chapter  Chapter Two
27 Pages

The Establishment of Two Koreas

WithPeter Lowe

This chapter focuses on South Korea and on the American, Soviet deliberations upon producing a unified administration. It describes concisely at the construction of North Korea between 1945 and the beginning of 1948. The political situation in South Korea in August-September 1945 was largely dominated by the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CPKI), founded by Yo Un-hyong and his supporters. Within Korea in 1945-46 a revolutionary situation and spirit existed. This has been thoroughly assessed by Bruce Cumings in his study of the antecedents of the Korean War. The important individual for deciding the direction of United States policy in Korea was the head of the military occupation General John Reed Hodge who was frequently criticised by contemporaries for his inability. The Moscow conference of American, British and Russian foreign ministers met in December 1945 against a sombre background of anxiety at the deterioration of relations between the powers since the end of the European War.