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The Korea Strait
Strait
is a sea passage between South Korea
South Korea
and Japan, connecting the East China
China
Sea, the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
(West sea) and the East Sea (Sea of Japan) in the northwest Pacific Ocean. The strait is split by the Tsushima Island
Tsushima Island
into the Western Channel and the Tsushima Strait
Strait
or Eastern Channel.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Currents 3 Economic significance 4 Naming of the strait 5 Historic impact

5.1 Land bridge 5.2 Early history 5.3 Mongolian invasion 5.4 Wokou
Wokou
and Ōei Invasion 5.5 Battle of Tsushima 5.6 Battle of Korea Strait 5.7 Future

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Geography[edit] To the north it is bounded by the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, and to the south by the southwestern Japanese islands
Japanese islands
of Kyūshū
Kyūshū
and Honshū. It is about 200 km (120 mi) wide and averages about 90 to 100 meters (300 ft) deep. Tsushima Island
Tsushima Island
divides the Korea Strait
Strait
into the western channel and the Tsushima Strait. The western channel is deeper (up to 227 meters) and narrower than the Tsushima Strait. Currents[edit] A branch of the Kuroshio Current
Kuroshio Current
passes through the strait. Its warm branch is sometimes called the Tsushima Current. Originating along the Japanese islands
Japanese islands
this current passes through the East sea then divides along either shore of Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Island, eventually flowing into the northern Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
via the strait north of Hokkaidō
Hokkaidō
and into the Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
north of Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Island near Vladivostok. The water-mass characteristics vary widely because of the low-salinity waters of the southeast coasts of Korea and China. Economic significance[edit] Numerous international shipping lanes pass through the strait, including those carrying much of the traffic bound for the ports of southern South Korea. Both South Korea
South Korea
and Japan
Japan
have restricted their territorial claims in the strait to 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) from shore, so as to permit free passage through it.[1][2] Passenger ferries travel numerous routes across the strait. Commercial ferries run from Busan, South Korea
South Korea
to Japanese ports including Fukuoka, Tsushima, Shimonoseki, and Hiroshima. Ferries also connect Tsushima Island
Tsushima Island
with Fukuoka, and South Korea's Jeju Island
Jeju Island
with the Korean mainland. Ferries connecting Busan
Busan
and Japanese cities with ports in China
China
also traverse the strait. Japan's territorial waters extend to three nautical miles (5.6 km) into the strait instead of the usual twelve, reportedly to allow nuclear-armed United States Navy
United States Navy
warships and submarines to transit the strait without violating Japan's prohibition against nuclear weapons in its territory.[1] Naming of the strait[edit]

Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
- Kyushu Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
- Tsushima Island Tsushima Island
Tsushima Island
- Kyushu

International name (commonly used in English) Korea Strait Korea Strait
Strait
Western Channel Korea Strait
Strait
Eastern Channel

South Korean name 대한해협 - 大韓海峡 Daehan Haehyeop "Korea Strait"

North Korean name 조선해협 - 朝鮮海峡 Chosŏn Haehyŏp "Korea Strait"

Japanese name 対馬海峡 Tsushima Kaikyō "Tsushima Strait" 朝鮮海峡 or 対馬海峡西水道 Chōsen Kaikyō or Tsushima Kaikyō Nishi-suidō "Korea Strait" or "Tsushima Strait
Strait
Western Channel" 対馬海峡 or 対馬海峡東水道 Tsushima Kaikyō or Tsushima Kaikyō Higashi-suidō "Tsushima Strait" or "Tsushima Strait
Strait
Eastern Channel"

Historic impact[edit] Land bridge[edit]

See article: Land bridge

During the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
glacial cycles, the Korea Strait
Strait
and the Bering Straits, and the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
(West sea) were often narrowed and the Japanese islands
Japanese islands
may at times have been connected to the Eurasian Continent through the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
or Sakhalin. At times, the East sea was said to be a frozen inner lake due to the lack of warm Tsushima Current
Tsushima Current
and various plants and large animals, such as the Palaeoloxodon naumanni
Palaeoloxodon naumanni
are believed to have spread into Japan.[2] Early history[edit] Historically, these narrows served as a highway for high risk voyages. The shortest distance between Busan, South Korea, and the Tsushima Island is about 50 km, as is the shortest distance from Tsushima to Iki Island, Japan. Japan's Yamatai
Yamatai
periodically sent year-long embassies to Chinese dynasties, believed to have traveled through the Korean strait and the Korean peninsula, to obtain the latest culture and technologies. In the 6th century, Buddhism
Buddhism
(Mahāyāna Buddhism) was transmitted by Baekje
Baekje
people to the easternmost Japan
Japan
of the Emperor Kinmei's era over this strait (See also: East Asian Buddhism
Buddhism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
in Japan). Mongolian invasion[edit]

See main article: Mongol
Mongol
invasions of Japan

A joint Mongol-Korea fleet crossed this strait and attempted to invade Japan
Japan
in 1274 and 1281. The force severely ravaged the Tsushima Island on the way to Japan
Japan
but failed to defeat Japan. The typhoon (kamikaze, usually translated as "divine wind") is said to have saved Japan
Japan
from a Mongol
Mongol
invasion fleet led by Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan
in 1281. Wokou
Wokou
and Ōei Invasion[edit]

See main article: Wokou
Wokou
and Ōei Invasion

After the Mongolian invasion ravaged Tsushima, it became a base of the Wokou
Wokou
(Japanese pirates). The Korean Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
sent a fleet to Tsushima in 1419 for the suppression of Wokou
Wokou
activity. Korea subsequently agreed to grant the Japanese limited trading privileges. Battle of Tsushima[edit]

See main article: Battle of Tsushima

The Battle of Tsushima, fought between the Japanese and Russian navies on May 27 and May 28, 1905, took place in the Tsushima Strait
Strait
part of the Korea Strait, east of the north part of Tsushima and due north of Iki Island. The Russian fleet was virtually destroyed by the Japanese. Battle of Korea Strait[edit] Main article: Battle of Korea Strait The Battle of Korea Strait
Strait
was a naval battle fought on the first day of the Korean War, 25–26 June 1950, between the navies of South Korea and North Korea. A North Korean troop transport carrying hundreds of soldiers attempted to land its cargo near Busan
Busan
but was encountered by a South Korean patrol ship and sunk. It was one of the first surface actions of the war and resulted in an important South Korean victory.[3][4] Future[edit] The possibility of a Japan–Korea Undersea Tunnel or bridge, similar to the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
running under the English Channel
English Channel
between France and the United Kingdom, has been discussed for decades. See also[edit]

Geography of Korea List of Japan-related topics Geography of Japan Russo-Japanese War Tsushima City East sea Namhae

References[edit]

^ Kyodo News, " Japan
Japan
left key straits open for U.S. nukes", Japan Times, June 22, 2009. ^ Park, S.-C.; Yoo, D.-G.; Lee, C.-W.; Lee, E.-I. (26 September 2000). "Last glacial sea-level changes and paleogeography of the Korea (Tsushima) Strait". Geo-Marine Letters. 20 (2): 64–71. doi:10.1007/s003670000039.  ^ J. Marolda, Edward (26 August 2003). "Naval Battles". Naval History & Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2010.  ^ "Submarine Chaser Photo Archive: PC-823". NavSource. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 

^ For example, a) "Low-Frequency Current Observations in the Korea/Tsushima Strait".  W. J. Teague, G. A. Jacobs, H. T. Perkins, J. W. Book, K.-I. Chang, M.-S. Suk Journal of Physical Oceanography 32, 1621–1641 (2001). b) "Tsushima". Archived from the original on 2013-01-08.  Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
Research Society ^ "Nautical Charts of SE Japan
Japan
Sea". Archived from the original on 2007-05-13.  Japan
Japan
Hydrographic Association ^ "List of National and Quasi-national Parks, Japan
Japan
#48 Iki-Tsushima".  Ministry of the Environment, Japan ^ "The Republic of Korea's Maritime Boundaries, page 18". Retrieved June 23, 2005.  ^ "Designated Area of Japan". Archived from the original on 2004-08-22.  Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, Japan Coast Guard

External links[edit]

Encyclopædia Britannica article Oceanographic Characteristics of the Korea Strait, from KORDI

Coordinates: 34°35′58″N 129°47′48″E / 34.59944°N 129.79667°E / 34.59944; 129.79667

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25447

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