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The Fifty Year Stand-Off: North and South Korea


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On July 27, 1953, North and South Korea officially ended their hostilities after three years of a brutal war that claimed the lives of more than 2 million people. But the Korean war lives on. A tense demilitarized zone separates the two countries. About 37,000 U.S. troops are stationed there. And, North Korea’s ambitions for a nuclear weapons program has taken on more urgency since President Bush listed the country as part of a so-called “Axis of Evil.”

On this edition of Making Contact, correspondents Ngoc Nguyen and Aaron Glantz take an in-depth look at the legacy of the Korean War and the on-going U.S. military presence. Nguyen and Glantz were in Korea for the 50th anniversary of the armistice.


George Katsiaficus, President of the Peace Island Foundation; Yoomi Jeong, Korean Truth Commission; Ahn Chi Wan, popular Korean political pop musician; Chung Chae Wook, president of student group Han Chong Yun; Kim Seung Kyo, attorney with Minbuyn (Lawyers for a Democratic Society); Lee Jai Eui, author; Chong Yun Hae, Vice Mayor of Gwanju; Che Chu Pin and Choi Sun Sup, farmers from Meyhan Ni; and Chong Tay Wah and Pong Wan Chul, farmers living in a small town near U.S. military base Camp Humphries

For more information:

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Jay Lee, Author, “The Kwangju Uprising”

Korea Truth Commission

Author: Radio Project

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