August 15th 1945 - end of japanese colonialism. Starting in august 1945 return of nationalists from manchuria, soviet union. Syngman rhee, kim il sung, soldiers, factory workers, labourers, etc. Political vacuum no clear leadership in korea. ** liberation did not come due to nationalist anti-colonialist struggles (inside and outside of korea) but rather due to the defeat of japan in the hands of the allied powers ** The koreans wanted to be rid of the collaborators. Liberation didn"t mean independence for korea independence was to be granted sometime later; in due course . General hodge has called them disgraceful agitated riots. " there is apparently some reason to think, however, that the economic distress and the universal hatred for the korean police, which we have taken over from the. Japanese, have had something to do with the uprisings. (350) There is an atmosphere of violence, intrigue, and uncertainty about this place.