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{{About|the region consisting of North Korea and South Korea}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|region in East Asia}} {{Use dmy dates|date=September 2015}}

}}| image_flag = Unification flag of Korea.svg| image_map = File:Korea (orthographic projection).svgAegukka (North Korea)Aegukga (South Korea)>Arirang (de facto anthem of the Unified Korea)}}Korean language>Korean| languages_type = Official scriptKorean alphabet>Chosŏn'gŭl/HangeulKoreans>KoreanPyongyang (North Korea)|Seoul (South Korea)}}Supreme People's Assembly (North Korea)National Assembly (South Korea)>National Assembly (South Korea)| area_km2 = 219,155| area_sq_mi = 84,610 Castello-Cortesloc=North Korea Castello-Cortesloc=South Korea |p=498 }}| population_estimate = 77 million| population_estimate_year = 2017| population_density_km2 = 349.06| population_density_sq_mi = 904.09 | established_event1 = Gojoseon| established_date1 = 3 October 2333 BCE| established_event2 = Wiman Joseon| established_date2 = 194 BCEThree Kingdoms of Korea>Three Kingdoms| established_date3 = 57 BCENorth-South States Period>Balhae and Silla Kingdoms| established_date4 = 668 CE| established_event5 = Goryeo dynasty| established_date5 = 918 CE| established_event6 = Joseon dynasty| established_date6 = 17 July 1392| established_event7 = Korean Empire| established_date7 = 12 October 1897Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910>Japan-Korea Treaty| established_date8 = 29 August 1910Korean Declaration of Independence>March 1st Independence Movement| established_date9 = 1 March 1919| established_event10 = Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea| established_date10 = Gwangbokjeol>Independence from Japan| established_date11 = First Republic of South Korea>Republic of Korea| established_date12 = 15 August 1948 (South Korea)| established_event13 = Establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea| established_date13 = 9 September 1948 (North Korea)| established_event14 = Korean War| established_date14 = 25 June 1950—27 July 1953| established_event15 = Admission of both Koreas to the United Nations| established_date15 = 17 September 1991| time_zone = Korea Standard Time and Pyongyang Time+09)| drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in North Korea>North Korea)+82 (South Korea).kp (North Korea)|.kr (South Korea)}}| area_rank = | GDP_PPP = | GDP_PPP_year = | HDI = | HDI_year = | today = | leader_title1 = Supreme Leader of North Korea| leader_name1 = Kim Jong Un| leader_title2 = President of South Korea| leader_name2 = Moon Jae-in}}Korea is a region in East AsiaOXFORD DICTIONARIES, Korea, consisting of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea has been divided since 1948 between two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Korea is bordered by Russia to the northeast, China to the northwest, and neighbours Japan to the east via the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea).During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium, Silla defeated and conquered Baekje and Goguryeo, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north, superseding former Goguryeo. Unified Silla eventually collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium, Goguryeo was resurrected as Goryeo, which defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as a single sovereign state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to 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.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Korean Metal Movable Type, World Treasures: Beginnings,weblink Library of Congress, 19 December 2018, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Korean Classics, Library of Congress Asian Collections: 2007 Illustrated Guide,weblink 2007, Library of Congress, 19 December 2018, WEB, Gutenberg Bible,weblink British Library, The British Library Board, 19 August 2016, WEB, Korea, 1000–1400 A.D. {{!, Chronology {{!}} Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History {{!}} The Metropolitan Museum of Art|url=|website=The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History|publisher=The Metropolitan Museum of Art|accessdate=19 August 2016}}ENCYCLOPEDIA, Movable type,weblink Oxford Reference, Oxford University Press, 19 December 2018, BOOK, Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Walthall, Anne, East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Cengage Learning, 978-1285528670,weblink 19 December 2018, en, 2013-01-01, However, multiple incursions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, which eventually agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin that ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in July 17, 1392.The first 200 years of the Joseon era were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by 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, the country was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by it until the end of World War II in August 1945.In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving 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 by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea). Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the 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. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region.


{{See also|Korean romanization}}

"Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Oxford English Dictionary,weblink Korean, 20 December 2013, WEB, youtube on 'Korea? Corea?',weblink Korea was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo,BOOK, Haw, Stephen G., Marco Polo's China: A Venetian in the Realm of Khubilai Khan, 2006, Routledge, 9781134275427, 4–5,weblink 29 September 2017, en, of the Chinese }} (MCKawlej,Baxter, William & al. "Baxter–Sagart Old Chinese Reconstruction", pp. 43, 58 & 80. 20 February 2011. Accessed 20 Dec 2013. mod.Gāolì). This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo ({{Korean|hangul=ê³ ë ¤|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,BOOK, Till, Geoffrey, Bratton, Patrick, Sea Power and the Asia-Pacific: The Triumph of Neptune?, 2012, Routledge, 9781136627248, 145,weblink 29 September 2017, en, with some records dating back as far as the 9th century.BOOK, Seung-Yong, Yunn, Religious culture in Korea, 1996, Hollym, 99,weblink 29 September 2017, en, Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which was officially known as Goryeo beginning in the 5th century.WEB, 디지털 삼국유사 사전, 박물지 시범개발,weblink 문화콘텐츠닷컴, Korea Creative Content Agency, 6 February 2017, 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 *{{nowrap|Guru (,}} "walled city," inferred from some toponyms in Chinese historical documents) or *{{nowrap|Gauri (,}} "center"). With expanding British and American trade following the opening of 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 is now commonly used in English contexts by both North and South Korea.In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as {{nowrap|Hanguk (, {{IPA-ko|haːnÉ¡uk|}},}} lit. "country of the Han"). The name references Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula.WEB, 이기환, [이기환의 흔적의 역사]국호논쟁의 전말…대한민국이냐 고려공화국이냐,weblink 경향신문, The Kyunghyang Shinmun, 2 July 2018, ko, 30 August 2017, WEB, 이덕일, [이덕일 사랑] 대~한민국,weblink ì¡°ì„ ë‹·ì»´, Chosun Ilbo, 2 July 2018, ko, Although written in Hanja as , , or , this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a {{nowrap|phonetic transcription (OC: *Gar, MCHan}} 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 and Central Asia.In North Korea, Japan, China and Vietnam, Korea as a whole is referred to as {{nowrap| , (Joseon, {{IPA-ko|tÉ•osÊ°ÊŒn|}}}}), (Chōsen), (CháoxiÇŽn/JÄ«usÄ«n), ({{script|Hant|朝鮮}}) lit. "[land of the] Morning Calm"). "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier {{nowrap|Kojoseon (),}} who ruled northern Korea from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 {{sc|BCE}} by China's Han Empire. This go is the Hanja and simply means "ancient" or "old"; it is a modern usage to distinguish the ancient Joseon from the later dynasty. Joseon itself is the modern Korean pronunciation of {{nowrap|the Hanja }} but it is unclear whether this was a transcription of a native Korean name (OC*T[r]awser, MCTrjewsjen) or a partial translation into Chinese of the Korean capital {{nowrap|Asadal (), {{refn|First attested in the 13th-century Samguk Yusa as (MCAsjedat). The name is credited to the 6th-century Book of Wei but doesn't appear in surviving passages.}}}} whose meaning has been reconstructed as "Morning Land" or "Mountain".


{{See also|History of North Korea|History of South Korea}}{{History of Korea|left}}

Prehistory and Gojoseon

The Korean Academy claimed ancient hominid fossils originating from about 100,000 {{sc|BCE}} 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 {{sc|BCE}}.WEB, Li, Jie,weblink Some Discoveries of Fossils and Relics of Prehistoric Civilizations From Around the World, Pureinsight, 21 August 2002, 3 November 2009, The best preserved Korean pottery goes back to the paleolithic times around 10,000 {{sc|BCE}} and the Neolithic period begins around 6000 {{sc|BCE}}.According to legend, Dangun, a descendant of Heaven, established Gojoseon in 2333 {{sc|BCE}}. In 108 {{sc|BCE}}, the 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 remained as a center of cultural and economic exchange with successive Chinese dynasties for four centuries. By 313, Goguryeo annexed all of the Chinese commanderies.

Proto–Three Kingdoms

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 but before Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla fully developed into kingdoms.This time period saw numerous states spring up from the former territories of Gojoseon, which encompassed northern Korea and southern Manchuria. With the fall of Gojoseon, southern Korea entered the Samhan period.Located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, Samhan refers to the three confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan. 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, Silla, and Gaya.

Three Kingdoms

(File:7th century painting of Koreans.png|thumb|left|7th century Tang dynasty painting of envoys from the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla)The Three Kingdoms of Korea consisted of Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje. Silla and Baekje controlled the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining the former Samhan territories, while Goguryeo controlled the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria and the Liaodong Peninsula, uniting Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongye, and other states in the former Gojoseon territories.WEB,weblink Korea, Asian info, 3 November 2009, Goguryeo was a highly militaristic state;BOOK, Yi, Ki-baek, A New History of Korea, Harvard University Press, 9780674615762, 23–24,weblink 21 November 2016, en, 1984, BOOK, Walker, Hugh Dyson, East Asia: A New History, AuthorHouse, 9781477265161, 104,weblink 21 November 2016, en, 2012, it was a powerful empire and one of the great powers in East Asia,BOOK, Roberts, John Morris, Westad, Odd Arne, The History of the World, Oxford University Press, 9780199936762, 443,weblink 15 July 2016, en, 2013, BOOK, Gardner, Hall, Averting Global War: Regional Challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy, Palgrave Macmillan, 9780230608733, 158–159,weblink 15 July 2016, en, 2007-11-27, BOOK, Laet, Sigfried J. de, History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century, UNESCO, 9789231028137, 1133,weblink 10 October 2016, en, 1994, BOOK, Walker, Hugh Dyson, East Asia: A New History, AuthorHouse, 9781477265178, 6–7,weblink 18 November 2016, en, 2012-11-20, reaching its zenith in the 5th century when its territories expanded to encompass most of Manchuria to the north, parts of Inner Mongolia to the west,BOOK, Tudor, Daniel, Korea: The Impossible Country: The Impossible Country, Tuttle Publishing, 9781462910229,weblink 15 July 2016, en, parts of Russia to the east,BOOK, Kotkin, Stephen, Wolff, David, Rediscovering Russia in Asia: Siberia and the Russian Far East: Siberia and the Russian Far East, Routledge, 9781317461296,weblink 15 July 2016, en, and the Seoul region to the south.BOOK, Kim, Jinwung, A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict, 2012, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 978-0253000781, 35,weblink 15 July 2016, en, Goguryeo experienced a golden age under Gwanggaeto the Great and his son Jangsu,BOOK, Yi, Hyŏn-hÅ­i, Pak, Sŏng-su, Yun, Nae-hyŏn, New history of Korea, Jimoondang, 9788988095850, 201,weblink en, "He launched a military expedition to expand his territory, opening the golden age of Goguryeo."BOOK, Hall, John Whitney, The Cambridge History of Japan, Cambridge University Press, 9780521223522, 362,weblink 29 July 2016, en, BOOK, Embree, Ainslie Thomas, Encyclopedia of Asian history, Scribner, 9780684188997, 324,weblink 29 July 2016, en, BOOK, Cohen, Warren I., East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World, Columbia University Press, 9780231502511, 50,weblink 29 July 2016, en, who both subdued Baekje and Silla during their times, achieving a brief unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea and becoming the most dominant power on the Korean Peninsula.BOOK, Kim, Jinwung, A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict, Indiana University Press, 978-0253000781, 35,weblink 11 October 2016, en, WEB, Kings and Queens of Korea,weblink KBS World Radio, Korea Communications Commission, 26 August 2016, In addition to contesting for control of the Korean Peninsula, Goguryeo had many military conflicts with various Chinese dynasties,BOOK, Walker, Hugh Dyson, East Asia: A New History, AuthorHouse, 9781477265178, 161,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2012-11-20, most notably the Goguryeo-Sui War, in which Goguryeo defeated a huge force said to number over a million men.BOOK, White, Matthew, Atrocities: The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History, W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393081923, 78,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2011-11-07, BOOK, Grant, Reg G., 1001 Battles That Changed the Course of World History, Universe Pub., 9780789322333, 104,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2011, BOOK, Bedeski, Robert, Human Security and the Chinese State: Historical Transformations and the Modern Quest for Sovereignty, Routledge, 9781134125975, 90,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2007-03-12, BOOK, Yi, Ki-baek, A New History of Korea, Harvard University Press, 9780674615762, 47,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 1984, "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."BOOK, Nahm, Andrew C., A Panorama of 5000 Years: Korean History, 2005, Hollym International Corporation, Seoul, 978-0930878689, 18, Second revised,weblink "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 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 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." In 642, the powerful general Yeon Gaesomun led a coup and gained complete control over Goguryeo. In response, Emperor Tang Taizong of China led a campaign against Goguryeo, but was defeated and retreated.BOOK, 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, 9781851096725, 406,weblink 4 November 2016, en, 2009-12-23, BOOK, Walker, Hugh Dyson, East Asia: A New History, AuthorHouse, 9781477265178, 161,weblink 4 November 2016, en, 2012-11-20, After the death of Tang Taizong, his son Emperor Tang Gaozong allied with the Korean kingdom of Silla and invaded Goguryeo again, but was unable to overcome Goguryeo's stalwart defenses and was defeated in 662.BOOK, Ring, Trudy, Watson, Noelle, Schellinger, Paul, Asia and Oceania: International Dictionary of Historic Places, Routledge, 9781136639791, 486,weblink 16 July 2016, en, 2012-11-12, BOOK, Injae, Lee, Miller, Owen, Jinhoon, Park, Hyun-Hae, Yi, Korean History in Maps, Cambridge University Press, 9781107098466, 29,weblink 17 July 2016, en, 2014-12-15, However, Yeon Gaesomun died of a natural cause in 666 and 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.BOOK, Yi, Ki-baek, A New History of Korea, Harvard University Press, 9780674615762, 67,weblink 2 August 2016, en, 1984, BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, 2nd Edition, ABC-CLIO, 9781610695824, 49,weblink 17 July 2016, en, The Tang-Silla alliance finally conquered Goguryeo in 668. After the collapse of Goguryeo, Tang and 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 general by the name of Dae Joyeong founded the Korean-Mohe state of Balhae and successfully expelled the Tang presence from much of the former Goguryeo territories.File:Seokguram Buddha.JPG|thumb|left|upright=0.75|Seokguram Grotto from the Silla era, a UNESCO World Heritage SiteUNESCO World Heritage SiteThe southwestern Korean kingdom of Baekje was founded around modern-day Seoul by a Goguryeo prince, a son of the founder of Goguryeo.BOOK, Pratt, Chairman Department of East Asian Studies Keith, Pratt, Keith, Rutt, Richard, Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary, Routledge, 9781136793936, 135,weblink 22 July 2016, en, BOOK, Yu, Chai-Shin, The New History of Korean Civilization, iUniverse, 9781462055593, 27,weblink 22 July 2016, en, BOOK, Kim, Jinwung, A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict, Indiana University Press, 978-0253000781, 28,weblink 22 July 2016, en, 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 and Gangwon) to a centralised government; during the expansion of its territory, Baekje acquired Chinese culture and technology through maritime contacts with the Southern Dynasties. Baekje was a great maritime power;BOOK, Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Walthall, Anne, Palais, James B., East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Houghton Mifflin, 9780618133840, 123,weblink 12 September 2016, en, its nautical skill, which made it the Phoenicia of East Asia, was instrumental in the dissemination of Buddhism throughout East Asia and continental culture to Japan.BOOK, Kitagawa, Joseph, The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture, Routledge, 9781136875908, 348,weblink 29 July 2016, en, BOOK, Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Walthall, Anne, Palais, James B., East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Volume I: To 1800, Cengage Learning, 978-1111808150, 104,weblink 12 September 2016, en, Historic evidence suggests that Japanese culture, art, and language were influenced by the kingdom of Baekje and Korea itself;BOOK, Griffis, William Elliot, Corea, Without and Within: Chapters on Corean History, Manners and Religion, Presbyterian Board of Publication,weblink 25 September 2016, en, {{Citation | publisher = Metropolitan Museum of Art | title = Yayo | url =weblink | quote = Metallurgy was also introduced from the Asian mainland during this time. Bronze and iron were used to make weapons, armor, tools, and ritual implements such as bells (dotaku)}}NEWS, Korea NP, Choson Sinbo, Kitora Tomb Originates in Koguryo Murals, Japan, JP, Chon, Ho Chon,weblink 35, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2012, dmy-all, {{Citation|url= |publisher=MNSU |title=eMuseum |contribution=Yayoi |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=26 February 2011 }}WEB,weblink Japanese history: Jomon, Yayoi, Kofun, Japan guide, 9 June 2002, 21 May 2012, WEB,weblink Asia Society: The Collection In Context, Asia society museum, 21 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 September 2009, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Pottery – MSN Encarta,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2009, dead, dmy, "The pottery of the Yayoi culture ({{c.|lk=no|300}} {{sc|BCE}} – {{sc|CE}} {{c.|lk=no|250}}), made by a Mongol people who came from Korea to KyÅ«shÅ«, has been found throughout Japan. "WEB,weblink Kanji, Japan guide, 25 November 2010, 21 May 2012, BOOK, Noma, Seiroku, The Arts of Japan: Late Medieval to Modern,weblink 21 May 2012, 2003, Kodansha International, 978-4-7700-2978-2, WEB,weblink Japanese Art and Its Korean Secret, Kenyon, 6 April 2003, 21 May 2012, WEB,weblink Japanese Royal Tomb Opened to Scholars for First Time, National geographic, 28 October 2010, 21 May 2012, Baekje also played an important role in transmitting advanced Chinese culture to the Japanese archipelago. 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 and Shandong in China, taking advantage of the weakened state of Former Qin, and Kyushu in the Japanese archipelago;BOOK, A Brief History of Korea, Ewha Womans University Press, 9788973006199, 29–30,weblink 21 November 2016, en, 2005-01-01, however, Baekje was critically defeated by Gwanggaeto the Great and declined.BOOK, Yu, Chai-Shin, The New History of Korean Civilization, iUniverse, 9781462055593, 27,weblink 21 November 2016, en, 2012, {{Self-published inline|certain=yes|date=December 2017}}File:Three Kingdoms of Korea Map.png|thumb|upright|The Three Kingdoms of KoreaThree Kingdoms of KoreaAlthough later records claim that 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 existed as a large state in the southeast, occupying and influencing its neighboring city-states. In 562, Silla annexed the Gaya confederacy, which was located between Baekje and Silla. The Three Kingdoms of Korea often warred with each other and Silla was often dominated by Baekje and Goguryeo. 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.BOOK, Kim, Jinwung, A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict, Indiana University Press, 978-0253000248, 44–45,weblink 12 September 2016, en, 2012, BOOK, Wells, Kenneth M., Korea: Outline of a Civilisation, BRILL, 9789004300057, 18–19,weblink 12 September 2016, en, 2015-07-03, 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 and Tang attacked Goguryeo but were repelled. King Munmu, son of Muyeol and nephew of General Kim Yu-shin, launched another campaign in 667 and Goguryeo fell in the following year.

North-South States Period

Beginning in the 6th century, Silla's power gradually extended across the Korean Peninsula. Silla first annexed the adjacent Gaya confederacy in 562. By the 640s, Silla formed an alliance with the Tang Dynasty of China to conquer Baekje and later Goguryeo. After conquering Baekje and Goguryeo, Silla repulsed Tang China from the Korean peninsula in 676. Even though Silla unified most of the Korean Peninsula, most of the Goguryeo territories to the north of the Korean Peninsula were ruled by Balhae. Former Goguryeo generalOld records of Silla 新羅古記((:ko:신라고기|Silla gogi)): ... 高麗舊將祚榮Rhymed Chronicles of Sovereigns 帝王韻紀(Jewang ungi): ... 前麗舊將大祚榮 or chief of Sumo MoheSolitary Cloud 孤雲集(Gounjib): ... 渤海之源流也句驪未滅之時本爲疣贅部落靺羯之屬寔繁有徒是名栗末小蕃甞逐句驪, 內徙其首領乞四羽及大祚榮等至武后臨朝之際自營州作孼而逃輒據荒丘始稱振國時有句驪遺燼勿吉雜流梟音則嘯聚白山鴟義則喧張黑姶與契丹濟惡旋於突厥通謀萬里耨苗累拒渡遼之轍十年食葚晚陳降漢之旗.Solitary Cloud 孤雲集(Gounjip): ... 其酋長大祚榮, 始受臣藩第五品大阿餐之秩Comprehensive Institutions 通典(Tongdian): ... 渤海夲栗末靺鞨至其酋祚榮立國自號震旦, 先天中 玄宗王子始去靺鞨號專稱渤海 Dae Jo-yeong led a group of Goguryeo and Mohe refugees to the 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 down to the northern Korean peninsula. Balhae was called the "Prosperous Country in the East".BOOK, Injae, Lee, Miller, Owen, Jinhoon, Park, Hyun-Hae, Yi, Korean History in Maps, Cambridge University Press, 978-1107098466, 64–65,weblink 24 February 2017, en, 2014-12-15, File:Unified Silla and Balhae (8th Century) (4261052261).jpg|thumb|upright|Unified Silla and BalhaeBalhaeLater Silla carried on the maritime prowess of Baekje, which acted like the Phoenicia of medieval East Asia,BOOK, Kitagawa, Joseph, The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture, Routledge, 978-1136875908, 348,weblink 21 July 2016, en, 2013-09-05, and during the 8th and 9th centuries dominated the seas of East Asia and the trade between China, Korea and Japan, most notably during the time of Jang Bogo; in addition, Silla people made overseas communities in China on the Shandong Peninsula and the mouth of the Yangtze River.BOOK, Gernet, Jacques, A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 978-0521497817, 291,weblink 21 July 2016, en, 1996-05-31, BOOK, Reischauer, Edwin Oldfather, Ennins Travels in Tang China, John Wiley & Sons Canada, Limited, 978-0471070535, 276–283,weblink 21 July 2016, en, 1955, "From what Ennin tells us, it seems that commerce between East China, Korea and Japan 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 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 were still the masters of the seas in their part of the world."BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, 2nd Edition, ABC-CLIO, 978-1610695824, 3,weblink 21 July 2016, en, 2014-05-30, BOOK, Seth, Michael J., A Concise History of Korea: From the Neolithic Period Through the Nineteenth Century, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0742540057, 65,weblink 21 July 2016, en, 2006, Later Silla was a prosperous and wealthy country,BOOK, MacGregor, Neil, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Penguin UK, 978-0141966830,weblink 30 September 2016, en, 2011, and its metropolitan capital of GyeongjuBOOK, Chŏng, Yang-mo, Smith, Judith G., Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Arts of Korea, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 978-0870998508, 230,weblink 30 September 2016, en, 1998, was the fourth largest city in the world.MAGAZINE, Adams, Edward B., The Legacy of Kyongju, The Rotarian, Rotary International, 0035-838X, 154, 4, 28,weblink 19 December 2018, en, 1989, BOOK, Ross, Alan, After Pusan, Faber & Faber, 978-0571299355,weblink 30 September 2016, en, 2013-01-17, WEB, Mason, David A., Gyeongju, Korea's treasure house,weblink, Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), 30 September 2016, BOOK, Adams, Edward Ben, Koreaʾs Pottery Heritage, Seoul International Pub. House, 1, 53, 1014620947,weblink 19 December 2018, en, 1990, Later Silla was a golden age of art and culture,BOOK, DuBois, Jill, Korea, Marshall Cavendish, 978-0761417866, 22,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2004, BOOK, Randel, Don Michael, The Harvard Dictionary of Music, Harvard University Press, 978-0674011632, 273,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2003-11-28, BOOK, Hopfner, Jonathan, Moon Living Abroad in South Korea, Avalon Travel, 978-1612386324, 21,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2013-09-10, BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, ABC-CLIO, 978-0313038532, 47,weblink 30 September 2016, en, 2005-01-30, as evidenced by the Hwangnyongsa, Seokguram, and Emille Bell. Buddhism flourished during this time, and many Korean Buddhists gained great fame among Chinese BuddhistsBOOK, Mun, Chanju, Green, Ronald S., Buddhist Exploration of Peace and Justice, Blue Pine Books, 978-0977755301, 147,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2006, and contributed to Chinese Buddhism,BOOK, McIntire, Suzanne, Burns, William E., Speeches in World History, Infobase Publishing, 978-1438126807, 87,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2010-06-25, including: Woncheuk, Wonhyo, Uisang, Musang,BOOK, Jr, Robert E. Buswell, Jr, Donald S. Lopez, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University Press, 978-1400848058, 187,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2013-11-24, BOOK, Poceski, Mario, Ordinary Mind as the Way: The Hongzhou School and the Growth of Chan Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 978-0198043201, 24,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2007-04-13, BOOK, Wu, Jiang, Chia, Lucille, Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asia: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon, Columbia University Press, 978-0231540193, 155,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2015-12-15, BOOK, Wright, Dale S., The Zen Canon: Understanding the Classic Texts, Oxford University Press, 978-0199882182,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2004-03-25, and Kim Gyo-gak, a Silla prince whose influence made Mount Jiuhua one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Chinese Buddhism.BOOK, Su-il, Jeong, The Silk Road Encyclopedia, Seoul Selection, 978-1624120763,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2016-07-18, BOOK, Nikaido, Yoshihiro, Asian Folk Religion and Cultural Interaction, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 978-3847004851, 137,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2015-10-28, BOOK, Leffman, David, Lewis, Simon, Atiyah, Jeremy, China, Rough Guides, 978-1843530190, 519,weblink 29 July 2016, en, 2003, BOOK, Leffman, David, The Rough Guide to China, Penguin, 978-0241010372,weblink 29 July 2016, en, BOOK, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: China, Penguin, 978-1465455673, 240,weblink 29 July 2016, en, Later Silla fell apart in the late 9th century, giving way to the tumultuous Later Three Kingdoms period (892–935), and Balhae was destroyed by the Khitans in 926. 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.BOOK, Lee, Ki-Baik, A New History of Korea, 1984, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 978-0674615762, 103, When Parhae perished at the hands of the Khitan around this same time, much of its ruling class, who were of Koguryŏ descent, fled to Koryŏ. Wang Kŏn warmly welcomed them and generously gave them land. Along with bestowing the name Wang Kye ("Successor of the Royal Wang") on the Parhae crown prince, Tae Kwang-hyŏn, Wang Kŏn entered his name in the royal household register, thus clearly conveying the idea that they belonged to the same lineage, and also had rituals performed in honor of his progenitor. Thus Koryŏ achieved a true national unification that embraced not only the Later Three Kingdoms but even survivors of Koguryŏ lineage from the Parhae kingdom.,

Goryeo dynasty

Goryeo was founded in 918 and replaced Silla as the ruling dynasty of Korea. Goryeo's land was at first what is now South Korea and about 1/3 of North Korea, but later on managed to recover most of the Korean peninsula. Momentarily, Goryeo advanced to parts of 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 regarded itself as the successor of Goguryeo, hence its name and efforts to recover the former territories of Goguryeo.BOOK, Rossabi, Morris, China Among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and Its Neighbors, 10th–14th Centuries, University of California Press, 9780520045620, 323,weblink 1 August 2016, en, BOOK, Yi, Ki-baek, A New History of Korea, Harvard University Press, 9780674615762, 103,weblink 20 October 2016, en, 1984, BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, ABC-CLIO, 9780313038532, 57,weblink 20 October 2016, en, 2005-01-30, BOOK, Grayson, James H., Korea – A Religious History, Routledge, 9781136869259, 79,weblink 20 October 2016, en, 2013-11-05, Wang Geon, the founder of Goryeo, was of Goguryeo descent and traced his ancestry to a noble Goguryeo clan.BOOK, 박, 종기, 고려사의 재발견: 한반도 역사상 가장 개방적이고 역동적인 500년 고려 역사를 만나다, 휴머니스트, 9788958629023,weblink 27 October 2016, ko, 2015-08-24, He made Kaesong, his hometown, the capital.During this period, laws were codified and a civil service system was introduced. 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 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.(File:History of Korea-1374.png|thumb|upright|Goryeo in 1374)Goryeo had to defend frequently against attacks by nomadic empires, especially the Khitans and the Mongols. Goryeo had a hostile relationship with the Khitans, because the Khitan Empire had destroyed Balhae, also a successor state of Goguryeo. In 993, the Khitans, who had established the Liao dynasty in 907, invaded Goryeo, demanding that it make amity with them. Goryeo sent the diplomat Seo Hui to negotiate, who successfully persuaded the Khitans to let Goryeo expand to the banks of the Amnok River, citing that in the past the land belonged to Goguryeo, the predecessor of Goryeo.BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, 2nd Edition, ABC-CLIO, 9781610695824, 66,weblink 3 October 2016, en, 2014-05-30, During the Goryeo–Khitan War, the Khitan Empire invaded Korea twice more in 1009 and 1018, but was defeated.After defeating the Khitan Empire, which was the most powerful empire of its time,BOOK, Bulliet, Richard, Crossley, Pamela, Headrick, Daniel, Hirsch, Steven, Johnson, Lyman, The Earth and Its Peoples, Brief: A Global History, Cengage Learning, 9781285445519, 264,weblink 12 September 2016, en, 2014-01-01, BOOK, Cohen, Warren I., East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World, Columbia University Press, 9780231502511, 107,weblink 12 September 2016, en, 2000-12-20, Goryeo experienced a golden age that lasted a century, during which the 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.BOOK, Lee, Kenneth B., Korea and East Asia: The Story of a Phoenix, Greenwood Publishing Group, 9780275958237, 61,weblink 28 July 2016, en, 1997, BOOK, Bowman, John, Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture, Columbia University Press, 9780231500043, 202,weblink 1 August 2016, en, 2000-09-05, Goryeo was invaded by the Mongols in seven major campaigns from the 1230s until the 1270s, but was never conquered.BOOK, Lee, Kenneth B., Korea and East Asia: The Story of a Phoenix, Greenwood Publishing Group, 9780275958237, 72,weblink 28 July 2016, en, 1997, Exhausted after decades of fighting, Goryeo sent its crown prince to the Yuan capital to swear allegiance to the Mongols; Kublai Khan accepted, and married one of his daughters to the Korean crown prince, and the dynastic line of Goryeo continued to survive under the overlordship of the Mongol 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, and the last empress of the Yuan dynasty was a Korean princess.BOOK, Currie, Lorenzo, Through the Eyes of the Pack, Xlibris Corporation, 9781493145164, 181,weblink 28 July 2016, en, {{Self-published inline|certain=yes|date=December 2017}}In the 1350s, King Gongmin was free at last to reform the Goryeo government when the 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 scholars. During this tumultuous period, Goryeo momentarily conquered 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 when General Choe Yeong defeated a Mongol tumen in 1364. During the 1380s, Goryeo turned its attention to the Wokou threat and used naval artillery created by Choe Museon to annihilate hundreds of pirate ships.

Joseon dynasty

File:경복궁 전경.jpg|thumb|GyeongbokgungGyeongbokgungFile:Donggwol-do.jpg|thumb|DonggwoldoDonggwoldoIn 1392, the general Yi Seong-gye overthrew the Goryeo dynasty after he staged a coup and defeated General Choe Yeong. Yi Seong-gye named his new dynasty Joseon and moved the capital from Kaesong to Hanseong (formerly Hanyang; modern-day Seoul) and built the Gyeongbokgung palace.BOOK, Yi, Ki-baek, A New History of Korea, Harvard University Press, 9780674615762, 165,weblink 27 July 2016, en, In 1394, he adopted Confucianism as the country's official ideology, resulting in much loss of power and wealth by the Buddhists. The prevailing philosophy of the 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 was a nominal tributary state of China but exercised full sovereignty,BOOK, Em, Henry, The Great Enterprise: Sovereignty and Historiography in Modern Korea, Duke University Press, 978-0822353720, 23,weblink 28 July 2016, en, BOOK, Lee, Seokwoo, Lee, Hee Eun, The Making of International Law in Korea: From Colony to Asian Power, BRILL, 9789004315754, 21,weblink 28 July 2016, en, and maintained the highest position among China's tributary states,BOOK, Wang, Yuan-kang, Harmony and War: Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics, Columbia University Press, 9780231522403,weblink 20 July 2016, en, BOOK, Seth, Michael J., A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 9780742567177, 144,weblink 28 July 2016, en, which also included countries such as the Ryukyu Kingdom, Vietnam, Burma, Brunei, Laos, Thailand,BOOK, Gambe, Annabelle R., Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurship and Capitalist Development in Southeast Asia, LIT Verlag Münster, 9783825843861, 99,weblink 19 July 2016, en, BOOK, Chinvanno, Anuson, Thailand's Policies towards China, 1949–54, Springer, 9781349124305, 24,weblink 19 July 2016, en, BOOK, Leonard, Jane Kate, Wei Yuan and China's Rediscovery of the Maritime World, Harvard Univ Asia Center, 9780674948556, 137–138,weblink 19 July 2016, en, and the Philippines, among others.BOOK, Tsai, Shih-shan Henry, The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty, SUNY Press, 9780791426876, 119–120,weblink 20 July 2016, en, BOOK, Eisemann, Joshua, Heginbotham, Eric, Mitchell, Derek, China and the Developing World: Beijing's Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, Routledge, 9781317282945, 23,weblink 20 July 2016, en, In addition, Joseon received tribute from Jurchens and Japanese until the 17th century,BOOK, Lewis, James B., Frontier Contact Between Choson Korea and Tokugawa Japan, Routledge, 9781135795986,weblink 20 July 2016, en, "Tribute trade was the oldest and most important component of the trade structure, not for its volume or content, but for its symbolism. Japanese brought items to "offer" to Korea and received in exchange "gifts" of higher value, since Korea was a greater land receiving supplicants. Koreans viewed tribute trade as a "burden" and a favor extended to needy islanders; the significance was diplomatic not economic."BOOK, Kang, David C., East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute, Columbia University Press, 9780231153195, 122,weblink 20 July 2016, en, BOOK, Kayoko, Fujita, Momoki, Shiro, Reid, Anthony, Offshore Asia: Maritime Interactions in Eastern Asia Before Steamships, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 9789814311779, 198,weblink 20 July 2016, en, and had a small enclave in the Ryukyu Kingdom that engaged in trade with Siam and Java.BOOK, Kim, Chun-gil, The History of Korea, Greenwood Publishing Group, 9780313332968, 77,weblink 28 July 2016, en, During the 15th and 16th centuries, Joseon enjoyed many benevolent rulers who promoted education and science.BOOK, Lee, Kenneth B., Korea and East Asia: The Story of a Phoenix, Greenwood Publishing Group, 9780275958237, 86,weblink 27 July 2016, en, Most notable among them was Sejong the Great (r. 1418–50), who personally created and promulgated Hangul, the Korean alphabet.WEB, 알고 싶은 한글,weblink 국립국어원, National Institute of Korean Language, 4 December 2017, This golden age saw great cultural and scientific advancements,BOOK, Haralambous, Yannis, Horne, P. Scott, Fonts & Encodings, "O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 9780596102425, 155,weblink 8 October 2016, en, 2007-09-26, including in printing, meteorological observation, astronomy, calendar science, ceramics, military technology, geography, cartography, medicine, and agricultural technology, some of which were unrivaled elsewhere.BOOK, Selin, Helaine, Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Westen Cultures, Springer Science & Business Media, 9789401714167, 505–506,weblink 27 July 2016, en, 2013-11-11, 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.BOOK, Kim, Djun Kil, The History of Korea, 2nd Edition, ABC-CLIO, 9781610695824,weblink 27 July 2016, en, 2014-05-30, BOOK, Campbell, Gwyn, Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, Routledge, 9781135759179, 153–157,weblink 14 February 2017, en, 2004-11-23, 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.BOOK, Kang, David C., East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute, Columbia University Press, 9780231153195, 93–94,weblink 27 July 2016, en, 2012, Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended to conquer China and IndiaBOOK, Black, Jeremy, War in the World: A Comparative History, 1450–1600, Palgrave Macmillan, 9780230345515,weblink 27 July 2016, en, 2011-09-28, through the Korean Peninsula, but was defeated by strong resistance from the Righteous Army, the naval superiority of Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his turtle ships, and assistance from 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 an estimated 100,000–200,000 noses cut from Korean victims.BOOK, Kiernan, Ben, Blood and soil : a world history of genocide and extermination from Sparta to Darfur,weblink 2007, Yale University Press, 978-0-300-10098-3, Less than 30 years after the Japanese invasions, the 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 dynasty during the 18th century.BOOK, 신형식, A Brief History of Korea, Ewha Womans University Press, 9788973006199,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2005-01-01, BOOK, Beirne, Paul, Su-un and His World of Symbols: The Founder of Korea's First Indigenous Religion, Routledge, 9781317047490,weblink 8 November 2016, en, 2016-04-01, 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 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

(File:Taegukgi.jpg|thumb|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 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 (1894–95), the Qing dynasty had to give up such a position according to Article 1 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which was concluded between China and Japan in 1895. That same year, Empress Myeongseong of Korea was assassinated by Japanese agents.{{Citation|title=Japan rape |year=2002 |publisher=Kim soft |url= |contribution=Murder of Empress Myeongseong |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate= 9 October 2004 }}In 1897, the Joseon dynasty proclaimed the Korean Empire (1897–1910). King Gojong became an emperor. During this brief period, Korea had some success in modernizing the military, economy, real property laws, education system, and various industries. Russia, Japan, France, and the United States all invested in the country and sought to influence it politically.In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War pushed the Russians out of the fight for Korea. In Manchuria on 26 October 1909, An Jung-geun assassinated the former Resident-General of Korea, Itō Hirobumi, for his role in trying to force Korea into occupation.

Japanese occupation and Japan-Korea Annexation

{{See also|Japanese war crimes}}File:March 1st movement.jpg|thumb|The memorial tablet for the March 1st movementMarch 1st movementIn 1910, an already militarily occupied Korea was a forced party to the Japan–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.{{Citation | title = 서울대이태진교수의동경대생들에게들려준한국사 : 메이지일본의한국침략사 | last = Yi | first = Tae-jin | year = 2005 | isbn = 978-89-7626-999-7}} 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 occupationBOOK, Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Stearns, Peter N.,weblink 6th, 2001, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, VI(H)(4), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2009, WEB, Korea, Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2009, 2,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 19 May 2009, dead, dmy, WEB, 10 March 2005,weblink Asia Times, online, Japan News and Japanese Business and Economy, 3 November 2009, was manifested in the nonviolent March 1st Movement of 1919, during which 7,000 demonstrators were killed by Japanese police and military.WEB,weblink March 1st Movement, Encyclopædia Britannica., 1 March 1919, 3 November 2009, The Korean liberation movement also spread to neighbouring Manchuria and Siberia.Over five million Koreans were conscripted for labour beginning in 1939,WEB,weblink Statistics of Japanese Genocide And Mass Murder, Hawaii, 3 November 2009, and tens of thousands of men were forced into Japan's military.{{Citation | last = 山脇 Yamawaki | first = 啓造 Keizo | title = 近代日本と外国人労働者―1890年代後半と1920年代前半における中国人・朝鮮人労働者問題 |trans-title=Modern Japan and Foreign Laborers: Chinese and Korean Labourers in the late 1890s and early 1920s | publisher = 明石書店 Akashi-shoten | year = 1994 | others = et al. | isbn = 978-4-7503-0568-4}} Nearly 400,000 Korean labourers died.BOOK, Gruhl, Werner, Imperial Japan's World War Two: 1931–1945,weblink 2007, Transaction Publishers, 978-1-4128-0926-9, 111, Approximately 200,000 girls and women,{{Citation | first = Yoshimi | last = Yoshiaki | title = Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II | others = O’Brien, Suzanne transl | publisher = Columbia University Press | year = 2001 | isbn = 978-0-231-12032-6 | origyear = 岩波書店, 1995 | url =weblink }} mostly from China and Korea, were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military.NEWS,weblink Japanese comfort women ruling overturned, 29 March 2001, CNN, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 December 2008, In 1993, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the terrible injustices faced by these euphemistically named "comfort women".WEB,weblink Comfort Women, 3 November 2009, WEB, Yohei, Kono,weblink Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women", MOFA, 4 August 1993, 3 November 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 July 2014, During the Japanese annexation, the Korean language was suppressed in an effort to eradicate Korean national identity. Koreans were forced to take Japanese surnames, known as Sōshi-kaimei.WEB,weblink Koreans in Japan: Past and Present, HAN, 3 November 2009, Traditional Korean culture suffered heavy losses, as numerous Korean cultural artifacts were destroyedWEB,weblink Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul City, South Korea, Life in Korea, 3 November 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 September 2009, or taken to Japan.MAGAZINE,weblink Korea: A tussle over treasures â€” Who rightfully owns Korean artifacts looted by Japan?, Newsweek, 6 June 2008, Kay, Itoi, BJ, Lee, 17 October 2007, To this day, valuable Korean artifacts can often be found in Japanese museums or among private collections.{{Citation|newspaper=Newsweek |publisher=MSNBC |url= |title=Who rightfully owns Korean artifacts looted by Japan? |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=25 September 2010 }} 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. However, experts estimate that over 100,000 artifacts actually remain in Japan.{{Citation | url =weblink | archive-url =weblink" title="">weblink | url-status = dead | archive-date = 2013-07-23 | title = News | publisher = Naver }} Japanese officials considered returning Korean cultural properties, but to date this has not occurred. Korea and Japan still dispute the ownership of the Dokdo islets, located east of the Korean Peninsula.WEB,weblink 日독도 영유권 교육강화 방침, 2005년에 이미 발표 :: 한국의 대표 진보언론 민중의소리, Vop, KR, 3 November 2009, There was significant emigration to the overseas territories of the Empire of Japan during the Japanese occupation period, including Korea.WEB,weblink Japanese Periodicals in Colonial Korea, Columbia, 3 November 2009, By the end of World War II, there were over 850,000 Japanese settlers in Korea.WEB,weblink The Life Instability of Intermarried Japanese Women in Korea, USC, 3 November 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 October 1999, After World War II, most of these overseas Japanese repatriated to Japan.


{{multiple image| align = right| direction = vertical| image1 = Flag of North Korea.svg| caption1 = Flag of North Korea| image2 = Flag of South Korea.svg| caption2 = Flag of South Korea}}In 1945, with the surrender of Japan, the United Nations developed plans for a trusteeship administration, the Soviet Union administering the peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the United States administering the south. The politics of the Cold War resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate governments, North Korea and South Korea.(File:Korea at night.png|thumb|left|Satellite image of the Korean peninsula taken at night showing the extent of the division between the Koreas; note the difference in light emitted between the two countries)The aftermath of World War II left Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel, with the north under Soviet occupation and the south under US occupation supported by other allied states. Consequently, North Korea, a Soviet-style socialist republic was established in the north and South Korea; a Western-style regime, was established in the South.North Korea is a one-party state, now centred on Kim Il-sung's Juche ideology, with a centrally planned industrial economy. South 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 history.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,{{Citation | newspaper = The Independent | place = UK | url =weblink | type = leading article | title = Africa has to spend carefully | date=13 July 2006}} and by 2008 it was 17 times as high as Ghana's.{{Refn | group = "lower-alpha" | $26,341 GDP for Korea, $1513 for Ghana.{{Citation|url= |archive-url= |url-status=dead |archive-date=2009-12-23 |title=World Economic Outlook Database |date=October 2008 |publisher=International Monetary Fund |accessdate=14 February 2009 }}}}According to R.J. Rummel, forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in North Korea from 1948 to 1987;{{Citation | last = Rummel | first = RJ | chapter-url =weblink | chapter = 10. Statistics of North Korean Democide: Estimates, Calculations, and Sources | title = Statistics of Democide | year = 1997 | publisher = Hawaii}} others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone.Omestad, Thomas, "Gulag Nation" {{webarchive |url= |date=9 May 2005 }}, U.S. News & World Report, 23 June 2003. 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 from 1993 to 2008.{{Citation | last1 = Spoorenberg | first1 = Thomas | last2 = Schwekendiek | first2 = Daniel | edition = online | title = Demographic Changes in North Korea: 1993–2008 | journal = Population and Development Review | volume = 38 | issue = 1 | pages = 133–58 | doi=10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00475.x| year = 2012 }} In South Korea, as guerrilla activities expanded, the South Korean government used strong measures against peasants, such as forcefully moving their families from guerrilla areas. According to one estimate, these measures resulted in 36,000 people killed, 11,000 people wounded, and 432,000 people displaced.BOOK, A History of Korea, Hatada, Takashi, American Bibliographic Center-Clio Press, 1969, Santa Barbara, California, 140,

Korean War

(File:KoreanWar recover Seoul.jpg|thumb|Urban combat in Seoul, 1950, as U.S. Marines fight North Koreans holding the city.)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 remained divided, the Korean Demilitarized Zone being the de facto border between the two states.In June 1950 North Korea invaded the South, using Soviet tanks and weaponry. During the Korean War (1950–53) more than 1.2 million people died and the three years of fighting throughout the nation effectively destroyed most cities.{{Citation | first1 = Bethany | last1 = Lacina | first2 = Nils Petter | last2 = Gleditsch | url =weblink | title = Monitoring Trends in Global Combat: A New Dataset of Battle Deaths | journal = European Journal of Population | year = 2005 | volume = 21 | issue = 2–3 | pages = 145–166 | doi = 10.1007/s10680-005-6851-6 | access-date = 19 June 2017 | archive-url =weblink" title="">weblink | archive-date = 6 October 2014 | url-status = dead | df = dmy-all }} The war ended in an s:Korean Armistice Agreement|Armistice Agreement]] at approximately the Military Demarcation Line, but the two governments are officially at war. In 2018, the leaders of North Korea and South Korea officially signed the Panmunjom Declaration, announcing that they will work to end the conflict.

List of heads of state (since 1897) {| style"text-align: left;"

bgcolor="#ffe8e8"! colspan ="3" style="text-align: center;"| Korean Empire (1897 ~ 1910) | EmperorGojong of Korea>Gojong| 12 October 1897 ~ 20 July 1907 | EmperorSunjong of Korea>Sunjong| 20 July 1907 ~ 29 August 1910 bgcolor="#ffe8e8"! colspan ="3" style="text-align: center;"| Republic of Korea (1948 ~)| President| Syngman Rhee| 24 July 1948 ~ 26 April 1960| President| Yun Posun| 13 August 1960 ~ 23 March 1962 | President| Park Chung-hee| 17 December 1963 ~ 26 October 1979 | President| Choi Kyu-hah| 6 December 1979 ~ 16 August 1980 | President| Chun Doo-hwan| 1 September 1980 ~ 24 February 1988| President| Roh Tae-woo| 25 February 1988 ~ 24 February 1993| President| Kim Young-sam| 25 February 1993 ~ 24 February 1998| President| Kim Dae-jung| 25 February 1998 ~ 24 February 2003| President| Roh Moo-hyun| 25 February 2003 ~ 24 February 2008| President| Lee Myung-bak| 25 February 2008 ~ 24 February 2013| President| Park Geun-hye| 25 February 2013 ~ 10 March 2017| President| Moon Jae-in| 10 May 2017 ~
  • The name "Korea" is written as it started from 1897.


The combined population of the Koreas is about 76 million (North Korea: 25 million, South Korea: 51 million). Korea is chiefly populated by a highly (wikt:homogeneous|homogeneous) ethnic group, the Koreans, who speak the Korean language.WEB, Aparc,weblink Korea's ethnic nationalism is a source of both pride and prejudice, according to Gi-Wook Shin, Stanford, 3 November 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 20 July 2011, dead, dmy-all, 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 reside.{{Citation | date = 24 February 2009 | newspaper = The Los Angeles Times | url =weblink | title = Trying to teach South Korea about discrimination | first=John M. | last=Glionna}} It was estimated in 2006 that only 26,700 of the old Chinese community now remain in South Korea.NEWS,weblink 29 August 2006, 8 December 2006, No 'real' Chinatown in S. Korea, the result of xenophobic attitudes, Kim, Hyung-jin, Yonhap News, However, in recent years, immigration from mainland China has increased; 624,994 persons of Chinese nationality have immigrated to South Korea, including 443,566 of ethnic Korean descent.WEB,weblink More Than 1 Million Foreigners Live in Korea, Chosun Ilbo, 6 August 2009, 16 August 2009, Small communities of ethnic Chinese and Japanese are also found in North Korea.WEB,weblink The World Factbook, Korea, North, CIA, 3 November 2009,


{{Unreferenced section|date=August 2019}}File:Hunmin jeong-eum.jpg|thumb|upright|Hunminjeongeum, afterwards called HangulHangulKorean is the official language of both North and South Korea, and (along with Mandarin) of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the 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 25 million. Other large groups of Korean speakers through Korean diaspora are found in China, the United States, Japan, former 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 in 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

{{location map+ |Korea |float=right|width=250 |caption=Location of World Heritage Sites in Korea.WEB,weblink Democratic People's Republic of Korea, UNESCO, 30 June 2018, WEB,weblink Republic of Korea, UNESCO, 30 June 2018, {{paragraph break}}Note: Seoul is home to three separate properties; Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty locate throughout the country, only one site is shown on map. |places={hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Goguryeo tombs
| position = top
| lat_deg = 38 | lat_min = 51 | lat_sec = 47 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 125 | lon_min = 24 | lon_sec = 54 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong
| position = top
| lat_deg = 37 | lat_min = 58 | lat_sec = 00 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 126 | lon_min = 33 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Baekje Historic Areas
| position = left
| lat_deg = 36 | lat_min = 27 | lat_sec = 43 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 127 | lon_min = 07 | lon_sec = 38 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Changdeok Palace / Jongmyo Shrine
| position = left
| lat_deg = 37 | lat_min = 33 | lat_sec = 00 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 126 | lon_min = 59 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Gyeongju Historic Areas
| position =
| lat_deg = 35 | lat_min = 47 | lat_sec = 20 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 129 | lon_min = 13 | lon_sec = 36 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Haeinsa
| position = top
| lat_deg = 35 | lat_min = 48 | lat_sec = 00 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 128 | lon_min = 06 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Hahoe
| position = bottom
| lat_deg = 36 | lat_min = 32 | lat_sec = 21 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 128 | lon_min = 30 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Yangdong
| position = right
| lat_deg = 36 | lat_min = 00 | lat_sec = 47 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 129 | lon_min = 09 | lon_sec = 45 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Hwaseong
| position =
| lat_deg = 37 | lat_min = 16 | lat_sec = 20 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 127 | lon_min = 00 | lon_sec = 30 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Jeju
| position =
| lat_deg = 33 | lat_min = 28 | lat_sec = 08 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 126 | lon_min = 43 | lon_sec = 13 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Namhansanseong
| position =
| lat_deg = 37 | lat_min = 28 | lat_sec = 44 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 127 | lon_min = 10 | lon_sec = 52 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Royal Tombs of the Joseon
| position =
| lat_deg = 37 | lat_min = 11 | lat_sec = 50 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 128 | lon_min = 27 | lon_sec = 10 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Bulguksa and Seokguram
| position = right
| lat_deg = 35 | lat_min = 47 | lat_sec = 00 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 129 | lon_min = 21 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Dolmen Sites
| position =
| lat_deg = 34 | lat_min = 58 | lat_sec = 00 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 126 | lon_min = 55 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
{hide}Location map~ |Korea
| label = Sansa
| position = top
| lat_deg = 36 | lat_min = 32 | lat_sec = 31 | lat_dir = N
| lon_deg = 127 | lon_min = 50 | lon_sec = 00 | lon_dir = E
}}(File:Korea south kangnung kyongpodae.jpg|thumb|Korean Buddhist architecture)(File:Korean sword dance-Jinju geommu-03.jpg|thumb|Traditional Korean dance (Jinju geommu))In ancient Chinese texts, Korea is referred to as "Rivers and Mountains Embroidered on Silk" (, ) and "Eastern Nation of Decorum" (, ).WEB,weblink 대한민국의 국호, Naver Encyclope, 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 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.


Korean literature written before the end of the 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 {{sc|BCE}}, 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, Buddhism and Taoism.Modern literature is often linked with the development of hangul, which helped spread literacy from the aristocracy to the common people. 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 led to the development of literature centered on the wounds and chaos of war. 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.


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.WEB,weblink Korean – Religion and Expressive Culture, Korean music falls into two broad categories. The first, Hyangak, literally means The local music or Music native to Korea, a famous example of which is Sujechon, a piece of instrumental music often claimed to be at least 1,300 years old.BOOK, May, Elizabeth, Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction, 1983, University of California Press, 978-0520047785, 32–33, Ethno Musicology,weblink 10 July 2015, The second, yangak, represents a more Western style.


{{See also|Korean shamanism|Korean Confucianism|Korean Buddhism|Taoism in Korea|Christianity in Korea|Islam in Korea}}(File:Goryeo Buddhist painting.jpg|thumb|upright|Amitabha and Eight Great Bodhisattvas, Goryeo scroll from the 1300s)Confucian tradition has dominated Korean thought, along with contributions by Buddhism, Taoism, and Korean Shamanism. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, Christianity 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 missionary conversions in the SouthWEB,weblink About Korea, Religion, Korea, 3 November 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2008, WEB, Japan to Mali,weblink South Koreans, Every Culture, 3 November 2009, WEB,weblink Culture of South Korea, Every Culture, 3 November 2009, or the pressure from the Juche government in the North.WEB,weblink Culture of North Korea, Every Culture, 3 November 2009, WEB,weblink The World Factbook, North Korea: people, CIA, US, 3 November 2009, 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%.WEB,weblink International Religious Freedom Report, 2008, Korea, Republic of, Department of State, United States of America, US, 3 November 2009, 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.WEB,weblink The Korea Times: Islam takes root and blooms, Islam awareness, 22 November 2002, 3 November 2009,


{{See also|Korean tea ceremony|Korean royal court cuisine}}File:Tteokbokki.JPG|thumb|left|TteokbokkiTteokbokkiKoreans 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 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.(File:Korean barbecue and side dishes.jpg|alt=Traditional Korean meal|thumb|Bulgogi and side dishes)Korean cuisine is probably best known for kimchi, a side dish which uses a distinctive fermentation 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, 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 (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 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).NEWS, french, Shim Seung-Ja, La nourriture coréenne, Revue Culture coréenne, 61, August 2002, 17–23, NEWS, french, Chang Duk-Sang, L'étonnante cuisine coréenne, Revue Culture coréenne, 24, December 1990, 2–10, Instant noodles, or ramyeon, is a popular snack food. Koreans also enjoy food from pojangmachas (street vendors), which serve tteokbokki, rice cake and fish cake with a spicy gochujang sauce; gimbap, made of steamed white rice wrapped in dried laver seaweed; 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 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 and Silla.


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.WEB,weblink Data, OECD, 21 May 2012, South Korea ranks second on math and literature and first in {{Citation needed span|text=problem solving|reason=unverified|date=October 2014}}. 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. {{Citation needed span|text=After students enter university, however, the situation is markedly reversed.|reason=biased, unverifiable and quite likely inaccurate|date=April 2013}} 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.Library of Congress country study, see p. 7 for Education and Literacy ({{webarchive |url= |date=28 July 2012 }})WEB,weblink UIS Statistics, UIS, 5 October 2016, 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 of Technology, which focuses on computer science, Pyongyang 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 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

{{See also|List of Korean inventions and discoveries}}File:SelectedTeachingsofBuddhistSagesandSonMasters1377.jpg|thumb|JikjiJikjiOne of the best known artifacts of Korea's history of science and technology is the Cheomseongdae (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.WEB,weblink Cultural Heritage, the source for Koreans' Strength and Dream, Cha, KR, 3 November 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 March 2008, It is believed to have been printed in Korea in 750–51, which if correct, would make it older than the Diamond Sutra.During the Goryeo Dynasty, metal movable type printing was invented by Choe Yun-ui in 1234.WEB, Korean Classics : Asian Collections: An Illustrated Guide (Library of Congress - Asian Division),weblink Library of Congress, United States Congress, 19 August 2016, WEB, Korea, 1000–1400 A.D. {{!, Chronology {{!}} Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History {{!}} The Metropolitan Museum of Art|url=|website=The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History|publisher=The Metropolitan Museum of Art|accessdate=19 August 2016}}JOURNAL, Movable type - Oxford Reference,weblink Oxford Reference, Oxford University Press, 19 August 2016, 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.Baek Sauk Gi (1987). Woong-Jin-Wee-In-Jun-Gi #11 Jang Young Sil, page 61. Woongjin Publishing. 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.WEB,weblink Gutenberg and the Koreans: Did Asian Printing Traditions Influence the European Renaissance?, When the Mongols invaded Europe they inadvertently introduced different kinds of Asian technology.{{citation needed|date=April 2017}}During the Joseon period, the Turtle Ship was invented, which were covered by a wooden deck and iron with thorns,BOOK, Hawley, Samuel, The Imjin War. Japan's Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China, 2005, The Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, Seoul, 978-89-954424-2-5, 195f, BOOK, Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Invasion. Japan's Korean War 1592–98, 2002, Cassell & Co, London, 978-0-304-35948-6, 244,weblink JOURNAL, Roh, Young-koo, Yi Sun-shin, an Admiral Who Became a Myth, The Review of Korean Studies, 7, 3, 2004, 15–36,weblink KR, as well as other weapons such as the bigyeokjincheolloe cannon (비격진천뢰, ) and the hwacha.The Korean alphabet hangul was also invented during this time by King Sejong the Great.


North Korea and South Korea usually compete as two separate nations in international events. There are, however, a few examples of them having competed as one entity, under the name 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 and golf are also popular.


Taekwon-Do is Korea's most famous martial art and sport. It combines combat techniques, self-defence, sport and exercise. Taekwon-Do has become an official Olympic sport, starting as a demonstration event in 1988 (when South Korea hosted the Games in Seoul) and becoming an official medal event in 2000. The two major Taekwon-Do federations were founded in Korea. The two are the International Taekwon-Do Federation and the World Taekwondo Federation.


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 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 is a traditional form of wrestling that has been practiced in Korea for thousands of years, with evidence discovered from Goguryeo of Korea's Three Kingdoms Period (57 {{sc|BCE}} 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 Dano Festival (the 5th day of the fifth lunar month) and Chuseok (the 15th day of the 8th lunar month). Competitions are also held throughout the year as a part of festivals and other events.


Taekkyon is a traditionnal martial art, considered the oldest form of fighting technique of Korea. Practiced since centuries and especially popular during the Joseon dynasty, two forms co-existed: one for practical use, the other for sport. This form was usually practiced alongside Ssireum during festivals and competitions between villages. Nonetheless, Taekkyon almost disappeared during the Japanese Occupation and the Korean War.Though lost in North Korea, Taekkyon has enjoyed a spectacular revival from the 1980's in South Korea. It is the only martial art in the world (with Ssireum) recognized as a National Treasure of South Korea and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Comparison of the two countries of Korea{| class"wikitable" border"1"|+

! Indicator !! North Korea !! South KoreaPyongyang >| Seoul Korean Chosŏn'gÅ­l >| HangulJuche single-party state>democracy>Representative democracy| 15 August 1948| 100,210 km2| 50,219,669| $1.755 trillion| $34,777North Korean won>Korean People's won (sign: â‚©, ISO currency code: KPW) >South Korean won>Korean Republic won (â‚©, KRW)| +82| .kr right| 639,000| $30 billion

Notable 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 was annexed to the Empire of Japan on August 29, 1910 following the imposed Japan-Korea Treaty. On March 1, 1919, Korean presented their resistance towards Japan and Japanese occupation with a declaration of independence. Following the conclusion of World War II, Korea was liberated from 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 commemorating those who fought and died for the nation. In August 1948, only a few years after 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 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 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 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 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 Day, October 9th

Hangul Day (also spelled as Hangeul Day) is a day that celebrates the creation of the Hunminjeongeum (Hangul, Korean alphabet), which was inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 1997.WEB, The Hunmin Chongum Manuscript,weblink Memory of the World, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Hangul was created by Sejong the Great in 1443 and proclaimed in 1446. Before the creation of Hangul, people in Korea (known as Joseon at the time) primarily wrote using Classical Chinese alongside native phonetic writing systems that predate Hangul by hundreds of years, including idu, hyangchal, gugyeol, and gakpil.BOOK, Hannas, Wm C., Asia's Orthographic Dilemma, University of Hawaii Press, 9780824818920, 57,weblink 20 September 2016, en, 1997, BOOK, Chen, Jiangping, Multilingual Access and Services for Digital Collections, ABC-CLIO, 9781440839559, 66,weblink 20 September 2016, en, 2016-01-18, JOURNAL, Invest Korea Journal, 1 January 2005, 23,weblink 20 September 2016, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, en, They later devised three different systems for writing Korean with Chinese characters: Hyangchal, Gukyeol and Idu. These systems were similar to those developed later in Japan and were probably used as models by the Japanese., NEWS, Korea Now, 1 July 2000, 29,weblink 20 September 2016, Korea Herald, en, 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 to promote literacy among the common people.BOOK, Koerner, E. F. K., Asher, R. E., Concise History of the Language Sciences: From the Sumerians to the Cognitivists, Elsevier, 9781483297545, 54,weblink 13 October 2016, en, 2014-06-28, 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 during a time of rapid forced Japanization.BOOK, Lee, Peter H., Bary, William Theodore De, Sources of Korean Tradition: From the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, Columbia University Press, 9780231120302, 321,weblink 3 October 2016, en, 1997, Today, both South Korea and North Korea celebrate Hangul Day as a national holiday.

See also

{{Wikipedia books|Korea}}


{{Reflist | group = "lower-alpha"}}


{{Reflist |30em}}Sources
  • {{Citation | editor-first = Ian | editor-last = Castello-Cortes | title = World Reference Atlas | contribution = North Korea | edition = 2nd American | year = 1996 | publisher = Dorling Kindersley | location = New York | isbn = 978-0-7894-1085-6}}.
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Further reading

  • Chun, Tuk Chu. "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.
  • BOOK, Oberdorfer, Don, The Two Koreas: a Contemporary History, 2001, Basic Books, 978-0465051625, 47831650,
  • Focus On Asian Studies. Special Issue: "Korea: A Teacher's Guide". No. 1, Fall 1986.
  • {{Citation| first = Gi-Wook | last = Shin | editor-first = Michael | editor-last = Robinson | title = Colonial modernity in Korea | place = Cambridge, MA | publisher = Harvard University, Asia Center | year = 1999 | isbn = 978-0-674-14255-8}}.
  • Hart, Dennis. From Tradition to Consumption: Construction of a Capitalist Culture in South Korea. Seoul: Jimoondang, 2003.
  • BOOK, Jager, Sheila Miyoshi, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, Brothers at War – The Unending Conflict in Korea, 2013, Profile Books, London, 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 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.
  • BOOK, Pratt, Keith L, Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea, 2006, Reaktion, London, 9781861892737, 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.
  • {{Citation | url =weblink | title = The Gloucestershire Regiment and The Battle of the Imjin River, Korean War | publisher = Glosters | place = UK | url-status = dead | archiveurl =weblink" title="">weblink | archivedate = 13 May 2008 | df = dmy-all }}.
  • {{Citation | url =weblink | type = briefing note | title = OECD Health Data | year = 2009 | contribution = How Does Korea Compare | publisher = Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development}}.

External links

  • {hide}Wikisource-inline |list =
    • COLLIER'S, Korea, x, x,
    • AMERICANA, Korea, 1920, x, x,
  • {{Official websiteweblink||name=The Republic of Korea}}
  • {{dmoz |Regional/Asia/Regions/Korean_Peninsula|Korea}}
{{East Asian topics}}{{Korea topics}}{{Authority control}}{{Coord |38|19|N|127|14|E|type:country_region:KR|display= title}}

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