation tends to grant them a social status of a significant degree. His earnings does not equal that of other women`s husbands in Son-yong`s social cohort. To improve the economic situation, Son-yongs gets a job as a sells woman. She excels but the consequent social exposures lead to ruinous sexual and financial dalliances. The future of the woman`s family becomes uncertain when the husbands opts for a separation (McHugh & Abelmann, 2005, p. 31).

The two scenarios reveal certain melodrama qualities. These are certain dramatic qualities, remarkable coincidence, sensation and pathos related to women. According to both films, women precipitous falls, economic, social and literal, both take place within complex networks that involve gender relations, economic structures, cultural and the state nation (McHugh & Abelmann, 2005, p. 2).


Feffer, J, 2011, North Korea/South Korea: U.S. Policy At A Time Of Crisis, London: Seven Stories Press.

Jeong, K, Y, 2010, Crisis Of Gender And The Nation In Korean Literature and Cinema: Modernity Arrives Again, Lexington Books.

Kim, H, 2012, Korea`s Development Under Park Chung-Hee, New York: Routledge.

Kim, P., & Vogel, E, F, 2011, The Park Clung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea, Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Malkasian, C, 2008, The Korean War, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

McHugh, K, A., & Abelmann, N, 2005, South Korea Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre, And National Cinema, Michigan: Wayne State University.

Yi, P, 2006, Developmental Dictatorship And The Park Chung Hee Era: The Shaping Of Modernity in The Republic Of Korea, Michigan: Homa & Sekey Books.