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Country Korea



Korea

Peninsula in E Asia, with the Yellow Sea on the W, the Sea of Japan on the E, Korea Strait on the S, and China on the N. The peninsula is occupied by two nations: in the north by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, usually called North Korea; and the Republic of Korea in the south, called South Korea. The people of this mostly mountainous region speak a Ural Altaic language and are a distinct ethnic and cultural group. However, Japanese and Chinese influences have been strong, and Korea’s recorded history begins with the establishment of a Chinese colony at Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea, in the 12th century b.c. The first native Korean state, Koguryu, was founded in the north in the first century a.d. Two kingdoms arose in the south, Paekche c. a.d. 250 and Silla approximately 100 years later. Silla conquered the others in the seventh century and unified the peninsula. The Koryo dynasty took power in 935, and in 1231 the Mongols invaded from China and allied with the Koryo. Yi Songgye overthrew this rule in 1392, and the Yi dynasty ruled until 1910, establishing Seoul, now the capital of South Korea.

A Japanese invasion in 1592 was repelled, but in 1637 Korea was made a vassal state of the Manchu dynasty of China. Korea was so isolated from the rest of the world that it became known as the Hermit Kingdom until 1876, when Japan forced a commercial treaty on it. By 1905 Korea was virtually a Japanese protectorate and in 1910 was formally annexed. After the defeat of Japan in World War II Korea was freed, but Soviet refusal to cooperate in elections resulted in the artificial division of the peninsula at 38° N latitude. The two separate nations were established in 1948. Without warning North Korea attacked the South on June 25, 1950. The United States came to South Korea’s defense, with UN approval and aid; and a bitter war, which China entered on North Korea’s side in November 1950, went on until July 17, 1953, when an armistice was signed. A new dividing line, differing somewhat from the earlier one, was agreed on, and an uneasy peace between the two nations has continued.

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Korea: Top Cities

Dili 150,000 Distrito Dili 125.57 x -8.56 Asia/Dili