By Assad Bhuglah
The Cold War tensions divided Korea on ideological grounds. Prior to World War II, Japan colonized Korea for 35 years. The Korean peninsula was divided seventy-two years ago, after Japan’s surrender in World War II. Mass refugee flows left numerous families separated at the end of the Korean War in 1953. Reunification remains the formal objective of Seoul. Following Japan’s surrender, the Soviet Union and the United States divided the Korean Peninsula into northern and southern regions. In the north, the Soviet Union installed Kim Il Sung, a communist who ushered in the North Korean dictatorship still in place today, ruled by his grandson, Kim Jong Un. The U.S. agreed to a Mutual Defence Treaty with South Korea, ensuring the U.S. would maintain a troop presence in the region to protect from a North Korean invasion. North Korea represents one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today, but the scale of the international response has been severely lacking.