Facts about the 38th parallel

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facts about the 38th parallel

Korean War Quotes (36 quotes)

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History Brief: The Korean Conflict


Roughly following the 38th parallel, the mile-long DMZ incorporates territory on both sides of the cease-fire line as it existed at the end of the Korean War — The areas north and south of the demarcation are heavily fortified, though skirmishes between the two sides are rare. The demilitarized zone DMZ incorporates territory on both sides of the cease-fire line as it existed at the end of the Korean War —53 and was created by pulling back the respective forces 1. It runs for about miles km across the peninsula, from the mouth of the Han River on the west coast to a little south of the North Korean town of Kosong on the east coast. It was the site of peace discussions during the Korean War and has since been the location of various conferences over issues related to North and South Korea , their allies, and the United Nations.

All rights reserved. The agreement—a cease-fire, not a peace treaty—called for the Korean peninsula to be divided by a Military Demarcation Line MDL and a buffer, the demilitarized zone DMZ , whose function would be to "prevent the occurrence of incidents which might lead to a resumption of hostilities. The armistice line meanders in an east-west fashion across Korea, connecting what Koreans call the East Sea with Gyeonggi Bay, miles kilometers away off the peninsula's west coast. Although it approximates the positions held by communist and U. That line was the 38th parallel, whose origins as modern Korea's first intra-national boundary can be traced back to the final hours of World War II, when officials from the U. War and State Departments were preparing to negotiate with the Soviet Union over how Japanese-occupied Korea would be administered following Japan's surrender.

This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. Finally, in July , the Korean War came to an end.

But for those in the Korean countries, the DMZ is much more than that.
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The Two Koreas

The 38th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. At this latitude the sun is visible for 14 hours, 48 minutes during the summer solstice and 9 hours, 32 minutes during the winter solstice. Starting at the Prime Meridian heading eastward, the 38th parallel north passes through:. Japan had ruled the Korean peninsula between and When Japan surrendered in August , the 38th parallel was established as the boundary between Soviet and American occupation zones.

Although hostilities ceased in , there has been no formal end to the war. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Photos: Photos: Scenes from the Korean War. Click through to see more scenes from the Korean War. Hide Caption.

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