Korea

Korea

Overview
Korea is an East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

n geographic region that is currently divided
Division of Korea
The division of Korea into North Korea and South Korea stems from the 1945 Allied victory in World War II, ending Japan's 35-year colonial rule of Korea. In a proposal opposed by nearly all Koreans, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily occupy the country as a trusteeship...

 into two separate sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

s — North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. Located on the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 to the northwest, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 to the northeast, and is separated from Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to the east by the Korea Strait
Korea Strait
The Korea Strait is a sea passage between South Korea and Japan, connecting the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean...

 and the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 (East Sea
Sea of Japan naming dispute
The international name for the body of water which is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia, and South Korea is disputed. The Japanese government supports the use of the name "Sea of Japan", while South Korea supports the name "East Sea", and North Korea supports the name "East Sea of Korea"...

), and separated from the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 to the south by the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

.

Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest the origins of the Korean people were Altaic language-speaking people from south-central Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, who populated ancient Korea
History of Korea
The Korean Peninsula was inhabited from the Lower Paleolithic about 400,000-500,000 years ago. Archeological evidence indicates that the presence of modern humans in northeast Asia dates to 39,000 years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BC, and the Neolithic period began...

 in successive waves from the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 age to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

.
Discussion
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Timeline

1446   The hangul alphabet is published in Korea.

1871   Sinmiyangyo: Captain McLane Tilton leads 109 U.S. Marines in a naval attack on Han River forts on Kanghwa Island, Korea.

1894   The First Sino-Japanese War erupts between Japan and China over Korea.

1895   The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan is signed. This marks the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, and the defeated Qing Empire is forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.

1895   Eulmi incident- Queen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, is assassinated and her corpse burnt by the Japanese in Gyeongbok Palace.

1904   The Russo-Japanese War over Korea and Manchuria begins after the Battle of Port Arthur.

1904   Russo-Japanese War: Russian troops in Korea retreat toward Manchuria followed by 100,000 Japanese troops.

1905   The Eulsa Treaty is signed between Japan and Korea.

1907   Korea becomes a protectorate of Japan.

1908   American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan, leading to his death in a hospital two days later.

 
Encyclopedia
Korea is an East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

n geographic region that is currently divided
Division of Korea
The division of Korea into North Korea and South Korea stems from the 1945 Allied victory in World War II, ending Japan's 35-year colonial rule of Korea. In a proposal opposed by nearly all Koreans, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily occupy the country as a trusteeship...

 into two separate sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

s — North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. Located on the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 to the northwest, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 to the northeast, and is separated from Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to the east by the Korea Strait
Korea Strait
The Korea Strait is a sea passage between South Korea and Japan, connecting the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean...

 and the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 (East Sea
Sea of Japan naming dispute
The international name for the body of water which is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia, and South Korea is disputed. The Japanese government supports the use of the name "Sea of Japan", while South Korea supports the name "East Sea", and North Korea supports the name "East Sea of Korea"...

), and separated from the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 to the south by the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

.

Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest the origins of the Korean people were Altaic language-speaking people from south-central Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, who populated ancient Korea
History of Korea
The Korean Peninsula was inhabited from the Lower Paleolithic about 400,000-500,000 years ago. Archeological evidence indicates that the presence of modern humans in northeast Asia dates to 39,000 years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BC, and the Neolithic period began...

 in successive waves from the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 age to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("Hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

.

Korea was united by Emperor Taejo of the Goryeo Dynasty in 936. Goryeo was a highly cultural state and created the Jikji
Jikji
Jikji is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document, whose title can be translated "Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings". Printed during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1377, it is the world's oldest extant movable metal print book...

 in the 14th century, using the world's first movable metal type printing press. The Mongol invasions in the 13th century, however, greatly weakened the nation which was forced to become a tributary state. After the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

's collapse, severe political strife followed and Goryeo was replaced by the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 in 1388.

The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace and saw the creation of the Korean alphabet Hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

 by King Sejong the Great in the 14th century and the rise in influence of Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 in the country. During the latter part of the dynasty, however, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname the "Hermit kingdom
Hermit kingdom
Hermit kingdom is a pejorative term applied to any country or society which willfully walls itself off from the rest of the world. The Joseon Dynasty of Korea was frequently described as a hermit kingdom during the latter part of the dynasty...

". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of the colonial designs of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

 and remained so until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in August 1945.

In 1945, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

 in Korea and Soviet troops occupied north of the 38th parallel, while U.S. troops took surrender south of it. This decision by allied armies soon became the basis for the division of Korea
Division of Korea
The division of Korea into North Korea and South Korea stems from the 1945 Allied victory in World War II, ending Japan's 35-year colonial rule of Korea. In a proposal opposed by nearly all Koreans, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily occupy the country as a trusteeship...

 by the two superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

s, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The two Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 rivals then established governments sympathetic to their own ideologies, leading to Korea's current division into two political entities: North Korea and South Korea. The ensuing conflict
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 between the two was largely a proxy war
Proxy war
A proxy war or proxy warfare is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. While powers have sometimes used governments as proxies, violent non-state actors, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed...

.

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 with a centrally planned
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 industrial economy. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a free market
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, and developed country
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 with membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Group of Twenty
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

.

Etymology


"Korea" derives from the Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 period of Korean history, which in turn referred to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, the first Korean dynasty visited by Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 merchants who referred to Koryŏ (Goryeo) (고려) as Korea . Koryŏ (Goryeo) is also the name of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, which changed its name to Koryŏ (Goryeo) in the 5th century (during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo
Jangsu of Goguryeo
Emperor Jangsu of Goguryeo was the 20th monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was born in 394, the eldest son of King Gwanggaeto the Great...

). Korea is now commonly used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In the Korean language
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

, Korea as a whole is referred to as Han-guk (한국) in South Korea, and Chosŏn (조선) in North Korea. The latter name, also Romanised Joseon, is from the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 and the earlier Gojoseon
Gojoseon
Gojoseon was an ancient Korean kingdom. Go , meaning "ancient," distinguishes it from the later Joseon Dynasty; Joseon, as it is called in contemporaneous writings, is also romanized as Chosŏn....

. "The Land of the Morning Calm" is an English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 title for the country loosely derived from the hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

 characters for Joseon.

History


Prehistory and Gojoseon



The Korean Academy of North America discovered ancient hominid fossils originating from about 100,000 BC in the lava at a stone city site in Korea. Fluorescent and high-magnetic analyses indicate the volcanic fossils may be from as early as 300,000 BC. The best preserved Korean pottery goes back to the paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 times around 10,000 BC, and the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period begins around 6000 BC.

Gojoseon
Gojoseon
Gojoseon was an ancient Korean kingdom. Go , meaning "ancient," distinguishes it from the later Joseon Dynasty; Joseon, as it is called in contemporaneous writings, is also romanized as Chosŏn....

's founding legend describes Dangun
Dangun
Dangun Wanggeom was the legendary founder of Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, around present-day Liaoning, Manchuria, and the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the "grandson of heaven", and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC...

, a descendent of heaven, as establishing the kingdom in 2333 BC until the fall in 108 BC, although no evidence has been found that supports whatever facts may lie beneath this myth.

The original capital may have been at the Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

-Korea border, but was later moved to what is today Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

, North Korea. In 108 BC, the Chinese Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 defeated Wiman Joseon
Wiman Joseon
Wiman Joseon was part of the Gojoseon period of Korean history. It began with Wiman's seizure of the throne from Gojoseon's King Jun and ended with the death of King Ugeo who was a grandson of Wiman.-Founding:...

 and installed the Four Commanderies of Han
Four Commanderies of Han
The Four Commanderies of Han are Lelang, Lintun, Xuantu and Zhenfan commanderies in northern Korean Peninsula and part of the Liaodong Peninsula. set up by Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty in early 2nd century BC after his conquest of Wiman Joseon...

 in the area of the northern Korean Peninsula and part of the Liaodong Peninsula. By 75 BC, three of those commanderies had fallen, but the Lelang Commandery
Lelang Commandery
Lelang was one of the Chinese commanderies which was established after the fall of Gojoseon in 108 BC until Goguryeo conquered it in 313. Lelang Commandery was located in the northern Korean peninsula with the administrative center near modern P'yongyang....

 remained as a center of cultural and economic exchange with successive Chinese dynasties until 313, when it fell to Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

.

Proto–Three Kingdoms



The Proto–Three Kingdoms period, sometimes called the Several States Period, is the earlier part of what is commonly called the Three Kingdoms Period
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

, following the fall of Gojoseon
Gojoseon
Gojoseon was an ancient Korean kingdom. Go , meaning "ancient," distinguishes it from the later Joseon Dynasty; Joseon, as it is called in contemporaneous writings, is also romanized as Chosŏn....

 but before Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

, and Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 fully developed into kingdoms.

This time period saw numerous states spring up from the former territories of Gojoseon. Buyeo
Buyeo kingdom
Buyeo or Puyŏ , Fuyu in Chinese, was an ancient Korean kingdom located from today's Manchuria to northern North Korea, from around the 2nd century BC to 494. Its remnants were absorbed by the neighboring and brotherhood kingdom of Goguryeo in 494...

 arose in today's North Korea and southern Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, from about the 2nd century BC to 494. Its remnants were absorbed by Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

 in 494, and both Goguryeo and Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

, two of the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

, considered themselves its successor. Okjeo
Okjeo
Okjeo was Korean tribal state which arose in the northern Korean peninsula from perhaps 2nd century BCE to 5th century CE.Dong-okjeo occupied roughly the area of the Hamgyŏng provinces of North Korea, and Buk-okjeo occupied the Duman River region.Dong-okjeo was often simply called Okjeo, while...

 and Dongye
Dongye
Dongye, which means the Eastern Ye, was a Korean chiefdom which occupied portions of the northeastern Korean peninsula from roughly 3rd-century BCE to around early 5th-century. It bordered Goguryeo and Okjeo to the north, Jinhan to the south, and China's Lelang Commandery to the west...

 of northern Korea were eventually absorbed into the growing Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

.

Located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

, Samhan
Samhan
The Samhan period of Korean history comprises confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan in central and southern Korean peninsula, during the final century BCE and the early centuries CE....

 refers to the three confederacies of Mahan
Mahan confederacy
Mahan was a loose confederacy of statelets that existed from around the 1st century BCE to 3rd century CE in the southern Korean peninsula in the Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces. Arising out of the confluence of Gojoseon migration and the Jin state federation, Mahan was one of the Samhan , along...

, Jinhan
Jinhan confederacy
Jinhan was a loose confederacy of chiefdoms that existed from around the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD in the southern Korean peninsula, to the east of the Nakdong River valley, Gyeongsang Province. Jinhan was one of the Samhan , along with Byeonhan and Mahan...

, and Byeonhan
Byeonhan confederacy
Byeonhan, also known as Byeonjin, was a loose confederacy of chiefdoms that existed from around the beginning of the Common Era to the 4th century in the southern Korean peninsula...

. Mahan was the largest and consisted of 54 states. Byeonhan and Jinhan both consisted of twelve states, bringing a total of 78 states within the Samhan. These three confederacies eventually developed into Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

, Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

, and Gaya
Gaya confederacy
Gaya was a confederacy of territorial polities in the Nakdong River basin of southern Korea, growing out of the Byeonhan confederacy of the Samhan period.The traditional period used by historians for Gaya chronology is 42–532 CE...

.

Three Kingdoms


The Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

 (Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

, and Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

) dominated the peninsula and parts of Manchuria at beginning of the 1st century AD. They competed with each other both economically and militarily.

Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

 united Buyeo
Buyeo kingdom
Buyeo or Puyŏ , Fuyu in Chinese, was an ancient Korean kingdom located from today's Manchuria to northern North Korea, from around the 2nd century BC to 494. Its remnants were absorbed by the neighboring and brotherhood kingdom of Goguryeo in 494...

, Okjeo
Okjeo
Okjeo was Korean tribal state which arose in the northern Korean peninsula from perhaps 2nd century BCE to 5th century CE.Dong-okjeo occupied roughly the area of the Hamgyŏng provinces of North Korea, and Buk-okjeo occupied the Duman River region.Dong-okjeo was often simply called Okjeo, while...

, Dongye
Dongye
Dongye, which means the Eastern Ye, was a Korean chiefdom which occupied portions of the northeastern Korean peninsula from roughly 3rd-century BCE to around early 5th-century. It bordered Goguryeo and Okjeo to the north, Jinhan to the south, and China's Lelang Commandery to the west...

 and other states in the former Gojoseon territory. Goguryeo was the most dominant power; it reached its zenith in the 5th century, when reign of the Gwanggaeto the Great
Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo
Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo was the nineteenth monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. His full posthumous name roughly means "Very Greatest King, Broad Expander of Territory, buried in Gukgangsang.", sometimes abbreviated to Hotaewang or Taewang...

 and his son, Jangsu
Jangsu of Goguryeo
Emperor Jangsu of Goguryeo was the 20th monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was born in 394, the eldest son of King Gwanggaeto the Great...

 expanded territory into almost all of Manchuria and part of inner Mongolia, and took the Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

 region from Baekje. Gwanggaeto and Jangsu subdued Baekje and Silla during their times. After the 7th century, Goguryeo was constantly at war with the Sui
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 and Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 dynasties of China.

Founded around modern day Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, the southwestern kingdom Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

 expanded far beyond Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

 during the peak of its powers in the 4th century. It had absorbed all of the Mahan states and subjugated most of the western Korean peninsula (including the modern provinces of Gyeonggi, Chungcheong, and Jeolla
Jeolla
Jeolla was a province in southwestern Korea, one of the historical Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. It consisted of the modern South Korean provinces of North Jeolla, South Jeolla and the Special City of Gwangju as well as Jeju Island...

, as well as part of Hwanghae
Hwanghae
Hwanghae was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. Hwanghae was located in the northwest of Korea. The provincial capital was Haeju.The regional name for the province was Haesŏ .-History:...

 and Gangwon
Gangwon-do (South Korea)
Gangwon-do is a province of South Korea, with its capital at Chuncheon. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Gangwon and its North Korean neighbour Kangwŏn formed a single province.-History:...

) to a centralised government. Baekje acquired Chinese culture and technology through contacts with the Southern Dynasties
Southern dynasties
The Southern dynasties comprise the Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang Dynasty and Chen Dynasty, whose capital were at Jiankang , and Emperor Yuan of Liang, as well as the later Western Liang emperors , also set their...

 during the expansion of its territory. Historic evidence suggests that Japanese culture, art, and language was strongly influenced by the kingdom of Baekje and Korea itself.

Although later records claim that Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

, in the southeast, was the oldest of the three kingdoms, it is now believed to have been the last kingdom to develop. By the 2nd century, Silla existed as a large state, occupying and influencing nearby city states. Silla began to gain power when it annexed the Gaya confederacy
Gaya confederacy
Gaya was a confederacy of territorial polities in the Nakdong River basin of southern Korea, growing out of the Byeonhan confederacy of the Samhan period.The traditional period used by historians for Gaya chronology is 42–532 CE...

 in AD 562. The Gaya confederacy was located between Baekje and Silla. The three kingdoms of Korea often warred with each other and Silla often faced pressure from Baekje and Goguryeo but at various times Silla also allied with Baekje and Goguryeo in order to gain dominance over the peninsula.

In 660, King Muyeol of Silla
Muyeol of Silla
King Taejong Muyeol , born Kim Chunchu, was the 29th monarch of the southern Korean kingdom of Silla and ruled from 654 to 661. He is credited for leading the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea...

 ordered his armies to attack Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

. General Kim Yu-shin (Gim Yu-sin), aided by Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 forces, conquered Baekje. In 661, Silla and Tang moved on Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

 but were repelled. King Munmu
Munmu of Silla
Munmu of Silla was the thirtieth king of the Korean kingdom of Silla. He is usually considered to have been the first ruler of the Unified Silla period. Munmu was the son of King Muyeol and Munmyeong, who was the younger sister of Kim Yu-shin...

, son of Muyeol and nephew of General Kim launched another campaign in 667 and Goguryeo fell in the following year.

North-South States Period



In the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries, Silla's power gradually extended across the Korean Peninsula. Silla first annexed the adjacent Gaya confederacy
Gaya confederacy
Gaya was a confederacy of territorial polities in the Nakdong River basin of southern Korea, growing out of the Byeonhan confederacy of the Samhan period.The traditional period used by historians for Gaya chronology is 42–532 CE...

. By the 660s, Silla formed an alliance with the Tang Dynasty of China to conquer Baekje and later Goguryeo. After repelling Chinese forces, Silla partially unified the Peninsula, beginning a period often called Unified Silla
Unified Silla
Unified Silla or Later Silla is the name often applied to the Korean kingdom of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, when it conquered Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 668, unifying the southern portion of the Korean peninsula...

.

In the north, former Goguryeo General Dae Joyeong led a group of Goguryeo refugees to the Jilin
Jilin
Jilin , is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west...

 area in Manchuria and founded Balhae
Balhae
Balhae was a Manchurian kingdom established after the fall of Goguryeo. After Goguryeo's capital and southern territories fell to Unified Silla, Dae Jo-yeong, a Mohe general, whose father was Dae Jung-sang, established Jin , later called Balhae.Balhae occupied southern parts of Manchuria and...

 (698 - 926) as the successor to Goguryeo. At its height, Balhae's territory extended from northern Manchuria down to the northern provinces of modern-day Korea. Balhae was destroyed by the Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

s in 926.

Unified Silla fell apart in the late 9th century, giving way to the tumultuous Later Three Kingdoms period (892-935). Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 unified the Later Three Kingdoms and absorbed Balhae refugees.

Goryeo



The country Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 was founded in 918 and replaced Silla as the ruling dynasty of Korea. ("Goryeo" is a short form of "Goguryeo" and the source of the English name "Korea".) The dynasty lasted until 1392.

During this period laws were codified, and a civil service system was introduced. Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 flourished, and spread throughout the peninsula. The development of celadon
Celadon
Celadon is a term for ceramics denoting both a type of glaze and a ware of a specific color, also called celadon. This type of ware was invented in ancient China, such as in the Zhejiang province...

 industry flourished in 12th and 13th century. The publication of Tripitaka Koreana
Tripitaka Koreana
The Tripitaka Koreana or Palman Daejanggyeong is a Korean collection of the Tripitaka , carved onto 81,258 wooden printing blocks in the 13th century...

 onto 80,000 wooden blocks and the invention of the world's first movable-metal-type printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 in 13th century attest to Goryeo's cultural achievements.

Their dynasty was threatened by Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Korea
The Mongol invasions of Korea consisted of a series of campaigns by the Mongol Empire against Korea, then known as Goryeo, from 1231 to 1270...

 from the 1230s into the 1270s, but the dynastic line continued to survive until 1392 since they negotiated a treaty with the Mongols that kept its sovereign power.

In 1350s, King Gongmin
Gongmin of Goryeo
King Gongmin ruled Goryeo Dynasty Korea from 1351 until 1374.he was the second son of King Chungsuk. In addition to his various Korean names , he bore the Mongolian name Bayàn Temür .-Early life:...

 was free at last to reform a Goryeo government. Gongmin had various problems that needed to be dealt with, which included the removal of pro-Mongol aristocrats and military officials, the question of land holding, and quelling the growing animosity between the Buddhists and Confucian scholars.

Joseon Dynasty




In 1392, the general Yi Seong-gye
Taejo of Joseon
Taejo of Joseon , born Yi Seong-gye, whose changed name is Yi Dan, was the founder and the first king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea, and the main figure in overthrowing the Goryeo Dynasty...

 established the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 (1392–1910) with a largely bloodless coup. He named it the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 in honor of the previous Joseon before (Gojoseon is the first Joseon. "Go", meaning "old", was added to distinguish between the two).

King Taejo
Taejo of Joseon
Taejo of Joseon , born Yi Seong-gye, whose changed name is Yi Dan, was the founder and the first king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea, and the main figure in overthrowing the Goryeo Dynasty...

 moved the capital to Hanseong (formerly Hanyang; modern-day Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

) and built the Gyeongbokgung
Gyeongbokgung
Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty...

 palace. In 1394 he adopted Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 as the country's official religion, resulting in much loss of power and wealth by the Buddhists. The prevailing philosophy was Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

.

Joseon experienced advances in science and culture. King Sejong the Great
Sejong the Great of Joseon
Sejong the Great was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. During his regency, he reinforced Korean Confucian policies and executed major legal amendments . He also used the creation of Hangul and the advancement of technology to expand his territory...

 (1418–1450) promulgated hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

, the Korean alphabet. The period saw various other cultural and technological advances as well as the dominance of neo-Confucianism over the entire peninsula. Slaves, nobi
Nobi
Nobi is the Korean word for a system of servitude in place between the 4th and 19th centuries. Its status diminished greatly during the latter half of the Joseon Dynasty, and it was eventually abolished with the adoption of the Gabo Reforms...

, are estimated to have accounted for about one third of the population of Joseon Korea.

Between 1592 and 1598, the Japanese invaded Korea. Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 ordered the forces and tried to invade the Asian continent
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 through Korea, but was completely defeated by a Righteous army
Righteous army
Righteous armies, sometimes called irregular armies or militias, have appeared several times in Korean history, when the national armies were in need of assistance....

, Admiral Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-shin was a Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty, and is well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well...

 and assistance from Ming China. This war also saw the rise of the career of Admiral Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-shin was a Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty, and is well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well...

 with the "turtle ship
Turtle ship
The Turtle ship, also known as Geobukseon or Kobukson , was a type of large warship belonging to the Panokseon class in Korea that was used intermittently by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century.The first references to older, first...

". In the 1620s and 1630s Joseon suffered invasions by the Manchu
Manchu invasion of Korea
During the 17th century, there were two Manchu invasions of Korea:*First Manchu expedition to Korea, in 1627*Second Manchu expedition to Korea, in 1637...

.

After invasions from Manchuria
Second Manchu invasion of Korea
The second Manchu invasion of Korea occurred in 1636, when the Manchu Qing Empire brought Korea's Joseon dynasty into submission. It followed the first Manchu invasion of Korea of 1627.-Background:...

, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. King Yeongjo
Yeongjo of Joseon
Yeongjo was the twenty-first king of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. He was the second son of Sukjong by Lady Suk-bin of the Choi clan , succeeded his older brother Gyeongjong.-Reign:...

 and King Jeongjo
Jeongjo of Joseon
King Jeongjo was the 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. He made various attempts to reform and improve the nation of Joseon. He was preceded by his grandfather King Yeongjo and succeeded by his son King Sunjo...

 led a new renaissance of the Joseon dynasty.

However, during the last years of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the name the "Hermit Kingdom
Hermit kingdom
Hermit kingdom is a pejorative term applied to any country or society which willfully walls itself off from the rest of the world. The Joseon Dynasty of Korea was frequently described as a hermit kingdom during the latter part of the dynasty...

", primarily for protection against Western imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 before it was forced to open trade beginning an era leading into Japanese colonial rule
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

.

Korean Empire




Beginning in the 1870s, Japan began to force Korea out of the Manchu Qing Dynasty's traditional sphere of influence into its own. As a result of the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), the Qing Dynasty had to give up such a position according to Article 1 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

, which was concluded between China and Japan in 1895. That same year, Empress Myeongseong
Empress Myeongseong
Empress Myeongseong , also known as Queen Min, was the first official wife of King Gojong, the twenty-sixth king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea...

 was assassinated by Japanese agents.

In 1897, the Joseon dynasty proclaimed the Korean Empire
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

 (1897–1910), and King Gojong became Emperor Gojong. This brief period saw the partially successful modernisation of the military, economy, real property laws, education system, and various industries, influenced by the political encroachment into Korea of Russia, Japan, France, and the United States.

In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 pushed the Russians out of the fight for Korea. In Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 on October 26, 1909, An Jung-geun
An Jung-geun
An Jung-geun or Ahn Jung-geun was a Korean independence activist, nationalist, and pan-Asianist....

 assassinated the former Resident-General of Korea
Governor-General of Korea
The post of Japanese Governor-General of Korea served as the chief administrator of the Japanese government in Korea while it was held as the Japanese colony of Chōsen from 1910 to 1945...

, Itō Hirobumi
Ito Hirobumi
Prince was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan , genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire...

 for his role in trying to force Korea into occupation.

Japanese occupation


In 1910, an already militarily occupied Korea was a forced party to the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910...

. The treaty was signed by Lee Wan-Yong
Lee Wan-Yong
Lee Wan-Yong was a pro-Japanese minister of Korea, who signed the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, which placed Korea under Japanese rule in 1910....

, who was given the General Power of Attorney by the Emperor. However, the Emperor is said to have not actually ratified the treaty according to Yi Tae-jin. There is a long dispute whether this treaty was legal or illegal due to its signing under duress, threat of force and bribes.

Korean resistance to the brutal Japanese occupation was manifested in the nonviolent March 1st Movement
March 1st Movement
The March 1st Movement, or Samil Movement, was one of the earliest public displays of Korean resistance during the occupation of the Korean Empire by Japan. The name refers to an event that occurred on March 1, 1919, hence the movement's name, literally meaning "Three-One Movement" or "March First...

 of 1919, where 7,000 demonstrators were killed by Japanese police and military. The Korean liberation movement
Korean independence movement
The Korean independence movement grew out of the Japanese colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945. After the Japanese surrendered, Korea became independent; that day is now an annual holiday called Gwangbokjeol in South Korea, and Chogukhaebangŭi nal in North Korea.-Background:In...

 also spread to neighbouring Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

.

Over five million Koreans were conscripted for labour beginning in 1939, and tens of thousands of men were forced into Japan's military. Close to 400,000 Korean labourers lost their lives due to the war. Approximately 200,000 girls and women, mostly from China and Korea, were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military. In 1993, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono
Yohei Kono
is a Japanese politician and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from November 2003 until August 2009, when the LDP lost its majority in the 2009 election...

 acknowledged the terrible injustices faced by these euphemistically named "comfort women
Comfort women
The term "comfort women" was a euphemism used to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese...

".

During the Japanese Colonial rule, the Korean language was suppressed in an effort to eradicate Korean national identity. Koreans were forced to take Japanese surnames, known as Sōshi-kaimei
Soshi-kaimei
Sōshi-kaimei was a policy created by Jiro Minami, Governor-General of Korea under the Empire of Japan, implemented upon Japanese subjects from Korea . As defined by Ordinance No...

. Traditional Korean culture suffered heavy losses, as numerous Korean cultural artifacts were destroyed or taken to Japan. To this day, valuable Korean artifacts can often be found in Japanese museums or among private collections. One investigation by the South Korean government identified 75,311 cultural assets that were taken from Korea, 34,369 in Japan and 17,803 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. However, experts estimate that over 100,000 artifacts actually remain in Japan. Japanese officials considered returning Korean cultural properties, but to date this has not occurred. Korea and Japan still dispute the ownership of the Liancourt Rocks
Liancourt Rocks
The Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo or Tokto in Korean or in Japanese, are a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan . Sovereignty over the islets is disputed between Japan and South Korea...

, islets located east of the Korean Peninsula.

There was a significant level of emigration to the overseas territories of the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 during the Japanese colonial period, including Korea
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

. By the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, there were over 850,000 Japanese settlers in Korea. After World War II, most of these overseas Japanese repatriated to Japan.

Korean War




With the surrender of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 in 1945 the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 developed plans for a trusteeship administration, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 administering the peninsula north of the 38th parallel
38th parallel north
The 38th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 administering the south. The politics of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate governments, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

.

In June 1950 North Korea invaded the South, using Soviet tanks and weaponry. During the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 (1950–1953) millions of civilians died and the three years of fighting throughout the nation effectively destroyed most cities. Around 125,000 POWs were captured and held by the Americans and South Koreans on Geojedo (an island in the south). The war ended in an Armistice Agreement at approximately the Military Demarcation Line
Military Demarcation Line (Korea)
The Military Demarcation Line , sometimes referred to as the Armistice Line, is the land border or demarcation line between North Korea and South Korea. On either side of the line is the Korean Demilitarized Zone...

.

Division of Korea




The aftermath of World War II left Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel, with the north under Soviet occupation and the south under the occupation of other allied countries. Consequently, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a Soviet-style socialist regime, was established in the north while the Republic of Korea, a Western-style republic, was established in the south. The Korean War broke out when Soviet-backed North Korea invaded South Korea, though neither side gained much territory as a result. The Korean Peninsula remains divided, the Korean Demilitarized Zone
Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and...

 being the de facto border between the two states.

Since the 1960s, the South Korean economy has grown enormously and the economic structure was radically transformed. In 1957 South Korea had a lower per capita GDP than Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, and by 2008 it was 17 times as high as Ghana's.

The North Korean famine
North Korean famine
'The North Korean famine was a famine in North Korea which began in the early 1990s...

 began in 1995 and peaked in 1997. According to South Korea intelligence agency, an internal report by North Korea's Public Security Ministry estimates North Korea lost 2.5 million to 3 million lives from 1995 to March 1998.

Geography





Korea is located on the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

 in North-East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River (Yalu River
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

) separates Korea from China and to the northeast, the Duman River (Tumen River
Tumen River
The Tumen River is a 521 km-long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea, and Russia, rising in Mount Baekdu and flowing into the Sea of Japan....

) separates Korea from China and Russia. The Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

 is to the west, the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

 and Korea Strait is to the south, and the Sea of Japan is to the east. Notable islands include Jeju Island (Jejudo), Ulleung Island (Ulleungdo), and Liancourt Rocks
Liancourt Rocks
The Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo or Tokto in Korean or in Japanese, are a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan . Sovereignty over the islets is disputed between Japan and South Korea...

 (Dokdo).

The southern and western parts of the peninsula have well-developed plains, while the eastern and northern parts are mountainous. The highest mountain in Korea is Mount Paektu or Paektusan (2,744 m), through which runs the border with China. The southern extension of Mount Paektu is a highland called Gaema Heights. This highland was mainly raised during the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

 orogeny and partly covered by volcanic matter. To the south of Gaema Gowon, successive high mountains are located along the eastern coast of the peninsula. This mountain range is named Baekdudaegan
Baekdudaegan
The Baekdudaegan is a mountain range and watershed-crest-line which runs through most of the length of the Korean Peninsula, from Baekdu Mountain in the north to Jirisan in the south. It is important in traditional Korean thought, a key aspect of Pungsujiri philosophy and practices...

. Some significant mountains include Mount Sobaek
Sobaeksan
Sobaeksan is a mountain of the Sobaek Mountains, in South Korea. It lies between Danyang County in the province of Chungcheongbuk-do and the city of Yeongju in the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do. It has an elevation of ....

 or Sobaeksan (1,439 m), Mount Kumgang or Kumgangsan (1,638 m), Mount Seorak
Seoraksan
Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon province in eastern South Korea. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho. After the Hallasan volcano on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south, Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea. The...

 or Seoraksan (1,708 m), Mount Taebaek
Taebaeksan
Taebaeksan is a South Korean mountain that stretches from the city of Taebaek and Yeongwol County, Gangwon-do and Bonghwa County, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It has an elevation of ....

 or Taebaeksan (1,567 m), and Mount Jiri or Jirisan (1,915 m). There are several lower, secondary mountain series whose direction is almost perpendicular to that of Baekdudaegan. They are developed along the tectonic line of Mesozoic orogeny and their directions are basically northwest.

Unlike most ancient mountains on the mainland, many important islands in Korea were formed by volcanic activity in the Cenozoic orogeny. Jeju Island, situated off the southern coast, is a large volcanic island whose main mountain Mount Halla or Hallasan (1950 m) is the highest in South Korea. Ulleung Island is a volcanic island in the Sea of Japan, whose composition is more felsic than Jeju-do. The volcanic islands tend to be younger, the more westward.

Because the mountainous region is mostly on the eastern part of the peninsula, the main rivers
Rivers of Korea
The Korean peninsula is mainly mountainous along its east coast, so most of its river water flows west, emptying into the Yellow Sea. Some of these rivers flow through lakes en route to the coast, but these are all artificial reservoirs, as there are no natural lakes on the Korean mainland...

 tend to flow westwards. Two exceptions are the southward-flowing Nakdong River
Nakdong River
The Nakdong River is the longest river in South Korea, and passes through major cities such as Daegu and Busan.-Geography:...

 (Nakdonggang) and Seomjin River
Seomjin River
The Seomjin River is a river in South Korea. It drains southeastern Jeollabuk-do as well as eastern Jeollanam-do and western Gyeongsangnam-do provinces, and flows into the Korea Strait. The Seomjin rises from Palgongsan and flows for 212.3 kilometers before reaching its final destination in...

 (Seomjingang). Important rivers running westward include the Amnok River, the Chongchon River
Ch'ongch'on River
The Ch'ŏngch'ŏn River is a river of North Korea having its source in the Rangrim Mountains of Chagang Province and emptying into the Yellow Sea at Sinanju. The river flows past Myohyang-san and through the city of Anju, South P'yŏngan Province...

 (Chongchongang), the Taedong River
Taedong River
The Taedong River is a large river in North Korea. It rises in the Rangrim Mountains of the country's north. It then flows southwest into Korea Bay at Namp'o. In between, it runs through the country's capital, Pyongyang. Along the river are landmarks such as the Juche Tower and Kim Il-sung...

 (Taedonggang), the Han River
Han River (Korea)
The Han River is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Duman, and Nakdong rivers. It is formed by the confluence of the Namhan River , which originates in Mount Daedeok, and the Bukhan River , which originates on the slopes of Mount...

 (Hangang), the Geum River
Geum River
The Geum-gang River is located in South Korea. It is a major river that originates in Jangsu-eub, North Jeolla Province. It flows northward through North Jeolla and North Chungcheong Provinces and then changes direction in the vicinity of Greater Daejeon and flows southwest through South...

 (Geumgang), and the Yeongsan River
Yeongsan River
The Yeongsan River is a river in south-western South Korea. It has a length of 115.5km, and covers an area of 3,371 km2. Yeongsan River starts from the Yongchubong Peak located in Yong-myeon, Damyang County, South Jeolla Province...

 (Yeongsangang). These rivers have vast flood plains and provide an ideal environment for wet-rice cultivation.

The southern and southwestern coastlines of Korea form a well-developed ria
Ria
A ria is a coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley. It is a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea. Typically, rias have a dendritic, treelike outline although they can be straight and without significant branches. This pattern is inherited from the...

 coastline, known as Dadohae-jin in Korean. Its convoluted coastline provides mild seas, and the resulting calm environment allows for safe navigation, fishing, and seaweed farming. In addition to the complex coastline, the western coast of the Korean Peninsula has an extremely high tidal amplitude (at Incheon
Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

, around the middle of the western coast. It can get as high as 9 m). Vast tidal flats have been developing on the south and west coastlines.

Demographics



The combined population of the Koreans is about 73 million (North Korea: 23 million, South Korea: 50 million). Korea is chiefly populated by a highly homogeneous ethnic group, the Koreans, who speak the Korean language
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

. The number of foreigners living in Korea has also steadily increased since the late 20th century, particularly in South Korea, where more than 1 million foreigners currently reside. It is estimated that only 26,700 of the old Chinese community
Ethnic Chinese in Korea
There has been a recognisable community of Chinese people in Korea since the 1880s. Most early migrants came from Shandong province on the east coast of China; many of them and their descendants have emigrated...

 now remain in South Korea. However, in recent years, immigration from mainland China has increased; 624,994 persons of Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 nationality have immigrated to South Korea, including 443,566 of ethnic Korean descent. Small communities of ethnic Chinese and Japanese
Japanese people in North Korea
Japanese people in North Korea consist mainly of four groups: prisoners-of-war in the Soviet Union, Japanese accompanying repatriating Zainichi Korean spouses, defectors, and kidnapping victims...

 are also found in North Korea.

Language




Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 is the official language of both North and South Korea, and (along with Mandarin) of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
Yanbian is a Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, in Northeastern China, above the border with North Korea. Yanbian is bordered to the north by Heilongjiang, on the west by Baishan City and Jilin City, on the south by North Hamgyong Province of North Korea, and on the east by Primorsky...

 in Manchuria area of China. Worldwide, there are up to 80 million speakers of the Korean language. South Korea has around 50 million speakers while North Korea around 23 million. Other large groups of Korean speakers are found in China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (around 1.8 million speakers), the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (around 900,000 speakers), the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (around 350,000), Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (around 700,000), Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (100,000), Malaysia (70,000) and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (150,000). It is estimated that there are around 700,000 people scattered across the world who are able to speak Korean because of job requirements (for example, salespersons or businessmen with Korean contacts), marriages to Koreans or out of pure interest in the language.

The genealogical classification of Korean is debated. Some linguists place it in the Altaic
Altaic languages
Altaic is a proposed language family that includes the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and Japonic language families and the Korean language isolate. These languages are spoken in a wide arc stretching from northeast Asia through Central Asia to Anatolia and eastern Europe...

 language family; others consider it to be a language isolate
Language isolate
A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical relationship with other languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common with any other language. They are in effect language families consisting of a single...

. Korean is agglutinative
Agglutinative language
An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view...

 in its morphology and SOV in its syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

. Like Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 and Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

, Korean has borrowed much vocabulary from the Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 or created vocabulary on Chinese models.

Modern Korean is written almost exclusively in the Hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

 script, which was invented in the 15th century. While Hangul may appear logographic, it is actually a phonemic alphabet organised into syllabic
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

 blocks. Each block consists of at least two of the 24 hangul letters (jamo): at least one each of the 14 consonant
Consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

s and 10 vowel
Vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

s. Historically, the alphabet had several additional letters (see obsolete jamo). For a phonological description of the letters, see Korean phonology
Korean phonology
This article is a technical description of the phonetics and phonology of Korean.Korean has many allophones, so it is important here to distinguish morphophonemics from corresponding phonemes and allophones .-Consonants:The following are phonemic transcriptions of Korean consonants.# are voiced ...

. Hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

 (Chinese characters) and Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

s are sometimes included within Hangul texts, particularly in South Korea.

Culture and arts





In ancient Chinese texts, Korea is referred to as "Rivers and Mountains Embroidered on Silk" and "Eastern Nation of Decorum" . During the 7th and 8th centuries, the silk road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 connected Korea to Arabia. In 845, Arab traders wrote, "Beyond China is a land where gold abounds and which is named Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

. The Muslims who have gone there have been charmed by the country and tend to settle there and abandon all idea of leaving."

Korean festivities often showcase vibrant colors, which have been attributed to Mongolian influences: bright red, yellow, and green often mark traditional Korean motifs. These bright colors are sometimes seen in the traditional dress known as hanbok
Hanbok
Hanbok or Chosŏn-ot is the traditional Korean dress. It is often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means "Korean clothing", hanbok today often refers specifically to hanbok of Joseon Dynasty and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear...

.

One peculiarity of Korean culture is its age reckoning system
East Asian age reckoning
East Asian age reckoning is a concept and practice that originated in China and is widely used by other cultures in East Asia, which share this traditional way of counting a person's age. Newborns start at one year old, and each passing of a Lunar New Year, rather than the birthday, adds one year...

. Individuals are regarded as one year old when they are born, as Koreans reckon the pregnancy period as one year of life for infants, and age increments increase on New Year's Day
Korean New Year
Korean New Year, commonly known as Seollal , is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year's Day. Koreans also celebrate solar New Year's Day on January 1 each year, following the...

 rather than on the anniversary of birthdays. Thus, one born immediately before New Year's Day may only be a few days old in western reckoning, but two years old in Korea. Accordingly, a Korean person's stated age (at least among fellow Koreans) will be one or two years more than their age according to western reckoning. However, western reckoning is sometimes applied with regard to the concept of legal age; for example, the legal age for purchasing alcohol or cigarettes in the Republic of Korea is 19, which is measured according to western reckoning.

Literature



Korean literature written before the end of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 is called "Classical" or "Traditional." Literature, written in Chinese characters (hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

), was established at the same time as the Chinese script arrived on the peninsula. Korean scholars were writing poetry in the classical Korean style as early as the 2nd century BC, reflecting Korean thoughts and experiences of that time. Classical Korean literature has its roots in traditional folk beliefs and folk tales of the peninsula, strongly influenced by Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

.

Modern literature is often linked with the development of hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

, which helped spread literacy from the aristocracy to the common people and women. Hangul, however, only reached a dominant position in Korean literature in the second half of the 19th century, resulting in a major growth in Korean literature. Sinsoseol, for instance, are novels written in hangul.

The Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 led to the development of literature centered on the wounds and chaos of war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

. Much of the post-war literature in South Korea deals with the daily lives of ordinary people, and their struggles with national pain. The collapse of the traditional Korean value system is another common theme of the time.

Religion



Confucian tradition has dominated Korean thought, along with contributions by Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, and Korean Shamanism
Korean shamanism
Korean shamanism, today known as Muism or sometimes Sinism , encompasses a variety of indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Korean people and the Korean area...

. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 has competed with Buddhism in South Korea, while religious practice has been suppressed in North Korea. Throughout Korean history and culture, regardless of separation; the influence of traditional beliefs of Korean Shamanism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism have remained an underlying religion of the Korean people as well as a vital aspect of their culture; all these traditions have coexisted peacefully for hundreds of years up to today despite strong Westernisation from Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 missionary conversions in the South or the pressure from Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

's Juche
Juche
Juche or Chuch'e is a Korean word usually translated as "self-reliance." In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea , "Juche" refers specifically to a political thesis of Kim Il-sung, the Juche Idea, that identifies the Korean masses as the masters of the country's development...

 government
Government of North Korea
The North Korean government is the executive branch of the state, according to the Constitution of North Korea. In practice, the highest decisions are made by the National Defence Commission of North Korea which is led by its Chairman Kim Jong-il....

 in the North.

According to 2005 statistics compiled by the South Korean government, about 46% of citizens profess to follow no particular religion. Christians
Christianity in Korea
The practice of Christianity in Korea revolves around two of its largest branches, Protestantism and Catholicism, accounting for 8.6 million and 5.1 million members respectively. Roman Catholicism was first introduced during the late Joseon Dynasty period...

 account for 29.2% of the population (of which are Protestants 18.3% and Catholics 10.9%) and Buddhists
Korean Buddhism
Korean Buddhism is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what it sees as inconsistencies in Mahayana Buddhism. Early Korean monks believed that the traditions they received from foreign countries were internally inconsistent. To address this, they developed a new...

 22.8%.

Islam in South Korea is practiced by about 45,000 natives (about 0.09% of the population) in addition to some 100,000 foreign workers from Muslim countries.

Cuisine



Korean cuisine is probably best known for kimchi
Kimchi
Kimchi , also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, green onions or cucumber. It is the most common...

, a side dish which uses a distinctive fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 process of preserving vegetables, most commonly cabbage. Kimchi is said to relieve the pores on the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and providing nutrients to the skin naturally. It is also healthy, as it provides necessary vitamins and nutrients. Gochujang
Gochujang
Gochujang is a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment. Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in large earthen pots outdoors, more often on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae in the backyard...

 (Korean traditional sauce made of red pepper) is also commonly used, often as pepper (chilli) paste, earning the cuisine a reputation for being spicy.

Bulgogi
Bulgogi
Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated barbecued beef, although chicken or pork may also be used. It is listed at number 23 on World's 50 most delicious foods readers' poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.-Etymology:...

 (roasted marinated meat, usually beef), galbi
Galbi
Galbi or kalbi generally refers to a variety of gui or grilled dishes in Korean cuisine that is made with marinated beef short ribs in a ganjang-based sauce . In the Korean language, galbi literally means "rib" and can often indicate uncooked ribs...

 (marinated grilled short ribs), and samgyeopsal
Samgyeopsal
Samgyeopsal is a popular Korean dish. Commonly served as an evening meal, it consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat . The meat, usually neither marinated nor seasoned, is cooked on a grill at the diners' table...

 (pork belly) are popular meat entrees. Fish is also a popular commodity, as it is the traditional meat that Koreans eat. Meals are usually accompanied by a soup or stew, such as galbitang
Galbitang
Galbitang is a variety of guk, or Korean soup, made primarily from beef short ribs along with stewing beef, daikon, onions, and other ingredients. The short ribs, or "galbi" also refers to grilled short ribs in Korean barbecue while the suffix tang is another name for guk...

 (stewed ribs) and doenjang jjigae
Doenjang jjigae
Doenjang jjigae is a variety of jjigae or stew-like Korean traditional dish, made with doenjang and available ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, or dubu . It is regarded as one of the representative dishes of food in Korea.-External links:* at TasteofKorea.org** at JoongAng Daily...

 (fermented bean paste soup). The center of the table is filled with a shared collection of sidedishes called banchan
Banchan
Banchan refers to small dishes of food served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. This word is used both in the singular and plural....

.

Other popular dishes include bibimbap
Bibimbap
Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed meal." Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul and gochujang . A raw or fried egg and sliced meat are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating...

 which literally means "mixed rice" (rice mixed with meat, vegetables, and red pepper paste) and naengmyeon
Naengmyeon
Naengmyeon is a Korean dish of long and thin hand-made noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients: buckwheat , potatoes, sweet potatoes, 칡냉면, naengmyun made with the starch from arrowroot , and kudzu...

 (cold noodles). A common snack in Korea is kimbab, which is rice mixed with vegetables and meat wrapped with seaweed. While an increasingly wide variety of ingredients are used in kimbap, fish in either raw or cooked form is rarely used, perhaps due to kimbap's origin as a portable, packable snack and fish could quickly spoil if unrefrigerated.

Instant noodles are also a very popular snack food. Koreans also enjoy food from pojangmacha
Pojangmacha
Pojangmacha refers to small tented restaurants on wheels, or street stalls in South Korea which sell a variety of popular street foods such as hotteok, gimbap, tteokbokki, sundae, odeng, and anju . It literally means "covered wagon" in Korean...

s
(street vendors), where one can buy tteokbokki
Tteokbokki
Tteokbokki, also known as Ddeokbokki is a popular Korean snack food which is commonly purchased from street vendors or Pojangmacha. Originally it was called tteok jjim , and was a braised dish of sliced rice cake, meat, eggs, and seasoning. Tteok jjim an early variant of modern tteokbokki, was...

 (rice cake and fish cake with a spicy gochujang sauce), fried squid and glazed sweet potato. Soondae
Sundae (Korean food)
Sundae is a Korean dish made generally by boiling or steaming cow or pig's intestines that are stuffed with various ingredients. It is a kind of blood sausage and believed to have been eaten for a long time...

, a sausage made of cellophane noodles and pork blood, is widely eaten.

Additionally, some of other common snacks includes "chocopie", shrimp cracker, "bbungtigi" (fried rice cracker), and "nu lung ji" (slightly burnt rice). Nu lung ji can be eaten as it is or boiled with water to make a soup. Nu lung ji can be eaten as a snack or a dessert.

Education



The modern Korean school system consists of six years in elementary school, three years in middle school, and three years in high school. Students are required to go to elementary and middle school, and do not have to pay for their education, except for a small fee called a "School Operation Support Fee" that differs from school to school. The Programme for International Student Assessment
Programme for International Student Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment is a worldwide evaluation in OECD member countries of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance, performed first in 2000 and repeated every three years...

, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks South Korea's science education as the third best in the world and being significantly higher than the OECD average.

Korea also ranks second on math and literature and first in problem solving. Although South Korean students often rank high on international comparative tests, the education system is sometimes criticised for its emphasis on passive learning and memorization. The Korean education system is much more strict and structured than the education systems of most Western societies. Also, high cost and dependence on non-school private institutions (Hagwon
Hagwon
Hagwon is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea. The term is also sometimes used to describe similar institutions operated by Korean Americans in the United States...

 (학원)), a for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea, is criticised as a major social problem. After students enter university, however, the situation is markedly reversed.

Science and technology




One of the best known artifacts of Korea's history of science and technology is Cheomseongdae
Cheomseongdae
Cheomseongdae is an astronomical observatory in Gyeongju, South Korea. Cheomseongdae means star-gazing tower in Korean. Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia, and one of the oldest scientific installations on Earth. It dates to the 7th century to the time of kingdom of...

 (첨성대), a 9.4-meter high observatory built in 634.

The earliest known surviving Korean example of woodblock printing is the Mugujeonggwang Great Dharani Sutra. It is believed to have been printed in Korea in 750-751 AD which, if correct, would make it older than the Diamond Sutra
Diamond Sutra
The Diamond Sūtra , is a short and well-known Mahāyāna sūtra from the Prajñāpāramitā, or "Perfection of Wisdom" genre, and emphasizes the practice of non-abiding and non-attachment...

. Goryeo silk was highly regarded by Westerners and Korean pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 made with blue-green celadon
Celadon
Celadon is a term for ceramics denoting both a type of glaze and a ware of a specific color, also called celadon. This type of ware was invented in ancient China, such as in the Zhejiang province...

 was of the highest quality and sought after by even Arabian merchants. Goryeo had a bustling economy with a capital that was frequented by merchants from all over the known world.

During the Joseon
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 period the Geobukseon (turtle Ship
Turtle ship
The Turtle ship, also known as Geobukseon or Kobukson , was a type of large warship belonging to the Panokseon class in Korea that was used intermittently by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century.The first references to older, first...

) was invented, which were covered by a wooden deck and iron with thorns, as well as other weapons such as the bigyeokjincheolloe cannon
Korean cannon
Cannon in Korea were first developed by Choe Mu-seon, for exclusive use by the Goryeo Army. Several types were made and saw successful action during the Mongol invasions of Japan...

 (비격진천뢰) and the hwacha
Hwacha
Hwacha or Hwach'a is the world's first multiple rocket launcher developed and used in Joseon Korea. It had the ability to fire up to 100 steel-tipped rockets, or 200 Singijeon flaming arrow projectiles from a range of 500 yards in multiple salvos...

.

The Korean alphabet hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

 was also invented during this time by King Sejong the Great
Sejong the Great of Joseon
Sejong the Great was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. During his regency, he reinforced Korean Confucian policies and executed major legal amendments . He also used the creation of Hangul and the advancement of technology to expand his territory...

.

Sport



While association football remains one of the most popular sports in Korea, the martial art of taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

 is still considered to be the national traditional sport. Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 is also increasing in popularity.

Taekwondo



Taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

 is the national sport of Korea and one of the country's most famous sports. According to ancient Korean history, soldiers learned taekwondo as a principal source of physical training. It combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise and in some cases meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo has become an official Olympic sport, starting as a demonstration event in 1988 and becoming an official medal event in 2000.

Hapkido



Hapkido is a Korean martial art
Korean martial arts
Korean martial arts are the martial arts that originated from Korea. Some well known Korean martial arts are hapkido, kuk sool won, and taekwondo. There has also been a revival of Korean sword arts as well as knife fighting and archery...

 similar to Jujutsu
Jujutsu
Jujutsu , also known as jujitsu, ju-jitsu, or Japanese jiu-jitsu, is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon....

 that employs joint locks, throws, kicks, punches and other striking attacks like attacks against pressure points. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the pure use of strength against strength.

Ssireum



Ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

 is a form of wrestling that has been practiced in Korea for thousands of years, with evidence discovered from the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC to 688). Ssireum is the traditional national sport of Korea. During a match, opponents grip each other by sash belts wrapped around the waist and the thigh, attempting to throw their competitor to the sandy ground of the ring. The first opponent to touch the ground with any body part above the knee or to lose hold of their opponent loses the round.

Ssireum competitions are traditionally held twice a year, during the Tano Festival (the 5th day of the fifth lunar month) and Chuseok
Chuseok
Chuseok , originally known as Hangawi , is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Like many other harvest festivals, it is held around the Autumn Equinox...

 (the 15th day of the 8th lunar month). Competitions are also held throughout the year as a part of festivals and other events.

See also


  • Famous Korean people
  • Inter-Korean Summit
    Inter-Korean Summit
    Inter-Korean Summits are meetings between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea. There have been two major meetings in the last decade, the first in 2000 and the second in 2007. The importance of these summits lies in the lack of formal communication between North and South Korea, which...

  • Korean name
    Korean name
    A Korean name consists of a family name followed by a given name, as used by the Korean people in both North Korea and South Korea. In the Korean language, 'ireum' or 'seong-myeong' usually refers to the family name and given name together...

  • List of rulers of Korea
  • National treasures of North Korea
    National treasures of North Korea
    Designated national treasures of North Korea are tangible artifacts, sites, and buildings deemed to have significant historical or artistic value.-No. 1-50:-No. 51-100:-No. 101-150:-No...

  • National treasures of South Korea
    National treasures of South Korea
    The National Treasures of Korea are a numbered set of tangible treasures, artifacts, sites, and buildings which are recognized by South Korea as having exceptional artistic, cultural and historical value...



Further reading

  • Chun, Tuk Chu. "Korea in the Pacific Community". Social Education 52 (March 1988), 182. EJ 368 177.
  • Cumings, Bruce
    Bruce Cumings
    Bruce Cumings is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago and the chairperson of the history department...

    . The Two Koreas. New York: Foreign Policy Association, 1984.
  • Focus On Asian Studies. Special Issue: "Korea: A Teacher's Guide". No. 1, Fall 1986.
  • Gi-Wook Shin/Michael Robinson (Ed.). Colonial modernity in Korea, Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.]: Harvard University, Asia Center; Distributed by Harvard Univ. Press 1999. ISBN 0-674-14255-1.
  • Hart, Dennis. From Tradition to Consumption: Construction of a Capitalist Culture in South Korea. Seoul: Jimoondang Pub., 2003.
  • Joe, W.J. & Choe, H.A. Traditional Korea: A Cultural History, Seoul: Hollym, 1997.
  • Joungwon, A.K. Divided Korea: The Politics of Development, Harvard University Press, 1975.
  • Lee Ki-baik. A New History of Korea. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984.
  • Lee Sang-sup. "The Arts and Literature of Korea". The Social Studies 79 (July–August 1988): 153–60. EJ 376 894.
  • Tae-Jin, Y. "The Illegality of the Forced Treaties Leading to Japan's Annexation of the Great Han Empire", In the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1996.
  • The Gloucestershire Regiment and The Battle of the Imjin River, Korean War
  • Briefing note for OECD Health Data 2009: How Does Korea Compare: Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development. (2009).

External links



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