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Korea
Korea
(/kəˈriːə/) is a historical region in East Asia; since 1945, it has been divided into two distinct sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea") and South Korea
Korea
(officially the "Republic of Korea"). Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea
Korea
is bordered by China
China
to the northwest and Russia
Russia
to the northeast. It is separated from Japan
Japan
to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan
Japan
(East Sea). Korea
Korea
emerged as a singular political entity in 676 AD, after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which were unified as Unified Silla
Unified Silla
to the south and Balhae
Balhae
to the north. Unified Silla
Silla
divided into three separate states during the Later Three Kingdoms period. Goryeo, which had succeeded Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and united the Korean Peninsula. Around the same time, Balhae
Balhae
collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo. Goryeo
Goryeo
(also spelled as Koryŏ), whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a highly cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234.[4][5][6][7][8][9] However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, which eventually agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following the Yuan Dynasty's collapse, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo
Goryeo
eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon
Joseon
in 1392. The first 200 years of Joseon
Joseon
were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great
Sejong the Great
in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the later part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan
Japan
in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan
Japan
until the end of World War II
World War II
in August 1945. In 1945, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the United States
United States
agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea
Korea
in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea
Korea
partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U.S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea
Korea
by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their incapability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea
North Korea
(formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea
South Korea
(formally the Republic of Korea). Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War
Korean War
in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty. This status contributes to the high tensions that continue to divide the peninsula. To date, each country contends it is the sole legitimate government of all of Korea; they each refuse to recognize the other as legitimate.[citation needed]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Prehistory and Gojoseon 2.2 Proto–Three Kingdoms 2.3 Three Kingdoms 2.4 North-South States Period 2.5 Goryeo
Goryeo
dynasty 2.6 Joseon
Joseon
dynasty 2.7 Korean Empire 2.8 Japanese occupation and Japan- Korea
Korea
Annexation 2.9 Division 2.10 Korean War

3 Geography 4 Wildlife 5 Demographics

5.1 Language

6 Culture and arts

6.1 Literature 6.2 Music 6.3 Religion 6.4 Cuisine 6.5 Television

7 Education 8 Science and technology 9 Sport

9.1 Taekwondo 9.2 Hapkido 9.3 Ssireum

10 Notable public holidays in South Korea

10.1 Independence Movement Day, March 1st 10.2 Memorial day, June 6th 10.3 National Liberation Day, August 15th 10.4 Hangul
Hangul
Day, October 9th

11 See also 12 Notes 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

Etymology Main article: Names of Korea See also: Korean romanization "Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.[citation needed] Korea
Korea
was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo,[10] based on the kingdom of Goryeo (Hangul: 고려; Hanja: 高麗; MR: Koryŏ), which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time. Korea's introduction to the West resulted from trade and contact with merchants from Arabic lands,[11] with some records dating back as far as the 9th century.[12] Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which was officially known as Goryeo
Goryeo
beginning in the 5th century.[13] The original name was a combination of the adjective go ("high, lofty") with the name of a local Yemaek tribe, whose original name is thought to have been either *Guru (溝樓, "walled city," inferred from some toponyms in Chinese historical documents) or *Gauri (가우리, "center"). With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea
Korea
in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and gradually grew in popularity; its use in transcribing East Asian languages avoids the issues caused by the separate hard and soft Cs existing in English vocabulary derived from the Romance languages. The name Korea
Korea
is now commonly used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea
Korea
as a whole is referred to as Hanguk (한국, [haːnɡuk], lit. "country of the Han"). The name references the Samhan—Ma, Jin, and Byeon—who preceded the Three Kingdoms in the southern and central end of the peninsula during the 1st centuries BC and AD. Although written in Hanja
Hanja
as 韓, 幹, or 刊, this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a phonetic transcription (OC: *Gar, MC Han[14] or Gan) of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great", particularly in reference to leaders. It has been tentatively linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Manchuria
Manchuria
and Central Asia. In North Korea, China, Vietnam
Vietnam
and Japan, Korea
Korea
as a whole is referred to as (조선, Joseon, [tɕosʰʌn], (朝鲜), Jīusīn, Cháoxiǎn, (朝鮮), Chōsen, Triều Tiên (朝鮮) lit. "[land of the] Morning Calm"). "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon
Joseon
dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire
Korean Empire
in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier Kojoseon (고조선), who ruled northern Korea
Korea
from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 BC by China's Han Empire. This go is the Hanja
Hanja
古 and simply means "ancient" or "old"; it is a modern usage to distinguish the ancient Joseon
Joseon
from the later dynasty. Joseon
Joseon
itself is the modern Korean pronunciation of the Hanja 朝鮮 but it is unclear whether this was a transcription of a native Korean name
Korean name
(OC *T[r]awser, MC Trjewsjen[14]) or a partial translation into Chinese of the Korean capital Asadal (아사달), [15] whose meaning has been reconstructed as "Morning Land" or "Mountain". History Main article: History of Korea See also: History of North Korea
North Korea
and History of South Korea

Part of a series on the

History of Korea

Prehistory

Jeulmun Mumun

Ancient

Gojoseon  ?–108 BC

Jin state

Proto–Three Kingdoms

Buyeo Goguryeo Okjeo Dongye Samhan

Ma Byeon Jin

Four Commanderies of Han

Three Kingdoms

Goguryeo 37 BC – 668 AD

Baekje 18 BC – 660 AD

Silla 57 BC – 935 AD

Gaya confederacy 42–562

North–South States

Later Silla
Silla
(Unified Silla) 668–935

Balhae 698–926

Later Three Kingdoms

Later Baekje 892–936

Taebong
Taebong
(Later Goguryeo) 901–918

Later Silla 668–935

Unitary dynastic period

Goryeo 918–1392

Joseon 1392–1897

Korean Empire 1897–1910

Colonial period

Japanese rule 1910–1945

Provisional Government 1919–1948

Division of Korea

Military Governments 1945–1948

North Korea 1948–present

South Korea 1948–present

By topic

Art Language Military (Goguryeo) Monarchs Naval Science and technology

Timeline

Korea
Korea
portal

v t e

Prehistory and Gojoseon Main articles: Prehistoric Korea
Prehistoric Korea
and Gojoseon The Korean Academy claimed 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.[16] The best preserved Korean pottery goes back to the paleolithic times around 10,000 BC and the Neolithic
Neolithic
period begins around 6000 BC. According to legend, Dangun, a descendant of Heaven, established Gojoseon
Gojoseon
in 2333 BC. In 108 BC, the Han dynasty
Han dynasty
defeated Gojoseon and installed four commanderies in the northern Korean peninsula. Three of the commanderies fell or retreated westward within a few decades, but the Lelang commandery
Lelang commandery
remained as a center of cultural and economic exchange with successive Chinese dynasties for four centuries. By 313, Goguryeo
Goguryeo
annexed all of the Chinese commanderies. Proto–Three Kingdoms Main article: Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea The Proto–Three Kingdoms period, sometimes called the Multiple States Period, is the earlier part of what is commonly called the Three Kingdoms Period, following the fall of Gojoseon
Gojoseon
but before Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla
Silla
fully developed into kingdoms. This time period saw numerous states spring up from the former territories of Gojoseon, which encompassed northern Korea
Korea
and southern Manchuria. With the fall of Gojoseon, southern Korea
Korea
entered the Samhan
Samhan
period. Located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, Samhan
Samhan
refers to the three confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan. Mahan was the largest and consisted of 54 states. Byeonhan
Byeonhan
and Jinhan
Jinhan
both consisted of twelve states, bringing a total of 78 states within the Samhan. These three confederacies eventually developed into Baekje, Silla, and Gaya. Three Kingdoms Main articles: Three Kingdoms of Korea, Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla

7th century Tang dynasty
Tang dynasty
painting of envoys from the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla

The Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
consisted of Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje. Silla
Silla
and Baekje
Baekje
controlled the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining the former Samhan
Samhan
territories, while Goguryeo
Goguryeo
controlled the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria
Manchuria
and the Liaodong Peninsula, uniting Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongye, and other states in the former Gojoseon
Gojoseon
territories.[17] Goguryeo
Goguryeo
was a highly militaristic state;[18][19] it was a powerful empire and one of the great powers in East Asia,[20][21][22][23] reaching its zenith in the 5th century when its territories expanded to encompass most of Manchuria
Manchuria
to the north, parts of Inner Mongolia to the west,[24] parts of Russia
Russia
to the east,[25] and the Seoul
Seoul
region to the south.[26] Goguryeo
Goguryeo
experienced a golden age under Gwanggaeto the Great and his son Jangsu,[27][28][29][30] who both subdued Baekje and Silla
Silla
during their times, achieving a brief unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
and becoming the most dominant power on the Korean Peninsula.[31][32] In addition to contesting for control of the Korean Peninsula, Goguryeo
Goguryeo
had many military conflicts with various Chinese dynasties,[33] most notably the Goguryeo-Sui War, in which Goguryeo
Goguryeo
defeated a huge force said to number over a million men.[34][35][36][37][38] In 642, the powerful general Yeon Gaesomun led a coup and gained complete control over Goguryeo. In response, Emperor Tang Taizong
Tang Taizong
of China
China
led a campaign against Goguryeo, but was defeated and retreated.[39][40] After the death of Tang Taizong, his son Emperor Tang Gaozong
Tang Gaozong
allied with the Korean kingdom of Silla
Silla
and invaded Goguryeo
Goguryeo
again, but was unable to overcome Goguryeo's stalwart defenses and was defeated in 662.[41][42] However, Yeon Gaesomun died of a natural cause in 666 and Goguryeo
Goguryeo
was thrown into chaos and weakened by a succession struggle among his sons and younger brother, with his eldest son defecting to Tang and his younger brother defecting to Silla.[43][44] The Tang- Silla
Silla
alliance finally conquered Goguryeo
Goguryeo
in 668. After the collapse of Goguryeo, Tang and Silla
Silla
ended their alliance and fought over control of the Korean Peninsula. Silla succeeded in gaining control over most of the Korean Peninsula, while Tang gained control over Goguryeo's northern territories. However, 30 years after the fall of Goguryeo, a Goguryeo
Goguryeo
general by the name of Dae Joyeong
Dae Joyeong
founded the Korean-Mohe state of Balhae
Balhae
and successfully expelled the Tang presence from much of the former Goguryeo territories.

Seokguram Grotto
Seokguram Grotto
from the Silla
Silla
era, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The southwestern Korean kingdom of Baekje
Baekje
was founded around modern-day Seoul
Seoul
by a Goguryeo
Goguryeo
prince, a son of the founder of Goguryeo.[45][46][47] Baekje
Baekje
absorbed all of the Mahan states and subjugated most of the western Korean peninsula (including the modern provinces of Gyeonggi, Chungcheong, and Jeolla, as well as parts of Hwanghae
Hwanghae
and Gangwon) to a centralised government; during the expansion of its territory, Baekje
Baekje
acquired Chinese culture and technology through maritime contacts with the Southern Dynasties. Baekje
Baekje
was a great maritime power;[48] its nautical skill, which made it the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
of East Asia, was instrumental in the dissemination of Buddhism
Buddhism
throughout East Asia
East Asia
and continental culture to Japan.[49][50] Historic evidence suggests that Japanese culture, art, and language were influenced by the kingdom of Baekje
Baekje
and Korea itself;[23][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61] Baekje
Baekje
also played an important role in transmitting advanced Chinese culture to the Japanese archipelago. Baekje
Baekje
was once a great military power on the Korean Peninsula, most notably in the 4th century during the rule of Geunchogo when its influence extended across the sea to Liaoxi
Liaoxi
and Shandong
Shandong
in China, taking advantage of the weakened state of Former Qin, and Kyushu
Kyushu
in the Japanese archipelago;[62] however, Baekje
Baekje
was critically defeated by Gwanggaeto the Great
Gwanggaeto the Great
and declined.[63][self-published source] Although later records claim that Silla
Silla
was the oldest of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, it is now believed to have been the last kingdom to develop. By the 2nd century, Silla
Silla
existed as a large state in the southeast, occupying and influencing its neighboring city-states. In 562, Silla
Silla
annexed the Gaya confederacy
Gaya confederacy
which was located between Baekje
Baekje
and Silla. The Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
often warred with each other and Silla
Silla
was often dominated by Baekje
Baekje
and Goguryeo. Silla
Silla
was the smallest and weakest of the three, but it used cunning diplomatic means to make opportunistic pacts and alliances with the more powerful Korean kingdoms, and eventually Tang China, to its great advantage.[64][65] In 660, King Muyeol ordered his armies to attack Baekje. General Kim Yu-shin, aided by Tang forces, conquered Baekje after defeating General Gyebaek at the Battle of Hwangsanbeol. In 661, Silla
Silla
and Tang attacked Goguryeo
Goguryeo
but were repelled. King Munmu, son of Muyeol and nephew of General Kim Yu-shin, launched another campaign in 667 and Goguryeo
Goguryeo
fell in the following year. North-South States Period Main articles: North South States Period, Later Silla, and Balhae Beginning in the 6th century, Silla's power gradually extended across the Korean Peninsula. Silla
Silla
first annexed the adjacent Gaya confederacy in 562. By the 640s, Silla
Silla
formed an alliance with the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
of China
China
to conquer Baekje
Baekje
and later Goguryeo. After conquering Baekje
Baekje
and Goguryeo, Silla
Silla
repulsed Tang China
China
from the Korean peninsula in 676. Even though Silla
Silla
unified most of the Korean Peninsula, most of the Goguryeo
Goguryeo
territories to the north of the Korean Peninsula were ruled by Balhae. Former Goguryeo
Goguryeo
general Dae Jo-yeong led a group of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
and Mohe refugees to the Jilin
Jilin
and founded the kingdom of Balhae, 30 years after the collapse of Goguryeo, as the successor to Goguryeo. At its height, Balhae's territories extended from southern Manchuria
Manchuria
down to the northern Korean peninsula. Balhae was called the "Prosperous Country in the East".[66] Later Silla
Silla
carried on the maritime prowess of Baekje, which acted like the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
of medieval East Asia,[67] and during the 8th and 9th centuries dominated the seas of East Asia
East Asia
and the trade between China, Korea
Korea
and Japan, most notably during the time of Jang Bogo; in addition, Silla
Silla
people made overseas communities in China
China
on the Shandong
Shandong
Peninsula and the mouth of the Yangtze River.[68][69][70][71] Later Silla
Silla
was a prosperous and wealthy country,[72] and its metropolitan capital of Gyeongju[73] was the fourth largest city in the world.[74][75][76][77] Later Silla
Silla
was a golden age of art and culture,[78][79][80][81] as evidenced by the Hwangnyongsa, Seokguram, and Emille Bell. Buddhism
Buddhism
flourished during this time, and many Korean Buddhists gained great fame among Chinese Buddhists[82] and contributed to Chinese Buddhism,[83] including: Woncheuk, Wonhyo, Uisang, Musang,[84][85][86][87] and Kim Gyo-gak, a Silla
Silla
prince whose influence made Mount Jiuhua
Mount Jiuhua
one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Chinese Buddhism.[88][89][90][91][92] Later Silla
Silla
fell apart in the late 9th century, giving way to the tumultuous Later Three Kingdoms period
Later Three Kingdoms period
(892–935), and Balhae
Balhae
was destroyed by the Khitans in 926. Goryeo
Goryeo
unified the Later Three Kingdoms and received the last crown prince and much of the ruling class of Balhae, thus bringing about a unification of the two successor nations of Goguryeo.[93] Goryeo
Goryeo
dynasty Main article: Goryeo Goryeo
Goryeo
was founded in 918 and replaced Silla
Silla
as the ruling dynasty of Korea. Goryeo's land was at first what is now South Korea
South Korea
and about 1/3 of North Korea, but later on managed to recover most of the Korean peninsula. Momentarily, Goryeo
Goryeo
advanced to parts of Jiandao
Jiandao
while conquering the Jurchens, but returned the territories due to the harsh climate and difficulties in defending them. The name "Goryeo" (高麗) is a short form of "Goguryeo" (高句麗) and was first used during the time of King Jangsu. Goryeo
Goryeo
regarded itself as the successor of Goguryeo, hence its name and efforts to recover the former territories of Goguryeo.[94][95][96][97] Wang Geon, the founder of Goryeo, was of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
descent and traced his ancestry to a noble Goguryeo
Goguryeo
clan.[98] He made Kaesong, his hometown, the capital. During this period, laws were codified and a civil service system was introduced. Buddhism
Buddhism
flourished and spread throughout the peninsula. The development of celadon industries flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. The publication of the Tripitaka Koreana
Tripitaka Koreana
onto more than 80,000 wooden blocks and the invention of the world's first metal movable type in the 13th century attest to Goryeo's cultural achievements.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Goryeo
Goryeo
had to defend frequently against attacks by nomadic empires, especially the Khitans and the Mongols. Goryeo
Goryeo
had a hostile relationship with the Khitans, because the Khitan Empire
Khitan Empire
had destroyed Balhae, also a successor state of Goguryeo. In 993, the Khitans, who had established the Liao dynasty
Liao dynasty
in 907, invaded Goryeo, demanding that it make amity with them. Goryeo
Goryeo
sent the diplomat Seo Hui to negotiate, who successfully persuaded the Khitans to let Goryeo
Goryeo
expand to the banks of the Amnok River, citing that in the past the land belonged to Goguryeo, the predecessor of Goryeo.[99] During the Goryeo–Khitan War, the Khitan Empire
Khitan Empire
invaded Korea
Korea
twice more in 1009 and 1018, but was defeated. After defeating the Khitan Empire, which was the most powerful empire of its time,[100][101] Goryeo
Goryeo
experienced a golden age that lasted a century, during which the Tripitaka Koreana
Tripitaka Koreana
was completed, and there were great developments in printing and publishing, promoting learning and dispersing knowledge on philosophy, literature, religion, and science; by 1100, there were 12 universities that produced famous scholars and scientists.[102][103] Goryeo
Goryeo
was invaded by the Mongols
Mongols
in seven major campaigns from the 1230s until the 1270s, but was never conquered.[104] Exhausted after decades of fighting, Goryeo
Goryeo
sent its crown prince to the Yuan capital to swear allegiance to the Mongols; Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
accepted, and married one of his daughters to the Korean crown prince,[104] and the dynastic line of Goryeo
Goryeo
continued to survive under the overlordship of the Mongol Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
as a semi-autonomous vassal state and compulsory ally. The two nations became intertwined for 80 years as all subsequent Korean kings married Mongol princesses,[104] and the last empress of the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
was a Korean princess.[105][self-published source] In the 1350s, King Gongmin was free at last to reform the Goryeo government when the Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
began to crumble. 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
Confucian
scholars. During this tumultuous period, Goryeo
Goryeo
momentarily conquered Liaoyang
Liaoyang
in 1356, repulsed two large invasions by the Red Turbans in 1359 and 1360, and defeated the final attempt by the Yuan to dominate Goryeo
Goryeo
when General Choe Yeong
Choe Yeong
defeated a Mongol tumen in 1364. During the 1380s, Goryeo
Goryeo
turned its attention to the Wokou threat and used naval artillery created by Choe Museon to annihilate hundreds of pirate ships. Joseon
Joseon
dynasty Main article: Joseon

Gyeongbokgung
Gyeongbokgung
Palace

Donggwoldo

In 1392, the general Yi Seong-gye
Yi Seong-gye
overthrew the Goryeo
Goryeo
dynasty after he staged a coup and defeated General Choe Yeong. Yi Seong-gye
Yi Seong-gye
named his new dynasty Joseon
Joseon
and moved the capital from Kaesong
Kaesong
to Hanseong (formerly Hanyang; modern-day Seoul) and built the Gyeongbokgung palace.[106] In 1394, he adopted Confucianism
Confucianism
as the country's official ideology, resulting in much loss of power and wealth by the Buddhists. The prevailing philosophy of the Joseon
Joseon
dynasty was Neo-Confucianism, which was epitomized by the seonbi class, scholars who passed up positions of wealth and power to lead lives of study and integrity. Joseon
Joseon
was a nominal tributary state of China
China
but exercised full sovereignty,[107][108] and maintained the highest position among China's tributary states,[109][110] which also included countries such as the Ryukyu Kingdom, Vietnam, Burma, Brunei, Laos, Thailand,[111][112][113] Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, among others.[114][115] In addition, Joseon
Joseon
received tribute from Jurchens and Japanese until the 17th century,[116][117][118] and had a small enclave in the Ryukyu Kingdom
Ryukyu Kingdom
that engaged in trade with Siam and Java.[119] During the 15th and 16th centuries, Joseon
Joseon
enjoyed many benevolent rulers who promoted education and science.[120] Most notable among them was Sejong the Great
Sejong the Great
(r. 1418–50), who personally created and promulgated Hangul, the Korean alphabet.[121] This golden age[120] saw great cultural and scientific advancements,[122] including in printing, meteorological observation, astronomy, calendar science, ceramics, military technology, geography, cartography, medicine, and agricultural technology, some of which were unrivaled elsewhere.[123] Joseon
Joseon
implemented a class system that consisted of yangban the noble class, jungin the middle class, yangin the common class, and cheonin the lowest class, which included occupations such as butchers, tanners, shamans, entertainers, and nobi, the equivalent of slaves, bondservants, or serfs.[124][125] In 1592 and again in 1597, the Japanese invaded Korea; the Korean military at the time was unprepared and untrained, due to two centuries of peace on the Korean Peninsula.[126] Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended to conquer China
China
and India[127] through the Korean Peninsula, but was defeated by strong resistance from the Righteous Army, the naval superiority of Admiral Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-sin
and his turtle ships, and assistance from Wanli Emperor
Wanli Emperor
of Ming China. However, Joseon experienced great destruction, including a tremendous loss of cultural sites such as temples and palaces to Japanese pillaging, and the Japanese brought back to Japan
Japan
an estimated 100,000–200,000 noses cut from Korean victims.[128] Less than 30 years after the Japanese invasions, the Manchus
Manchus
took advantage of Joseon's war-weakened state and invaded in 1627 and 1637, and then went on to conquer the destabilized Ming dynasty. After normalizing relations with the new Qing dynasty, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. Kings Yeongjo and Jeongjo led a new renaissance of the Joseon
Joseon
dynasty during the 18th century.[129][130] In the 19th century, the royal in-law families gained control of the government, leading to mass corruption and weakening of the state, with severe poverty and peasant rebellions spreading throughout the country. Furthermore, the Joseon
Joseon
government adopted a strict isolationist policy, earning the nickname "the hermit kingdom", but ultimately failed to protect itself against imperialism and was forced to open its borders, beginning an era leading into Japanese imperial rule. Korean Empire Main article: Korean Empire

The earliest surviving depiction of the Korean flag was printed in a US Navy book Flags of Maritime Nations in July 1889.

Beginning in 1871, Japan
Japan
began to exert more influence in Korea, forcing it out of China's traditional sphere of influence. As a result of the Sino-Japanese War
War
(1894–95), the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
had to give up such a position according to Article 1 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which was concluded between China
China
and Japan
Japan
in 1895. That same year, Empress Myeongseong
Empress Myeongseong
of Korea
Korea
was assassinated by Japanese agents.[131] In 1897, the Joseon
Joseon
dynasty proclaimed the Korean Empire (1897–1910). King Gojong became an emperor. During this brief period, Korea
Korea
had some success in modernizing the military, economy, real property laws, education system, and various industries. Russia, Japan, France, and the United States
United States
all invested in the country and sought to influence it politically. In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
pushed the Russians out of the fight for Korea. In Manchuria
Manchuria
on 26 October 1909, An Jung-geun
An Jung-geun
assassinated the former Resident-General of Korea, Itō Hirobumi, for his role in trying to force Korea
Korea
into occupation. Japanese occupation and Japan- Korea
Korea
Annexation Main article: Korea
Korea
under Japanese rule See also: Japanese war crimes

The memorial tablet for the March 1st movement
March 1st movement
in Pagoda Park, Seoul

In 1910, an already militarily occupied Korea
Korea
was a forced party to the Japan- Korea
Korea
Annexation Treaty. The treaty was signed by Lee Wan-Yong, 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.[132] 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[133][134][135] was manifested in the nonviolent March 1st Movement
March 1st Movement
of 1919, during which 7,000 demonstrators were killed by Japanese police and military.[136] The Korean liberation movement also spread to neighbouring Manchuria and Siberia. Over five million Koreans
Koreans
were conscripted for labour beginning in 1939,[137] and tens of thousands of men were forced into Japan's military.[138] Nearly 400,000 Korean labourers died.[139] Approximately 200,000 girls and women,[140] mostly from China
China
and Korea, were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military.[141] In 1993, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono
Yohei Kono
acknowledged the terrible injustices faced by these euphemistically named "comfort women".[142][143] During the Japanese annexation, the Korean language
Korean language
was suppressed in an effort to eradicate Korean national identity. Koreans
Koreans
were forced to take Japanese surnames, known as Sōshi-kaimei.[144] Traditional Korean culture
Korean culture
suffered heavy losses, as numerous Korean cultural artifacts were destroyed[145] or taken to Japan.[146] To this day, valuable Korean artifacts can often be found in Japanese museums or among private collections.[147] One investigation by the South Korean government identified 75,311 cultural assets that were taken from Korea, 34,369 in Japan
Japan
and 17,803 in the United States. However, experts estimate that over 100,000 artifacts actually remain in Japan.[146][148] Japanese officials considered returning Korean cultural properties, but to date[146] this has not occurred.[148] Korea
Korea
and Japan
Japan
still dispute the ownership of the Dokdo, islets located east of the Korean Peninsula.[149] There was a significant level of emigration to the overseas territories of the Empire of Japan
Japan
during the Japanese occupation period, including Korea.[150] By the end of World War
War
II, there were over 850,000 Japanese settlers in Korea.[151] After World War
War
II, most of these overseas Japanese repatriated to Japan. Division Main articles: Division of Korea, Korean conflict, and Korean reunification

Flag of North Korea

Flag of South Korea

In 1945, with the surrender of Japan, the United Nations
United Nations
developed plans for a trusteeship administration, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
administering the peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the United States administering the south. The politics of the Cold War
Cold War
resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate governments, North Korea
North Korea
and South Korea. The aftermath of World War II
World War II
left Korea
Korea
partitioned along the 38th parallel, with the north under Soviet occupation and the south under US occupation supported by other allied states. Consequently, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a Soviet-style socialist republic, was established in the north while the Republic of Korea, a Western-style regime, was established in the South. Since the 1960s, the South Korean economy has grown enormously and the economic structure was radically transformed. In 1957, South Korea
South Korea
had a lower per capita GDP
GDP
than Ghana,[152] and by 2008 it was 17 times as high as Ghana's.[a] North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a one-party state, now centred on Kim Il-sung's Juche
Juche
ideology, with a centrally planned industrial economy. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a multi-party state with a capitalist market economy, alongside membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Group of Twenty. The two states have greatly diverged both culturally and economically since their partition, though they still share a common traditional culture and pre- Cold War
Cold War
history. According to R.J. Rummel, forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in North Korea
North Korea
from 1948 to 1987;[154] others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone.[155] Estimates based on the most recent North Korean census suggest that 240,000 to 420,000 people died as a result of the 1990s famine and that there were 600,000 to 850,000 unnatural deaths in North Korea
North Korea
from 1993 to 2008.[156] Korean War Main article: Korean War

Urban combat in Seoul, 1950, as US Marines fight North Koreans
Koreans
holding the city.

The Korean War
Korean War
broke out when Soviet-backed North Korea
North Korea
invaded South Korea, though neither side gained much territory as a result. The Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
remained divided, the Korean Demilitarized Zone
Korean Demilitarized Zone
being the de facto border between the two states. In June 1950 North Korea
North Korea
invaded the South, using Soviet tanks and weaponry. During the Korean War
Korean War
(1950–53) more than 1.2 million people died and the three years of fighting throughout the nation effectively destroyed most cities.[157] The war ended in an Armistice Agreement at approximately the Military Demarcation Line. Geography Main article: Geography of Korea See also: Geography of North Korea, Geography of South Korea, and Provinces of Korea

A neighborhood in North Gyeongsang Province

A view of Mount Seorak

Daedongyeojijeondo, a map of Korea

Jeju Island
Jeju Island
seashore

Korea
Korea
is located on the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
in East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River separates Korea
Korea
from China
China
and to the northeast, the Duman River separates Korea
Korea
from China
China
and Russia. The peninsula is surrounded by the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
to the west, the East China Sea and Korea Strait
Korea Strait
to the south, and the East Sea (Sea of Japan) .[158] Notable islands include Jeju Island, Ulleung Island, 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
Korea
is Mount Paektu
Mount Paektu
(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
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. Some significant mountains include Mount Sobaek or Sobaeksan (1,439 m), Mount Kumgang
Mount Kumgang
(1,638 m), Mount Seorak (1,708 m), Mount Taebaek (1,567 m), and Mount Jiri (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
Korea
were formed by volcanic activity in the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
orogeny. Jeju Island, situated off the southern coast, is a large volcanic island whose main mountain Mount Halla
Mount Halla
or Hallasan (1950 m) is the highest in South Korea. Ulleung Island
Ulleung Island
is a volcanic island in the East Sea, 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 tend to flow westwards. Two exceptions are the southward-flowing Nakdong River
Nakdong River
and Seomjin River. Important rivers running westward include the Amnok River, the Chongchon River, the Taedong River, the Han River, the Geum River, and the Yeongsan River. These rivers have vast flood plains and provide an ideal environment for wet-rice cultivation. The southern and southwestern coastlines of Korea
Korea
form a well-developed ria 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, 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. Wildlife Main article: Wildlife of Korea Animal life of Korea
Korea
includes a considerable number of bird species and native freshwater fish. Native or endemic species of the Korean Peninsula include Korean hare, Korean water deer, Korean field mouse, Korean brown frog, Korean pine
Korean pine
and Korean spruce. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with its forest and natural wetlands is a unique biodiversity spot, which harbours eighty two endangered species. There are also approximately 3,034 species of vascular plants. Demographics Main articles: Koreans, Demographics of South Korea, and Demographics of North Korea The combined population of the Koreans
Koreans
is about 76 million (North Korea: 25 million, South Korea: 51 million). Korea
Korea
is chiefly populated by a highly homogeneous ethnic group, the Koreans, who speak the Korean language.[159] The number of foreigners living in Korea
Korea
has also steadily increased since the late 20th century, particularly in South Korea, where more than 1 million foreigners reside.[160] It was estimated in 2006 that only 26,700 of the old Chinese community now remain in South Korea.[161] However, in recent years, immigration from mainland China
China
has increased; 624,994 persons of Chinese nationality have immigrated to South Korea, including 443,566 of ethnic Korean descent.[162] Small communities of ethnic Chinese and Japanese are also found in North Korea.[163] Language Main articles: Korean language
Korean language
and Korean Sign Language

Hunminjeongeum, afterwards called Hangul.

Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea, and (along with Mandarin) of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture
in the Manchuria
Manchuria
area of China. Worldwide, there are up to 80 million speakers of the Korean language. South Korea
South Korea
has around 50 million speakers while North Korea
North Korea
around 25 million. Other large groups of Korean speakers through Korean diaspora
Korean diaspora
are found in China, the United States, Japan, former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and elsewhere. The classification of Korean is debated. Some linguists place it in the Altaic language family; others consider it to be a language isolate. Korean is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax. Like Japanese and Vietnamese, Korean has borrowed much vocabulary from the Chinese or created vocabulary on Chinese models. Modern Korean is written almost exclusively in the script of the Korean alphabet (known as Hangul
Hangul
in South Korea
South Korea
and Chosungul in China and North Korea), which was invented in the 15th century. Korean is sometimes written with the addition of some Chinese characters called Hanja; however, this is only occasionally seen nowadays. While Hangul may appear logographic, it is actually a phonemic alphabet organised into syllabic blocks. Each block consists of at least two of the 24 hangul letters (jamo): at least one each of the 14 consonants and 10 vowels. Historically, the alphabet had several additional letters (see obsolete jamo). For a phonological description of the letters, see Korean phonology. Culture and arts Main articles: Culture of Korea, Korean art, Korean pottery and porcelain, Korean martial arts, Korean dance, Korean bow, and Korean architecture

Korean Buddhist architecture

Traditional Korean dance
Korean dance
(Jinju geommu)

In ancient Chinese texts, Korea
Korea
is referred to as "Rivers and Mountains Embroidered on Silk" (금수강산, 錦繡江山) and "Eastern Nation of Decorum" (동방예의지국, 東方禮儀之國).[164] Individuals are regarded as one year old when they are born, as Koreans
Koreans
reckon the pregnancy period as one year of life for infants, and age increments increase on New Year's Day 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
Republic of Korea
is 19, which is measured according to western reckoning. Literature Main article: Korean literature Korean literature
Korean literature
written before the end of the Joseon
Joseon
Dynasty is called "Classical" or "Traditional." Literature, written in Chinese characters (hanja), 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
Korean literature
has its roots in traditional folk beliefs and folk tales of the peninsula, strongly influenced by Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Modern literature is often linked with the development of hangul, which helped spread literacy from the aristocracy to the common men 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
led to the development of literature centered on the wounds and chaos of war. Much of the post-war literature in South Korea
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. Music Main article: Music of Korea Traditional Korean music includes combinations of the folk, vocal, religious and ritual music styles of the Korean people. Korean music has been practiced since prehistoric times.[165] Korean music falls into two broad categories. The first, Hyangak, literally means The local music or Music native to Korea
Korea
of which example is Sujecheon, a piece of instrumental music as old as 1,300 years.[166] The second, yangak, represent a more Western style. Religion Main articles: Religion in Korea, Religion in South Korea, and Religion in North Korea See also: Korean shamanism, Korean Confucianism, Korean Buddhism, Taoism
Taoism
in Korea, Christianity
Christianity
in Korea, and Islam in Korea

Amitabha and Eight Great Bodhisattvas, Goryeo
Goryeo
scroll from the 1300s

Confucian
Confucian
tradition has dominated Korean thought, along with contributions by Buddhism, Taoism, and Korean Shamanism. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, Christianity
Christianity
has competed with Buddhism
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
Confucianism
and Taoism
Taoism
have remained an underlying religion of the Korean people
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 missionary conversions in the South[167][168][169] or the pressure from the Juche
Juche
government in the North.[170][171] According to 2005 statistics compiled by the South Korean government, about 46% of citizens profess to follow no particular religion. Christians account for 29.2% of the population (of which are Protestants 18.3% and Catholics 10.9%) and Buddhists 22.8%.[172] Islam in South Korea
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.[173] Cuisine Main article: Korean cuisine See also: Korean tea ceremony
Korean tea ceremony
and Korean royal court cuisine

Tteokbokki, rice cakes with spicy gochujang sauce.

Koreans
Koreans
traditionally believe that the taste and quality of food depend on its spices and sauces, the essential ingredients to making a delicious meal. Therefore, soybean paste, soy sauce, gochujang or red pepper paste and kimchi are some of the most important staples in a Korean household. Korean cuisine
Korean cuisine
was greatly influenced by the geography and climate of the Korean Peninsula, which is known for its cold autumns and winters, therefore there are many fermented dishes and hot soups and stews. Korean cuisine
Korean cuisine
is probably best known for kimchi, a side dish which uses a distinctive fermentation process of preserving vegetables, most commonly cabbage. Kimchi
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, a traditional Korean sauce made of red pepper is also commonly used, often as pepper (chilli) paste, earning the cuisine a reputation for spiciness. Bulgogi
Bulgogi
(roasted marinated meat, usually beef), galbi (marinated grilled short ribs), and samgyeopsal (pork belly) are popular meat entrees. Fish is also a popular commodity, as it is the traditional meat that Koreans
Koreans
eat. Meals are usually accompanied by a soup or stew, such as galbitang (stewed ribs) or doenjang jjigae (fermented bean paste soup). The center of the table is filled with a shared collection of sidedishes called banchan. Other popular dishes include bibimbap which literally means "mixed rice" (rice mixed with meat, vegetables, and red pepper paste) and naengmyeon (cold noodles).[174][175] Instant noodles or ramyeon are a popular snack food and Koreans
Koreans
also enjoy food from pojangmachas (street vendors), where customers can buy tteokbokki (rice cake and fish cake with a spicy gochujang sauce), gimbap made of steamed white rice wrapped in dried laver seaweed as well as fried squid and glazed sweet potato. Soondae, a sausage made of cellophane noodles and pork blood, is widely eaten. Additionally, some other common snacks include "Choco Pie", shrimp crackers, "bbeongtwigi" (puffed rice grains), and "nurungji" (slightly burnt rice). Nurungji can be eaten as it is or boiled with water to make a soup. Nurungji can also be eaten as a snack or a dessert. Korea
Korea
is unique among Asian countries in its use of metal chopsticks. Metal chopsticks have been discovered in archaeological sites belonging to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje
Baekje
and Silla. Television Korean television dramas ("K-dramas") have become popular in many countries, and as a result outdoor locations featured in K-dramas have become popular stops for international tourists. Product placements in the dramas have proven effective in advertising; for example, sales of cosmetics, clothing and food favored by the female lead played by actress Jun Ji-hyun
Jun Ji-hyun
in the drama My Love from the Star
My Love from the Star
rose significantly after the relevant episodes aired. In one notorious case it was reported that a woman in China
China
became ill after consuming nothing but fried chicken and beer – the character's favorite snack –[176] for several days. Education Main articles: Education in North Korea
North Korea
and Education in South Korea The modern South 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, coordinated by the OECD, ranks South Korea's science education as the third best in the world and being significantly higher than the OECD average.[177] South Korea
South Korea
ranks second on math and literature and first in problem solving[citation needed]. Although South Korean students often rank high on international comparative assessments, the education system is criticised for emphasising too much upon passive learning and memorization. The South Korean education system is rather notably strict and structured as compared to its counterparts in most Western societies. Also, the prevalence of non-school for-profit private institutes such as academies or cram schools ( Hagwon [학원]), which too emphasise passive memorisation, as opposed to conceptual understanding, in students are criticised as a major social problem. After students enter university, however, the situation is markedly reversed.[citation needed] In Korea, university is hard to enter, and graduation is comparatively easier than entry. The North Korean education system consists primarily of universal and state funded schooling by the government. The national literacy rate for citizens 15 years of age and above is over 99 percent.[178][179] Children go through one year of kindergarten, four years of primary education, six years of secondary education, and then on to universities. The most prestigious university in the DPRK is Kim Il-sung University. Other notable universities include Kim Chaek University
University
of Technology, which focuses on computer science, Pyongyang University
University
of Foreign Studies, which trains working level diplomats and trade officials, and Kim Hyong Jik University, which trains teachers. Outside the formal structure of schools and classrooms in the north is the extremely important "social education". This education includes not only extracurricular activities but also family life and the broadest range of human relationships within society. There is great sensitivity to the influence of the social environment on the growing child and its role in the development of his or her character. The ideal of social education is to provide a carefully controlled environment in which children are exposed only to pro- Juche
Juche
and anti-south influences. According to a North Korean official interviewed in 1990, 'School education is not enough to turn the rising generation into men of knowledge, virtue, and physical fitness. After school, our children have many spare hours. So it's important to efficiently organise their afterschool education'. Science and technology Main article: History of science and technology in Korea See also: List of Korean inventions and discoveries

Jikji, Selected Teachings of Buddhist Sages and Seon Masters, the earliest known book printed with movable metal type, 1377. Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

One of the best known artifacts of Korea's history of science and technology is the Cheomseongdae
Cheomseongdae
(첨성대, 瞻星臺), a 9.4-meter high observatory built in 634. The earliest known surviving Korean example of woodblock printing is the Mugujeonggwang Great Dharani Sutra.[180] It is believed to have been printed in Korea
Korea
in 750–51, which if correct, would make it older than the Diamond Sutra. During the Goryeo
Goryeo
Dynasty, metal movable type printing was invented by Choe Yun-ui in 1234.[181][6][182][183][9][4] This invention made printing easier, more efficient and also increased literacy, which observed by Chinese visitors was seen to be so important where it was considered to be shameful to not be able to read.[184] The Mongol Empire later adopted Korea's movable type printing and spread as far as Central Asia. There is conjecture as to whether or not Choe's invention had any influence on later printing inventions such as Gutenberg's Printing press.[185] When the Mongols
Mongols
invaded Europe they inadvertently introduced different kinds of Asian technology.[citation needed] During the Joseon
Joseon
period, the Turtle Ship
Turtle Ship
was invented, which were covered by a wooden deck and iron with thorns,[186][187][188] as well as other weapons such as the bigyeokjincheolloe cannon (비격진천뢰, 飛擊震天雷) and the hwacha. The Korean alphabet hangul was also invented during this time by King Sejong the Great. Sport Main articles: Sport in South Korea
South Korea
and Sport in North Korea While association football remains one of the most popular sports in South Korea, the martial art of taekwondo is considered to be the national sport. Baseball
Baseball
and golf are also popular. Taekwondo Main article: Taekwondo Taekwondo
Taekwondo
is one of Korea's most famous sports. It combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise and in some cases meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo
Taekwondo
has become an official Olympic sport, starting as a demonstration event in 1988 (when South Korea
South Korea
hosted the Games in Seoul) and becoming an official medal event in 2000. There are two main authoritative Taekwondo
Taekwondo
organizations in the world. One is World Taekwondo
Taekwondo
(formerly World Taekwondo
Taekwondo
Federation and the larger of the two) and the other is ITF (International Taekwondo
Taekwondo
Federation). Hapkido Main article: Hapkido Hapkido
Hapkido
is a modern Korean martial art with a grappling focus that employs joint locks, throws, kicks, punches and other striking attacks like attacks against pressure points. Hapkido
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 Main article: Ssireum Ssireum
Ssireum
is a traditional form of wrestling that has been practiced in Korea
Korea
for thousands of years, with evidence discovered from Goguryeo of Korea's Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC to 688). Ssireum
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
Ssireum
competitions are traditionally held twice a year, during the Dano Festival (the 5th day of the fifth lunar month) and Chuseok
Chuseok
(the 15th day of the 8th lunar month). Competitions are also held throughout the year as a part of festivals and other events. Notable public holidays in South Korea Main article: List of public holidays in South Korea Independence Movement Day, March 1st Samiljeol, Independence Movement Day, commemorates Korea's declaration of independence from Japanese occupation on March 1, 1919. The name is derived from Korean 삼 "sam" 'three', 일 "il" 'one,' and 절 "jeol" 'day', the date of the uprising in 1919. Korea
Korea
was annexed to the Empire of Japan
Japan
on August 29, 1910 following the imposed Japan-Korea Treaty. On March 1, 1919, Korean presented their resistance towards Japan
Japan
and Japanese occupation with a declaration of independence. Following the conclusion of World War
War
II, Korea
Korea
was liberated from Japan
Japan
and its independence restored. The newly established Korean government set aside March 1 as a national holiday to commemorate the sacrifices borne in the long struggle for Korean independence. Memorial day, June 6th Hyunchoongil is the national holiday in Korea
Korea
commemorating those who fought and died for the nation. In August 1948, only a few years after Korea
Korea
achieved its independence from Japan, the Korean War, in Korea also known as the 6.25 war, broke out between North and South Korea. During this war, approximately 400,000 soldiers and some one million citizens were killed or injured. In 1953, North and South Korea
South Korea
agreed to a cease-fire, and three years later the Korean government established Hyungchoogil to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Subsequent to its establishment, Hyungchoogil was reinterpreted as a day of remembrance for those who died defending Korea
Korea
in all conflicts, not only during the Korean War. National Liberation Day, August 15th Gwangbokjeol is the day for celebrating liberation of the country from Japan
Japan
in 1945 as well as celebrating the establishment of Korean government in 1948. Gwangbok means "returned light" representing gaining national sovereignty from Japan. It was first declared to be national holiday in 1949 October 1. On this date every year, the president of Korea
Korea
visits Independence Hall, and invites diplomatic envoys from many countries and all social standings in countries to Cheongwadae (the Blue House, the Korean presidential residence). Hangul
Hangul
Day, October 9th Hangul
Hangul
Day (also spelled as Hangeul Day) is a day that celebrates the creation of the Hunminjeongeum
Hunminjeongeum
(Hangul, Korean alphabet), which was inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 1997.[189] Hangul
Hangul
was created by Sejong the Great
Sejong the Great
in 1443 and proclaimed in 1446. Before the creation of Hangul, people in Korea
Korea
(known as Joseon
Joseon
at the time) primarily wrote using Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese
alongside native phonetic writing systems that predate Hangul
Hangul
by hundreds of years, including idu, hyangchal, gugyeol, and gakpil.[190][191][192][193] However, due to the fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages, and the large number of characters needed to be learned, there was much difficulty in learning how to write using Chinese characters for the lower classes, who often didn't have the privilege of education. To assuage this problem, King Sejong created the unique alphabet known as Hangul
Hangul
to promote literacy among the common people.[194] Hangul
Hangul
Day was founded in 1926 during the Japanese occupation by members of the Korean Language Society, whose goal was to preserve the Korean language
Korean language
during a time of rapid forced Japanization.[195] Today, both South Korea
South Korea
and North Korea
North Korea
celebrate Hangul
Hangul
Day as a national holiday. See also

Korea
Korea
portal Geography portal Asia portal

Book: Korea

Index of Korea-related articles Anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea Inter-Korean summit Korean name List of people of Korean descent National Treasures of North Korea National Treasures of South Korea Korean natural farming Korean cuisine List of Korean inventions and discoveries Korean War

Notes

^ $26,341 GDP
GDP
for Korea, $1513 for Ghana.[153]

References

^ Castello-Cortes 1996, p. 413, North Korea. ^ Castello-Cortes 1996, p. 498, South Korea. ^ Novak, Cathy (August 13, 2015). " North Korea
North Korea
sets clocks back 30 minutes creating its own time zone". CNN. Retrieved 4 May 2016.  ^ a b c "World Treasures: Beginnings". Library of Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 15 July 2016.  ^ a b "Korean Classics : Asian Collections: An Illustrated Guide (Library of Congress – Asian Division)". Library of Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 19 August 2016.  ^ a b c "Gutenberg Bible". British Library. The British Library Board. Retrieved 19 August 2016.  ^ a b "Korea, 1000–1400 A.D. Chronology Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History The Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 19 August 2016.  ^ a b " Movable type
Movable type
– Oxford Reference". Oxford Reference. Oxford University
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Press. p. 47. ISBN 9780674615762. Retrieved 29 July 2016.  "Koguryŏ was the first to open hostilities, with a bold assault across the Liao River against Liao-hsi, in 598. The Sui emperor, Wen Ti, launched a retaliatory attack on Koguryŏ but met with reverses and turned back in mid-course. Yang Ti, the next Sui emperor, proceeded in 612 to mount an invasion of unprecedented magnitude, marshalling a huge force said to number over a million men. And when his armies failed to take Liao-tung Fortress (modern Liao-yang), the anchor of Koguryŏ's first line of defense, he had a nearly a third of his forces, some 300,000 strong, break off the battle there and strike directly at the Koguryŏ capital of P'yŏngyang. But the Sui army was lured into a trap by the famed Koguryŏ commander Ŭlchi Mundŏk, and suffered a calamitous defeat at the Salsu (Ch'ŏngch'ŏn) River. It is said that only 2,700 of the 300,000 Sui soldiers who had crossed the Yalu survived to find their way back, and the Sui emperor now lifted the siege of Liao-tung Fortress and withdrew his forces to China proper. Yang Ti continued to send his armies against Koguryŏ but again without success, and before long his war-weakened empire crumbled." ^ Nahm, Andrew C. (2005). A Panorama of 5000 Years: Korean History (Second revised ed.). Seoul: Hollym International Corporation. p. 18. ISBN 093087868X.  "China, which had been split into many states since the early 3rd century, was reunified by the Sui dynasty at the end of the 6th century. Soon after that, Sui China mobilized a large number of troops and launched war against Koguryŏ. However, the people of Koguryŏ were united and they were able to repel the Chinese aggressors. In 612, Sui troops invaded Korea
Korea
again, but Koguryŏ forces fought bravely and destroyed Sui troops everywhere. General Ŭlchi Mundŏk of Koguryŏ completely wiped out some 300,000 Sui troops which came across the Yalu River
Yalu River
in the battles near the Salsu River (now Ch'ŏngch'ŏn River) with his ingenious military tactics. Only 2,700 Sui troops were able to flee from Korea. The Sui dynasty, which wasted so much energy and manpower in aggressive wars against Koguryŏ, fell in 618." ^ Tucker, Spencer C. A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 406. ISBN 9781851096725. Retrieved 4 November 2016.  ^ Walker, Hugh Dyson. East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. p. 161. ISBN 9781477265178. Retrieved 4 November 2016.  ^ Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul. Asia and Oceania: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 486. ISBN 9781136639791. Retrieved 16 July 2016.  ^ Injae, Lee; Miller, Owen; Jinhoon, Park; Hyun-Hae, Yi. Korean History in Maps. Cambridge University
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to Kyūshū, has been found throughout Japan. " ^ "Kanji". Japan
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and Japan
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was, for the most part, in the hands of men from Silla. Here in the relatively dangerous waters on the eastern fringes of the world, they performed the same functions as did the traders of the placid Mediterranean on the western fringes. This is a historical fact of considerable significance but one which has received virtually no attention in the standard historical compilations of that period or in the modern books based on these sources. . . . While there were limits to the influence of the Koreans
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along the eastern coast of China, there can be no doubt of their dominance over the waters off these shores. . . . The days of Korean maritime dominance in the Far East actually were numbered, but in Ennin's time the men of Silla
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was a greater land receiving supplicants. Koreans
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viewed tribute trade as a "burden" and a favor extended to needy islanders; the significance was diplomatic not economic." ^ Kang, David C. East Asia
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Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. Columbia University
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Further reading

Chun, Tuk Chu. " Korea
Korea
in the Pacific Community". Social Education 52 (March 1988), 182. EJ 368 177. Cumings, Bruce. The Two Koreas. New York: Foreign Policy Association, 1984. Oberdorfer, Don (2001). The Two Koreas: a Contemporary History. Basic Books. ISBN 0465051626. OCLC 47831650.  Focus On Asian Studies. Special
Special
Issue: "Korea: A Teacher's Guide". No. 1, Fall 1986. Shin, Gi-Wook (1999), Robinson, Michael, ed., Colonial modernity in Korea, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Asia Center, ISBN 0-674-14255-1 . Hart, Dennis. From Tradition to Consumption: Construction of a Capitalist Culture in South Korea. Seoul: Jimoondang, 2003. Jager, Sheila Miyoshi (2013). Brothers at War
War
– The Unending Conflict in Korea. London: Profile Books. ISBN 978-1-84668-067-0.  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
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. Pratt, Keith L (2006). Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea. London: Reaktion. ISBN 9781861892737. OCLC 63137295.  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, UK: Glosters, archived from the original on 13 May 2008 . "How Does Korea
Korea
Compare", OECD
OECD
Health Data (PDF) (briefing note), Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development, 2009 .

External links

Look up Korea
Korea
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Korea.

Texts on Wikisource:

"Korea". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.  "Korea". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920. 

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