The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, was created in 1948 after the end of World War II in 1945. Just as Japanese occupation ended, Soviet forces rushed into the northern region of Korea and installed Kim Il-sung as the North’s leader. In 1950, the Korean War broke out, it lasted 3 years and caused over 1.2 million deaths. North Korea was allied with China and the Soviet Union, but after the 1980’s, when the Soviet Union collapsed, and China changed their policies, North Korea was left all alone. In 1994, Kim Il-sung died and left North Korea in the hands of his son, Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il is known as the most secretive of the Kim family, and to this day not much is known about him. Even so, historians/political leaders do have a knowledge of his death in December of 2011, and passed on North Korea to his third oldest son, Kim Jong-un, who rules the North to this very day.
At 7:55, a U.S. Navy Signal tower telephoned the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, “Enemy air raid, not a drill.” Right then, Japanese Torpedo planes commenced their attack. 21 planes ripped through the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, sinking the U.S.S. Utah, among others. U.S. sailors heroically fought against the Japanese planes, getting their guns shooting in less than ten minutes. Despite this, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor struck a devastating blow to the U.S. Navy.
Li Mei, now forty-five years old, sells balloons on the street corner of China’s capital city, Beijing. Here she migrated from her small, rural town in Hunan — over a 10 hour bus ride. When told China’s one child policy has finally been lifted, a wide smile graces her face. She relates a story about how in her small of Hunan town, she paid hundreds of dollars in fines to have her three children, leaving her future and that of her children burdened with debt. She says, “Everyone wants to have a second child, but the fines are a burden on us. But that’s the policy, and we can’t fight it.”