Korea was ruled by Japan from 1905–45. Although promised independence by China, Britain and the USA, Korea was divided along the 38° Parallel after Japan’s defeat in 1945. The north was occupied by Soviet troops, who supported a Communist-led provisional government under Kim II Sung. In 1948 the southern Republic of Korea, led by Syngman Rhee, and the northern Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (with Pyongyang as capital) came into being.
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