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The 1950's
The DMZ - A Dragon is Born



The DMZ - A Dragon is Born
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.06

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Mega-nations, pock-marked, sawing, ideological, dubious, redrawn, invasion, dynasty, slugging, launched, cease-fire, self-government, civil, heavily, hasty, democracy
     content words:    Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, South Koreans, North Koreans, World War II, North Asia, Mega-nations Russia, During WWII, As WWII, Cold War


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The DMZ - A Dragon is Born
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     A photojournalist called it "the spookiest place on the face of the earth." The location is the Demilitarized Zone, the border line between North and South Korea. What may be the world's most heavily fortified border is known around the world as the DMZ. U.S. soldiers stationed there refer to it simply as "the Z." It is a dangerous and difficult place to serve. Since 1953, at least 50 U.S. soldiers have died there. More than 1,000 South Koreans and an unknown number of North Koreans have also died.
 
2     Before World War II, there was no DMZ, nor was there a North or a South Korea. The peninsula on the edge of North Asia was all one country. Korea was a small nation of rugged mountains and forests, rich with history and culture. For generations it had been ruled by a family dynasty.
 
3     The little country had the bad fortune to be stuck between three powerful neighbors. Down through the years, it has been ripped and scarred by many wars. Mega-nations Russia and China loom on its borders, and the islands of Japan lie just off the coast.
 
4     By the early 1900s, Japan's formidable military had gobbled up Korea. During WWII, Japan based its troops on the peninsula. At the end of the war, Korea was brimming with Japanese soldiers. The Allies needed a plan to deal with the former Japanese colony and the enemy troops in the area. Russia, whose massive armies were already on the scene in Asia, volunteered for the job.
 
5     The problem was a complicated one. As WWII ended in 1945, another war was beginning. In the Cold War, the battles weren't as visible as soldiers facing each other in the fields of Europe or as ships and planes slugging it out in the Pacific. The Cold War was a battle of words and ideas, of Western political values vs. communism.

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The 1950's
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