World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Liberty Korea Party
The Liberty Korea Party is a conservative political party in South Korea. Until February 2017, it was known as the Saenuri Party, before that as the Hannara Party from 1997 to 2012, both of which are still colloquially used to refer to the party; the party held a plurality of seats in the 20th Assembly before its ruling status was transferred to the Democratic Party of Korea on December 27, 2016, following the creation of the splinter Bareun Party by former Saenuri members who distanced themselves from President Park Geun-hye in the 2016 South Korean political scandal. The party was founded in 1997, when the United Democratic New Korea Party merged, its earliest ancestor was the Democratic Republican Party under the authoritarian rule of Park Chung-hee in 1963. On Park's death, at the beginning of the rule of Chun Doo-hwan in 1980, it was reconstituted and renamed as the Democratic Justice Party. In 1988, party member Roh Tae-woo introduced a wide range of political reforms including direct presidential elections and a new constitution.
The party was renamed in 1993, during the presidency of Kim Young-sam, with the merger of other parties to form the Democratic Liberal Party. It was renamed as the New Korea Party in 1995, it became the Grand National Party in November 1997 following its merger with the smaller United Democratic Party and various conservative parties. Three months with the election of Kim Dae-jung of the Democratic Party as president, the conservative party's governing role came to an end, it began its first period in opposition, which would last ten years. In October 2012, the Advancement Unification Party merged with the Saenuri Party. Following the 2000 parliamentary elections, it was the single largest political party, with 54% of the vote and 133 seats out of 271; the party continued to control the National Assembly. The party was defeated in the parliamentary election in 2004 following the attempted impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun, gaining only 121 seats out of 299; the party's defeat reflected public disapproval of the attempted impeachment, instigated by the party.
This was the first time in its history. It gained back five seats in by-elections, bringing it to 127 seats as of October 28, 2005. On December 19, 2007, the GNP's candidate, former Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak won the presidential election, ending the party's ten-year period in opposition. In the April 2008 general election, the GNP secured a majority of 153 seats out of 299 and gained power in the administration and the parliament as well as most local governments, despite low voter turnout. One of the main bases of popular support of the party originates from the conservative, traditionalist elite and the rural population, except for farmers, it is strongest in the Gyeongsang region. Former party head, 2007 presidential candidate, Park Geun-hye is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee who ruled from 1961 to 1979. Although Representative Won Hee-ryeong and Hong Jun-pyo ran for the party primary as reformist candidates, former Seoul mayor and official presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak gained more support from the Korean public.
The GNP suffered a setback in the 2010 local elections, losing a total of 775 local seats throughout the counties, but remained with the most seats in the region. GNP-affiliated politician, Oh Se-hoon, lost his mayoral position in Seoul after the Seoul Free Lunch Referendum; the Grand National Party celebrated its 14th anniversary on November 21, 2011, amid uncertainties from intra-party crises. The DDoS attacks during the October 2011 by-election have become a central concern of the GNP as it could disintegrate the party leadership; the Hong Jun-pyo leadership system collapsed on December 9, 2011, the GNP Emergency Response Commission was launched on December 17, 2011, with Park Geun-hye as commission chairperson, to prepare for the forthcoming Legislative Election 2012 on April 11, 2012, the Presidential Election 2012 on December 19, 2012. There was a debate with Commission members about whether to transform the Grand National Party into a non-conservative political party or not, but Park said the GNP would never become non-conservative and will follow the real values of conservatism.
In February 2012, the party changed its political official color from blue to red. This was a change from the previous 30 years where blue was the symbol of the conservative parties; the party supports neoliberal economic policies. It favors maintaining strong cooperation with the United States and Japan while distancing South Korea from North Korea; the party is conservative on social issues such as opposition to legal recognition of same-sex couples. One of the party's important policies is to financially secure The Four Major Rivers Project since President Lee Myung-bak was in office; this project's budget disputes have sparked controversial political motions in the National Assembly for three consecutive years. The party has been less inclined toward the creation of a new capital city for South Korea, to be called Sejong City than the previous administration; as of 2012, the Saenuri Party has indicated that some governmental offices will be relocated to the new city, but not all. The party has been active in promoting the North Korean Human Rights Law, which would condemn the use of torture, public executions and other human rights violations in North Korea.
Party representative Ha Tae Kyung is the founder of Open Radio for North Korea, an NGO dedicated to spreading news and information about democracy, to which citizens of North Korea have little access due to their go
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U. S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U. S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, the Truman Doctrine of 1947, ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars; the conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies.
Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, a small committee called the Politburo; the Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in low-developed regions known as the Third World. In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, technological competitions such as the Space Race; the first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe and creating the NATO alliance; the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the conflict expanded.
The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon in Europe and the US; the peace movement, in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, continued to grow through the'70s and'80s with large protest marches and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies France, demonstrated greater independence of action.
The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments. By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979; the early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was suffering from economic stag
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Peace Preservation Law
The Public Security Preservation Laws referred to as the Peace Preservation Laws, were a series of laws enacted from 1894 to 1925 during the Empire of Japan. Collectively, the laws were designed to suppress political dissent; the Safety Preservation Law of 1894 was an Imperial Ordinance issued on 25 December 1894, intended to suppress the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. It was the most drastic of the several laws enacted after 1875 to contain political opposition to the Meiji oligarchy, it imposed stringent restrictions on public speeches and political meetings. Article Four of the Law authorized the chief of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, with the approval of the Home Minister, to banish from Tokyo for three years anyone, found to be inciting disturbances or scheming to disrupt public order within 7.5 miles of the Imperial Palace. Within three days of the law’s promulgation, 570 people prominent in the Freedom and People's Rights Movement were arrested and expelled; the Law was repealed in 1898, but was soon replaced by the more stringent Public Order and Police Law of 1900.
The Public Order and Police Law of 1900 was issued by the administration of Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo against the organized labor movements. In addition to restrictions on freedom of speech and association, it specifically prohibited workers from organizing and going on strike. A provision banning women from political associations was deleted in 1922; the provisions forbidding workers to organize and go on strike were deleted in 1926, although identical provisions were added in an amendment to the Public Security Preservation Law of 1925. However, as with the previous Public Safety Preservation Law of 1894, the Public Order and Police Law of 1900 was used to suppress political dissent. In 1920, professor Morito Tatsuo of Tokyo Imperial University was prosecuted for publishing an article critical of the anarchist Peter Kropotkin. Morito spent three months in jail on charges of treason, his case set a precedent in Japanese law that criminalized the discussion of ideas. The government's clampdown on dissent further intensified after the 1921 assassination of Prime Minister Hara Takashi.
The Public Order and Police Law of 1900 was supplemented by the Public Security Preservation Law of 1925. It remained in effect until the end of World War II, when it was repealed by the American occupation authorities; the Public Security Preservation Law of 1925 was enacted on 12 May 1925, under the administration of Katō Takaaki against socialism and communism. It was one of the most significant laws of pre-war Japan; the main force behind the law was Minister of Justice Hiranuma Kiichirō. Anyone who has formed an association with the aim of altering the kokutai or the system of private property, anyone who has joined such an association with full knowledge of its object, shall be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding ten years. By using the vague and subjective term kokutai, the law attempted to blend politics and ethics, but the result was that any political opposition could be branded as "altering the kokutai", thus the government had carte blanche to outlaw any form of dissent.
Renewed activity by the underground Japan Communist Party in 1928 led to the March 15 incident, in which police arrested more than 1,600 Communists and suspected Communists under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Law of 1925. The same year, the anti-Communist government of Tanaka Giichi pushed through an amendment to the law, raising the maximum penalty from ten years to death. A "Thought Police" section, named the Tokkō, was formed within the Home Ministry, with branches all over Japan and in overseas locations with high concentrations of Japanese subjects to monitor activity by socialists and Communists. A Student Section was established under the Ministry of Education to monitor university professors and students. Within the Ministry of Justice, special "Thought Prosecutors" were appointed to suppress "thought criminals", either through punishment or through "conversion" back to orthodoxy via reeducation. In the 1930s, with Japan's increasing militarism and totalitarianism, dissent was tolerated less and less.
In early February 1941, the Security Preservation Law of 1925 was re-written. Terms for people suspected of Communist sympathies became more severe, for the first time religious organizations were included in the purview of the Thought Police. In addition, the appeals court for thought crimes was abolished, the Ministry of Justice given the right to appoint defense attorneys in cases of thought crime; the new provisions became effective on 15 May 1941. From 1925 through 1945, over 70,000 people were arrested under the provisions of the Public Security Preservation Law of 1925, but only about 10% reached trial, the death penalty was imposed on only two offenders, spy Richard Sorge and his informant Ozaki Hotsumi; the Public Safety Preservation Law of 1925 was repealed after the end of World War II by the American occupation authorities. Mitchell, Richard H. Thought Control in Prewar Japan, Cornell University Press, 1976
Human rights in South Korea
Human rights in South Korea differ to that of its Northern counterpart, have evolved from the days of military dictatorship and reflects the state's current status as a constitutional democracy. Citizens choose the President and members of the National Assembly in free and fair multiparty elections; the National Security Act criminalizes speech in support of North Korea. For most of the 20th century South Korean citizens lived under non-democratic rule, most notably under the authoritarian military regimes of Syngman Rhee, Park Chung-hee, Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo. Civil liberties, most the freedoms of speech and association, were curtailed and regime opponents risked torture and imprisonment. In 1967, the KCIA fabricated a spy ring, imprisoning 34 citizens, to solidify the rule of Park Chung-hee. After the Gwangju Massacre in 1980, public desire for democracy and greater civil liberties was expressed; the Burim Case in the 1981, saw innocent individuals, who were part of a book club, arbitrary arrested and tortured into making a false confession that they were reading "communist literature."
Every citizen over the age of 19 has the right to vote. Official censorship is not in place; the National Security Law makes it a crime to express sympathies with North Korea, though it is not enforced, there are over 100 people imprisoned under it annually. A play about the Yodok political prison camp in North Korea has come under significant pressure from authorities to tone down its criticism and the producers have been threatened with prosecution under the security law; some conservative groups have complained that police keep a tight watch on their demonstrations and that some people were prevented from attending rallies. Former Unification Minister Chung Dong-young was once accused of attempting to distract reporters from a meeting of activists for human rights in North Korea. Several established human rights organizations, have held lectures and exhibits critical of North Korea with no interference. Censorship is more notable in the media. Songs and theater play in Japanese language or relating to Japan are prohibited.
Despite the lifting of most regulations in 1996 and 1998 following a Constitutional Court ruling that they were illegal, scenes of extreme violence can be barred and pornography is forbidden from showing penetration of any kind, genitals must be blurred out. Though technically legal, pornography must still meet some minimum standards of artistic integrity, which are not written in the law. In 1997 a human rights film festival was blocked and the organizers arrested for refusing to submit their films for pre-screening; the government blocks access to North Korean websites and, sometimes, to major overseas web sites that host blogs. There is a debate over whether to revoke the ability to make anonymous comments online. Frank La Rue, The U. N. Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, announced that the government under the President Lee Myung-bak curtailed the freedom of expression in South Korea. South Korea, like Japan, is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world, it is difficult for outsiders to be accepted.
The large population of workers from Southeast Asia, over half of whom are estimated to be in the country illegally, face considerable discrimination both in and out of the workplace. This has led to the funded establishment of a school targeted at children with an immigrated parent, with English and Korean as its main languages; when Hines Ward, of mixed Korean and African American heritage, earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XL, it sparked a debate in Korean society about the treatment mixed children receive. South Korea's still continuing traditionalist beliefs result in few people being open about their homosexuality. Homosexuality is discouraged; as a result, there are few if any legal protections in place for gays and lesbians, many of them are afraid to come out to their families, co-workers. Gay men are not allowed to serve in the military, in 2005 five soldiers were discharged for homosexuality. Just as the DPRK considers South Koreans as fellow citizens, North Koreans are considered citizens of the Republic of Korea, are automatically given South Korean citizenship and passports upon arrival into ROK territory.
However, many refugees from North Korea have complained that they find integration into South Korean society to be difficult. The government has taken major steps to minimize the impact the refugees might have on its policy towards the North. An Internet radio station operated by refugees, broadcasting for those living in the North, was subject to a campaign of harassment that ended in it being unable to afford its rent after less than one month of operation; the station accused the government of either tacitly encouraging it. The government blocked activists from sending radios to the North, a scuffle left activist Norbert Vollertsen injured. Military service is mandatory for nearly all South Korean men. According to Amnesty International, there were 758 conscientious objectors detained for refusing to perform their
Republic of Korea Armed Forces
The Republic of Korea Armed Forces known as the ROK Armed Forces, are the armed forces of South Korea. Created in 1948 following the division of Korea, the ROK Armed Forces is one of the largest standing armed forces in the world with a reported personnel strength of 3,699,000 in 2018. South Korea's military forces are responsible for maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, but engage in humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts nationwide; the South Korean armed forces were constabulary forces until the outbreak of the Korean War. It was damaged by North Korean and Chinese attacks and in the beginning relied entirely on U. S. support for weapons and technology. After the Korean War South Korea maintained a large military ground force, which in 1967 had about 585,000 personnel, much larger than the northern forces of about 345,000. During South Korea's period of rapid growth in the 1980s, the military modernised, benefiting from several government-sponsored technology transfer projects and indigenous defense capability initiatives.
The GlobalSecurity.org website states that "in 1990 South Korean industries provided about 70 percent of the weapons, ammunition and other types of equipment, vehicles and other supplies needed by the military." Today, the South Korean armed forces enjoy a good mix of avant-garde as well as older conventional weapons. South Korea has one of the highest defense budgets in the world, ranking 10th globally in 2016, with a budget of more than $36 billion U. S. dollars. Its capabilities include many sophisticated American and European weapon systems, complemented by a growing and more advanced indigenous defense manufacturing sector. For example, by taking advantage of the strong local shipbuilding industry, the ROK Navy has embarked on a rigorous modernization plan with ambitions to become a blue-water navy by 2020. South Korea has a joint military partnership with the United States, termed the ROK-U. S. Alliance, as outlined by the Mutual Defense Treaty signed after the Korean War. During the outbreak of the Vietnam War, ROK Army and the ROK Marines were among those fighting alongside South Vietnam and the United States.
More South Korea takes part in regional as well as pan-Pacific national military wargames and exercises such as RIMPAC and RSOI. Among other components of the armed forces is the Defense Security Support Command the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, which had a major role in monitoring the military's loyalty during the period of military rule in South Korea; until January 2011, "mixed-race" men were prohibited from being conscripted into the South Korean military. Homosexual relations constitute a criminal offense in the military code, giving rise to a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, regardless of whether it takes place in the army unit or outside of it; the ROK Armed Forces consists of the: ROK Army ROK Navy ROK Marine Corps ROK Air Force In addition, reserve elements consist of the: ROK Reserve Forces ROK Civil Defense Corps The President is the Commander-in-Chief Forces ex officio. The military authority runs from the President to the Minister of National Defense, a retired 4-star General.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a 4-star General or Admiral, is the Senior Officer of the Armed Forces and has the Operational Authority over the Armed Forces, with directions from the President through the Minister of Defense. Traditionally, the position is filled by an officer of the Army; the chain of Operational Authority runs straight from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commandants of the several Operational Commands. There are five Operational Commands in the Army, two in the Navy and one in the Air Force; the respective Chiefs of Staff of each Service Branch has administrative control over his or her own service. Each Chief of Staff is a standing member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters is a group of Chiefs from each major branch of the armed services in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Unlike the United States, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has operational control over all military personnel of the armed forces.
All regular members are 4-star generals or admirals, although the deputy chairman sometimes has only 3 stars. The ROK Army is by far the largest of the military branches, with 495,000 personnel as of 2014; this comes as a response to both the mountainous terrain native to the Korean Peninsula as well as the heavy North Korean presence, with its 1-million-strong army, two-thirds of, permanently garrisoned in the frontline near the DMZ. The current administration has initiated a program of self-defense, whereby South Korea would be able to counter the North Korean threat with purely domestic means within the next two decades; the ROK Army was organized into three armies: the First Army, Third Army and Second Operational Command each with its own headquarters, corps (