What impact has the division of the Korean peninsula had on the development of the two Koreas?

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Based on an image taken by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) of the US (United States) Department of Defense, the Korean peninsula is aptly described in contrasting terms: “South Korea is bright, North Korea is dark” (GlobalSecurity.org)…


Based on an image taken by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) of the US (United States) Department of Defense, the Korean peninsula is aptly described in contrasting terms: “South Korea is bright, North Korea is dark” (GlobalSecurity.org). Such imagery is a reflection of the development of the divided Korean peninsula: North Korea in the grip of communism and dictatorship and South Korea at the frontiers of democracy and progress.After the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945, the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and the US occupied the Korean peninsula north and south of the thirty-eighth parallel, respectively (Wheeling Jesuit University). In 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established in the USSR-occupied North while the Republic of Korea was established in the US-occupied South. The succeeding Korean War, started in 1950, formalized the rift between the two states (Feffer). An armistice was finally declared in 1953, with the two states still holding their original territories. Due to decades of division, the two Koreas undertook diverging paths of development and achieved different levels of success.In terms of economic development, dark North Korea is facing poverty and food shortage whereas bright South Korea is “one of the world’s major economies and a leading exporter of cars and electronic goods” (BBC “Overview”). The Central Intelligence Agency states, “North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems
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