"The 38th parallel was picked up by a tired meeting on a hot night in Potsdam," said a State Department official last week. "It's a line that makes no political, geographical, economic or military sense. But the Russians and Americans at the meeting simply couldn't agree on who should occupy what. Finally a general suggested the 38th parallel. And that was that."

After Japan surrendered, U.S. Lieut. General John R. Hodge moved into South Korea with 72,000 troops while Colonel General I. M. Chistyakov occupied North Korea with 100,000 troops. The two generals were supposed to set up an all-Korean government, but...

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