The de-militarized zone between North and South Korea represents a small strip of land some 1,528 km2 in area and off limits to people since the end of the Korean War in 1953 (58). Farming communities once abundant there no longer till the soil. The result of abandonment has been striking, and in favor of ecological recovery (59). During the intervening years, remnant populations of wildlife have re-bounded into robust populations within that narrow region, including the Asiatic black bear, musk deer, and the red-crowned crane. An unexpected (and unwanted) example of “proof of concept”, vivax malaria has also retuned to the area next to the DMZ in South Korea, as the result of that country’s inability to carry out effective mosquito-control programs that would ordinarily include portions of the DMZ (60).
This pattern of policing was not an aberration or the result of occasional excess. From the earliest days of the nation, the police function was seen primarily as that of a night watchman: to maintain order against the chief threats to order—fire, wild animals, and disreputable behavior. Solving crimes was viewed not as a police responsibility but as a private one. In the March, 1969, Atlantic, one of us (Wilson) wrote a brief account of how the police role had slowly changed from maintaining order to fighting crimes. The change began with the creation of private detectives (often ex-criminals), who worked on a contingency-fee basis for individuals who had suffered losses. In time, the detectives were absorbed in municipal agencies and paid a regular salary simultaneously, the responsibility for prosecuting thieves was shifted from the aggrieved private citizen to the professional prosecutor. This process was not complete in most places until the twentieth century.