History of South Korea

United States Army Military Government in Korea
Japanese forces surrender to the U.S. Army at Seoul, Korea, on 9 September 1945
1945 Sep 8 - 1944 Aug 15

United States Army Military Government in Korea

South Korea

The United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) was in charge of the Southern half of the Korean Peninsula from September 8, 1945, to August 15, 1948. The country during this time was facing political and economic difficulties due to a variety of reasons. The negative effects of Japanese occupation were still present in the occupied zone, as well as in the North. People were not satisfied with the USAMGIK's support of the previous Japanese colonial government, their keeping of former Japanese governors as advisors, their disregard of the well-liked People's Republic of Korea, and their support of United Nations elections that led to the division of the country. Furthermore, the US military was not well-equipped to manage the country, as they had no knowledge of the language or political situation, leading to unintended consequences of their policies. The influx of refugees from North Korea (estimated at 400,000) and returnees from abroad added to the instability.