This article starts from the hypothesis that the Korean War was a civil war. But it does not exonerate Kim Il-sung from responsibility. The attack on June 25, 1950 was definitely Kim Il-sung’s decision. He tried to overcome the early conflicts during the stage of state building through war. But Kim Il-sung did not begin the war to occupy the whole of Korea with armed forces. He misjudged and thought that it would be possible to communize the whole of Korea through political negotiation with the occupation of Seoul and the detainment of South Korean political leaders. On the other hand, the United States had exact information about he invasion from North Korea and expected it. The Korean War provided a good opportunity to the warmongers, which used it for rearmament. In this respect, the United States is responsible for the strategy of burning everything to the ground in Korea. The primary responsibility for the Korean War must be attributed to Kim Il-sung. However, he needed a scapegoat for his defeat and chose Park Hun-young, his main political rival. The Korean War was not Park's responsibility, although he was not free from strategic failures and extreme leftist adventurism.
This essay seeks to find the causes of the Chang Myun government's disruption in internal, rather than external, factors. It is argued that it was not the acceleration of social polarization that directly brought about the collapse of the government. Rather, at the time of the military coup, the government had already fallen into the state of ungovernability due to disintegration from within. This essay aims to explain the process of its downfall, while focusing on how unstable the Chang Myun cabinet was and how inadequate the government's ruling and management capabilities were. Why did the government, which had been founded upon wide popular support, fail to take an initiative in leading social forces by exercising necessary power on one hand and dominating the political agenda in advance on the other? Why could it not effectively command or manage the police or the military in particular, which was prerequisite for maintaining social stability? Why was the Chang Myun government not able to take the initiative with regard to such urgent issues as national reunification or economic development? To put it bluntly, why was the government lacking in necessary ruling and management capabilities? This paper attempts to find the answers to these questions by scrutinizing the internal structure of the government.
This study examines the conflict between Toegye Yi Hwang and Nammyeong Jo Shik, the leading Neo-Confucian scholars of 16th century Joseon Korea. Previous studies have attributed the conflict to either personal temperament or philosophical differences. However, this study finds the fundamental reason of their conflict in the political problem: whether an individual Sarim scholar's moral charisma is compatible with the formation of the Sarimpa and their politicization. Toegye advocated the politics of lineage in order to construct Confucian moral society. His private academy movement played a catalytic role in producing Confucian scholar- officials. By so doing, Toegye entrusted Confucian scholars with actual political power. However, on the other hand, he made the king a symbolic figure by exalting the sacred lineage of kingship, instead of the individual king's discretionary power. In contrast, Nammyeong found in Toegye's project a critical moral problem. For him, Toegye's politics of lineage was nothing but a justification for the routinization of the individual scholar's moral charisma. He thought a king was the sole legitimate political ruler, and thus, he did not believe Confucian scholars should replace the king as actual political performers. For him, the sole and original mission of Confucian scholars was to admonish a king, thereby making him a sage-king. This paper argues that this approach is conducive to a deepened understanding of the nature of Confucian politics in general.