The following series of photos show post-division prewar Seoul in the months leading up to the devastating Korean War that flattened most of the country and took the lives of millions of people.
Taken in 1949, they reveal quite a different country, a world away from the Seoul we all know today with many people still wearing traditional dress and not a high-rise or Starbucks for miles. The tranquility and relative calm in these shots is nearly the polar opposite of the chaos and carnage that ensued during the war.
Comments from Daum:
These pictures make me teary..
There’s nowhere as nice as South Korea, but the education system is too hard on us…
Right, African countries were receiving humanitarian assistance just like us, but only we have succeeded so much, so proud
By the way, how unlucky it must have been to have born at that time, not knowing the imminent war. Those who died in war, I wish you peace.
But having grown so fast, there are a few bad apples…. here and there
Only in a few decades we have come this far… No wonder others call it the miracle of the Han river… Love South Korea
The civic consciousness that lags behind economic prosperity is the trap…
Wow… Somehow very strange
Advanced country for sure!! ke ke ke
Looking at the pictures, it’s so tranquil? Ah what is this feeling.. I like it, so fuzzy
South Korea is not an advanced nation, but somewhere between that and developing nation
When I went back to South Korea for the first time in ten years, I saw old folks collecting used papers, and I still see poor people on TV, we are not the developed first-rate country. I wish the welfare improved.
It’s not a bad place to live, but still not enough we are. The textbook says so but we are not.
Mmm, looking at these peaceful photos and then suddenly a war, so maybe it’s still like that.. that worries me…
But if it is 6.25 [25th June - referring to the Korean War], shouldn’t it have been summer…? They wear winter clothing still? Even the trees look desolate..
I miss those streets..
Our citizens are not as developed, so that’s why we cannot be as developed….
Maybe we had gotten poorer after we had become free of the Japanese…? At that time… Those buildings… Japan must have built them when they ruled us… Before then there were only straw-thatched roof old houses.
Have you not studied the modern history of Korea? What makes you think it was a good time during the Japanese rule ke
South Korea is still at the bottom of the world. Not GDP or any of those indices but the quality of life. You think Spain and Greece are a laughing-stock? If you are unemployed in Spain they pay you unemployment insurance for 3 years, and they get to go home at 3 PM, and you get to have a month-long vacation. They have it hard compare to before, but South Korea is nowhere near Spain or Greece