An 'armistice' was signed in 1953, and this detailed that the two Koreas would be kept separate by the 38th parallel, and friends and relatives were cruelly separated from one another, some never to see each other ever again. The after effects of the Korean War can also be seen in the Gulf War that took place in the years from 1990 to 1991 between the Allied Forces and Iraq, and when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq for the purpose of capturing her oil fields, the U.S. got interested again and tried to interfere, and in 1990, the President Bush sent U.S. troops to the Middle East. The UN declared a deadline for Iraq to quit Kuwait, but war broke out anyway. It is the general opinion today that when the U.S. carries out attacks on quarrelling countries in this manner, there will be war. The Korean War is one such example. (War, what is it good for?)
However, one good effect that came about because of the Korean War is that the Military Industrial Complex' that was actually in a state of slump due to the War became more energized and measures were taken to improve the U.S. Army and the Navy, and several Air Groups were deployed to Europe, the Middle East including Asia and Vietnam. The general view that American had had of the so-called 'Third World' was changed for the better, like for example in Indochina, where the actions of the French that had been criticized until then came to be supported thereafter. (Korean War)
The United States affects South Korea today in quite a few matters. For example, in the matter of military assistance offered to South Korea by the U.S.A., the U.S.A. plays a predominant role. It is a fact that 'communism' collapsed and came to an end in the year 1990, but the dominance of the status quo in Northeast Asia still remains as it always has been. The various security measures that had been installed following the Korean War remain as they are, these being the deployment of U.S. forces, the various bi-lateral security measures, the maintenance of strategic stability, and a drastic restructuring of U.S. troops posted in South Korea. South Korea has been forced to acknowledge the fact that her security policies have to be reviewed and changed wherever necessary, and also that the economic and political and also strategic issues that involve China have become extremely complex and difficult to handle. Therefore, a sort of interdisciplinary approach is necessary to handle all of these issues, and a variety of strategies and plans have to be combined together in order to achieve this.
The Republic of Korea, if she wants to enjoy wealth and economic prosperity in the future, will eventually be based on the responses of China to these issues. When taken in another perspective, Korea and USA have formed an alliance over the past fifty years that is in fact a deviation from the generally trodden path taken by Korea all throughout its richly cultural history. The centuries of suzerainty that Korea suffered under China were only replaced by the severe colonialism under Japan, and, there finally came the partition of Korea into North and South. Korea is now faced with the important question of whether to prolong the ties that she has had with the United States of America during the past few decades, under which she had been enjoying hitherto unprecedented security furthered by the military assistance offered by the U.S.A., and also a better economy and better political perceptions. (Managing U.S.-ROK Cooperation on Relations with China)
Therefore the issue facing Korea today is whether to continue with these bonds in the twenty first century, or whether to strengthen ties with her age-old patron, China. South Korea has to bear in mind the factor of continued war with North Korea, and whether she has the capability of fighting such a war, and whether she has the facilities and the resources to face war of this kind. She also has to consider the fact that her security options are not as they must be, and over the next few decades she has to be very careful and aware of this fact. However, even while the issue of continued alliances with the United States is being debated and discussed, certain incidents that have occurred in the meanwhile have to be taken into account too. One such incident is the terrorist attack that took place in the Pentagon and in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the U.S.A. On September 11, 2002 by Islamic Fundamentalists that left more than 3,000 people dead and more wounded and maimed.
After this incident, the U.S.A. has fortified her troops and has addressed the issue of additional security for her country with added zest and zeal. This has, despite the fact that Korea is in desperate need of fortifications and deterrents on her peninsula, the United States has concentrated more on global security than on Korea's needs, and this has become blight on the relationship between the U.S.A. And the Korean Peninsula in terms of military assistance and aid and improved security measures. The truth is that the priorities of the U.S.A. have undergone a change, and as the U.S.A. now concentrates all her energies on the issues of fighting terrorism, and on the various weapons of mass destruction, and on the initiatives to be taken for proliferation, the alliance has taken a back seat for now. (Managing U.S.-ROK Cooperation on Relations with China)
Another factor to be considered is that when U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced after the Korean War that the U.S. troops would be withdrawn from South Korea, and rescinded his statement, the alliance between the U.S. And the Koreans was considered to be unchangeable and permanent. This may be due to the continuing threat from North Korea to the South Koreans and the exacerbation of this danger after Pyongyang's WMD in the 1990's and the several nuclear weapon programs brought out at this time. FOTA or the 'Future of the ROK Alliance Policy Initiative' was signed at this time, and Seoul and Washington agreed to it in 2004 to reinforce the 'Second Infantry Division' to the South of Seoul by the end of the year 2008. There has been widespread criticism on the subject, however, and some persons like the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have been arguing constantly that the U.S. advent into Seoul has to be reduced so that newer and better political strategies may be implemented sooner rather than later.
The final verdict is that it is very nearly inevitable that this sort of a forcible reduction in the armed U.S. troops in South Korea would be carried out, and that it is even a very real possibility that the Second Infantry Division may finally be withdrawn form Korea. The Roo My Hoon Government took over South Korea in 2003, and this has changed the very core of the thinking of South Korea. The U.S. And Korean Alliance has been rocked by various political troubles and tensions since its inception during the 1950's, and despite opinions to the contrary, Korea has in fact been supporting the alliance, and this despite the vehemently anti-American feelings that persist in the minds of quite a few south Koreans who still seem to blame the United States for the splitting up of Korea into two different parts before the Korean war in the 1950's, and although most Koreans feel that it is of utmost importance to maintain the alliance and the relationship with the United States so that a strong military presence would be felt in the south of Korea when there was any type of threat towards her security, there are some who feel that the alliance must be reconsidered as of now and redefined. (Managing U.S.-ROK Cooperation on Relations with China)
The Roh government in South Korea has in fact redefined the Korean- U.S. alliance already by stating that South Korea must formulate her own security policy, also known as 'alliance lite' while maintaining more self-reliance and better defense strategies while at the same time preserving all the better parts of the alliance with the U.S. Therefore it has been the widespread thought that after the National Assembly Election on the 15th of April, it would no longer be possible to protect the alliance from the polarization of the security issues in South Korea and to leave the alliance, as it is, totally unaffected. There will be changes, and even though the United States of America will never withdraw assistance nor will she break the alliance with south Korea, the innate workings of the alliance and the offers of assistance would be changed according to the changing conditions of today where USA herself has suffered a major security threat and is concentrating all her energies on the 'War on the fight Against Terrorism'.