North and South Korea Divided by the DMZ Est. in 1945
(WWII also ended Japanese occupation since 1910)
North Korea’s One-Family Rule Officially Since 1948
With the most-latest news about North Korea and their nuclear testing and threats and such, I thought it was a good time to see who we are dealing with, and just how evil North Korea has been and threat they still pose.
So, let’s take a look at history:
The DMZ dividing North and South Korea has had numerous cases of incidents and incursions by the North, however the North’s government never acknowledges direct responsibility for any of these incidents. These have included these major events since the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953 (with a cease fire and never a truce … the longest cease fire in history BTW):
October 1966 – October 1969: Korean DMZ Conflict, skirmishes along the DMZ: 43 American, 299 South Korean, and 397 North Korean soldiers killed.
January 17, 1968: 31 North Korean commandos crossed the border disguised as South Korean soldiers in the Blue House (Presidential Palace) raid, an attempt to assassinate President Park Chung-Hee at the Blue House. The failed mission resulted in 29 commandos killed (one committed suicide) and the other two captured. Two South Korean policemen and five civilians were killed by the commandos. Other reports indicated as many as 68 South Koreans were killed and 66 wounded, including about 24 civilians. Three Americans were killed and another three wounded in an attempt to prevent the commandos from escaping back via the DMZ.
1. October 1968: 130 North Korean commandos entered the Ul-chin and Sam-cheok areas in Gangwon-do. Eventually 110 of them were killed, 7 captured, and 13 escaped.
2. March 1969: Six North Korean infiltrators crossed the border near Chumun-jin, Gangwon-do and killed a South Korean policeman on guard duty.
3. April 1970: Three North Korean infiltrators were killed and five South Korean soldiers wounded at an encounter in Kum-chon, Gyeonggi-do.
4. November 20, 1974: The first of what would be a series of North Korean infiltration tunnels under the DMZ was discovered. The joint ROK-U.S. investigation team tripped a North Korean booby-trap, killing one American and wounding 6 others.
5. March 1975: The second North Korean infiltration tunnel was discovered.
6. June 1976: Three North Korean infiltrators and six South Korean soldiers were killed in the eastern sector south of the DMZ. Another six South Korean soldiers were injured.
7. August 18, 1976: The tree cutting Axe Murder Incident in the DMZ resulted in the death of two U.S. soldiers and injuries to another four U.S. soldiers and five South Korean soldiers. (Note: I was serving as UN observer at the time).
8. July 14, 1977: An American CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down after straying into the north over the DMZ. Three airmen were killed and one was briefly held prisoner. That was the sixth such flight incident since the armistice was signed.
9. October 1978: The third North Korean infiltration tunnel was discovered.
10. October 1979: Three North Korean agents attempting to infiltrate the eastern sector of the DMZ were intercepted, killing one of the agents.
11. December 6, 1979: A U.S. Army patrol in the DMZ accidentally crossed the line into a North Korean minefield. One soldier was killed and four were injured.
12. March 1980: Three North Korean infiltrators were killed attempting to enter the south across the estuary of the Han River.
13. March 1981: Three North Korean infiltrators spotted at Kum-hwa, Gangwon-do, with one being killed.
14. July 1981: Three North Korean infiltrators were killed in the upper stream of Imjin River.
15. May 1982: Two North Korean infiltrators were spotted on the east coast, with one being killed.
16. March 1990: The fourth North Korean infiltration tunnel was discovered, in what may be a total of 17 tunnels in all.
17. May 1992: Three North Korean infiltrators dressed in South Korean uniforms were killed at Cheor-won, Gangwon-do. Three South Koreans were also wounded.
18. December 17, 1994: An American OH-58A Kiowa helicopter crossed some 10 km inside North Korean territory and was shot down.
19. October 1995: Two North Korean infiltrators were intercepted at Im-jin River. One was killed, while the other escaped.
20. April 1996: Several hundred North Korean armed troops enter the Joint Security Area and elsewhere on three occasions, in violation of the Korean armistice agreement.
21. May 1996: Seven North Korean soldiers crossed the DMZ, but withdrew when fired upon by South Korean troops.
22. April 1997: Five North Korean soldiers crossed the DMZ in the Cheor-won sector and fired at South Korean positions.
23. July 16, 1997: Fourteen North Korean soldiers crossed the DMZ causing a half-hour exchange of heavy gunfire.
24. October 26, 2000: Two US aircraft observing a ROK army military exercise accidentally cross over the DMZ.
25. May 26, 2006: Two North Korean soldiers entered the DMZ and crossed into South Korea. They returned after South Korean soldiers fired warning shots.
26. October 7, 2006: South Korean soldiers fired warning shots after five North Korean soldiers crossed briefly into their side of the border.
27. October 27, 2009: A South Korean pig farmer, who was wanted for assault, cut a hole in the DMZ fence and defected to North Korea.
28. October 29, 2010: Two shots were fired from North Korea toward a South Korean post near Hwa-cheon and South Korean troops fired three shots in return.
29. October 6, 2012: An 18 year old North Korean Army private defected to South Korea. He was apparently not detected as he crossed the DMZ and had to knock on an ROK barracks door to draw attention to himself. The soldier later told investigators that he had defected after killing two of his superiors.
30. September 16, 2013: a 47-year old man was shot dead by South Korean soldiers while trying to swim across the Tanpo-cheon stream near Paju to North Korea.
31. 1976, in now declassified meeting minutes: Deputy Secretary of Defense William Clements told Henry Kissinger that there had been 200 raids or incursions into North Korea from the south, though not by the U.S. military. Details of only a few of these incursions have become public, including raids by South Korea (in 1967) that sabotaged some 50 North Korean facilities.
Not DMZ related, but significant:
August 15, 1974: At 10:23 am (South Korean Independence Day) First Lady Yuk, Young-soo (Mrs. Park, Chung-hee) was shot and killed by Mun, Se-gwang, a North Korean sympathizer who had lived in Japan as part of the Zai-nichi Korean party during an attempt to assassinate President Park Chung-hee at the at the Seoul National Theater during his speech. President Park was uninjured after four shots were fired at him on stage. The third bullet hit the First Lady in the head. She died later at Seoul National hospital after emergency surgery failed to save her.
October 9, 1983: The so-called “Rangoon bombing” was a North Korean assassination attempt against South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan. Two of the bombers were captured, one confessed to being a North Korean military officer on that North Korean ordered plan.
November 29, 1987: KAL flight 858 was on a scheduled international passenger flight between Baghdad, Iraq to Seoul. The plane exploded in mid-air upon the detonation of a bomb planted inside an overhead storage bin in the airplane's passenger cabin by North Korean agents.
The two agents, acting upon orders from the North Korean government, planted the device in an overhead storage bin before disembarking from the aircraft during the first stop-over in Abu Dhabi, UAE. While the aircraft was flying over the Andaman Sea to its second stop-over in Bangkok, the bomb detonated and destroyed the Boeing 707. Everyone on board, 104 passengers and 11 crew members, most of whom were South Koreans, were killed. The attack occurred 34 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the hostilities of the Korean War on 27 July 1953.
The two bombers were traced to Bahrain, where they both took ampules of cyanide hidden in cigarettes when they realized they were about to be taken into custody. The male of the two died, but the female, Kim Hyon-hui survived and later confessed to the bombing. She was sentenced to death but later pardoned by then President Roh Tae-woo, because it was deemed that she had been brainwashed in North Korea and her testimony implicated Kim Jong-il, who at that time was the future leader of North Korea (after death of Kim, Il-sung his father) (Note: Who were the grandfather and father of current “Leader” Kim, Jung-un who now faces Donald J. Trump).
That Kim, Jong-il was named as the person ultimately responsible for the incident. The State Department specifically refers to the bombing of KAL 858 as a “terrorist act” and, until 2008, listed North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The bomber, Kim, Hyon-hui now still lives in Seoul. She married her former body guard – they have two children. At the time of her trial she was called “Bomber Kim.”
As a matter of fact thousands of defectors from North Korea now live in the south. But, North Korea, even on that point, never admits that fully. They simply will say that they were captured by the south and now used for propaganda, or in some cases they label them as “traitors.”
My assessment and summary of this: Each phase of the Kim's ruling family in North Korea is marked by a new and worse event ranging as listed above. However, their move into the “Nuclear Age” is by far the worse and it underscores their main purpose:
North Korea is perhaps the poorest country on earth and yet poses a dangerous military threat. They still practice hardcore communist tactics.
China, their #1 trading source and “big brother” always looks the other way and more recently told us to “solve the problem we created.” What utter nonsense. North Korea is basically the same as school yard bully or spoiled child who constantly seeks attention, but in their case with massive violence and crudeness.
One trait stands out above all others: They are totally unpredictable and very, very dangerous as well as cruel and crude as well as very violent worldwide and to their very own people who basically are starving to death. They thrive on protecting the regime with the Kim name no matter what or how.
Hope this helps to understand North Korea especially now since they have moved into the nuclear age and pose a greater threat than ever.