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Korea lies adjacent to China and Japan. The northern border of Korea is formed by the Amnokkang (Yalu) and Tuman-gang (Tumen) rivers which separate it from Manchuria. A 16-kilometer segment of the Tuman-gang river to the east also serves as a natural border with Russia. The west coast of the Korean Peninsula is bounded by the Korea Bay to the north and the Yellow Sea to the south; the east coast is bounded by the East Sea. Two hundred kilometers separate the peninsula from eastern China. The Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu are located 206 kilometers to the southeast, just across the Korea Strait. Because of its unique geographical location, Chinese culture filtered into Japan through Korea; a common cultural sphere of Buddhism and Confucianism was thus established between the three countries. The Korean Peninsula extends for about 1,000 kilometers southward from the northeast Asian continental landmass. Roughly 300 kilometers in width, climate variations are more pronounced along the south-north axis. Due to these variations, marked differences in plant vegetation can be seen along this axis. Generally speaking, the southern half of the peninsula is warmer than the northern half. TERRITORY The total area of the peninsula, including the islands, is 22,154 square kilometers of which about 45 percent (99,313 square kilometers), excluding the area in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), constitutes the territory of South Korea. The combined territories of South and North Korea is similar in size of Britain (244,100 square kilometers) and Guyana (215,000 square kilometers). South Korea along is about the size of Hungary (93,000 square kilometers) and Jordan (97.700 square kilometers). There are about 3,000 islands belonging to Korea. The islands are located mostly around the Yellow Sea; only a handful of them lie of the East Sea. Ullungdo, the largest island in the East Sea, serves as a major fishery base as does Tokdo island. Important islands within South Korea's territory include Chejudo, the largest island, which lies off the southwest corner of the peninsula. Until the 11th century, the territory of Korea had encompassed most of Manchuria, but by the 15th century, due to repeated conflicts with China, Koreans retreated southward and the Amnokkang and Tuman-gang rivers became the permanent Sino-Korean border. At the end of World War II, the peninsula was divided into a northern zone occupied by Soviet forces and a southern zone occupied by US forces, the boundary between the two zones being formed at the 38th parallel. In 1953, at the end of the Korean War, this boundary became semi-permanently fixed at the DMZ, a 4 kilometer wide strip of land than runs along the lines of
the capital of South Korea. In rural areas however. Seoul. and sometimes substantial. Taejon and Ulsan. Kwangju. regional differences developed in both the spoken language and customs of the people. GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS Mountain ranges have traditionally served as natural boundary markers between regions. At the second administrative tier. Pusan is the second largest city. is bordered on the north by China and Russia and juts toward Japan to the southeast. A town (up) has a population of 20. counties (gun) are subdivided into towns (up) and townships (myon). provinces (do) are subdivided into small cities (shi) and counties (gun). These regional distinctions also correspond to the traditional administrative units devised during the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910). having over 10 million residents.cease-fire from the east to the west coast for a distance of about 241 kilometers. ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS There are three administrative tiers in South Korea. The Korean Peninsula is 222. almost the same size as the UK or Romania.154 square kilometers. Kyongsangbukdo Province. is the largest urban center. and the easternmost is Tokdo island in Ullung-gun. A county (gun) consists of one town (up) and five to ten townships (myon). The population of these areas now constitutes over 85 percent of the national total. the southwestern and northeastern peripheral regions have sustained a considerable loss in population. In the last several decades. The westernmost point of Maando island in Yongch'on-gun. in descending order. the Seoul metropolitan area and the Kyongsang-do area. The Korean Peninsula. South Korea has witnessed a rapid growth of its urban centers. Because these natural boundaries inhibited frequent interactions between people living on either side of the range. Pyonganbuk-do Province. The northernmost point is Yup'ojin in Onsong-gun.000 people or less. Although they are administrative units. The administrative area of the Republic of Korea is 99. Hamgyongbuk-do Province. and the southernmost point is Marado island. provinces (do) also play an important role in the regional identification of the people and many Koreans often identify themselves by the province in which they were born and raised. are each home to over 1 million people. North Korea also has a similar jurisdictional heiarchy. Inch'eon. subtle.392 . Urban growth has been particularly spectacular along the Seoul-Pusan corridor. A small city (shi) comprises those areas with populations of more than 50. By contrast. with a population of over 4 million. The last administrative tier consists of subdivisions of shi which are called dong. located in Northeast Asia. Cheju-do Province. Taegu. Metropolitan cities refer to those urban areas with a population of over 1 million. The highest tier includes seven metropolitan cities and nine provinces (do).000.
respectively. Lying just below the Capital Region. Mining industries. Ch'ungch-aongdo province has been characterized as a southern extension of Seoul. slightly larger than Hungary or Portugal and a little smaller than Iceland. is the center of all political. divides the province into eastern coastal and western inland areas. New industries have recently mushroomed along the Asanman bay on the Yellow Sea coast. The downgrading of mining industries. as the name implies. which runs north-south through the middle of the region. As the hub of South Korea's transportation networks. the Capital Region serves as South Korea's gateway to the world. despite its rugged terrain. In and around Seoul reside the largest concentration of the nation's industries. Inch'on and Kyonggi-do province. the Kyonggi-do province. a newly built Inch'on International Airport. Clustered around Seoul are also numbers of smaller cities which form a continuous and sprawling urban area. Given this strategic importance. and the Kangwon-do province to the east. Ch'ungch'dong-do province This region lies between the Capital Region and the South. .square kilometers. Ch'ungch'ong-do and Kyonggi-do provinces specialize in horticulture and dairy farming to meet the huge demands of the nearby urban centers of the Capital Region. Ch'ongju and Taejon are the leading urban centers of the northern and southern provinces. The Central Region This region consists of the Seoul metropolitan area. have recently experienced a drastic decline due to the competition of cheaper foreign-imported coals and minerals. the dialect spoken in Seoul and its vicinity is considered to be the nation's standard spoken Korean. its proximity to the capital has been economically very advantageous for the region. with Kimp'o International Airport located on western outskirts of Seoul. Kangnung. once a major player in the regional economy. the Ch'ungch'long-do province to the south. Kanwon-do province This area lies to the east of the Capital region. and railroad networks that radiate to all parts of the country from the capital. Ch'unch'son and Wonju are its leading urban areas. It includes Taejon. The capital region. The T'aebaeksan range. economic and cultural activity in South Korea. coupled with the national trend of rural to urban migration are the major contributing factors for the recent out-migration of the region. Ch'ungch'iongbuk-do and Ch'ungch'nongnam-do provinces. Kangwon-do province offers a variety of opportunities for tourism and sport activities. The Capital Region This region includes Seoul. The region has also profited from transportation and urban services which serve Seoul and its vicinity.
this situation is changing and the region is now experiencing industrial growth in major urban centers like Kwanju and Chonju." literally meaning "south of the mountain pass. Chonju and Naju are their respective centers. Taegu and Ulsan. Due to the rugged topography of the surrounding mountains. located in the southwest and Chejudo island. The flat fertile lands of the Jumgang and Yongsan-gang river basins. Cholla-do Province Cholla-do province is located southwest of the peninsula nd comprises Kwangju. These heavy industrial faciltiies of steel.Kangwon-do province. as well as the coastal lowlands. through Ulsan. has now the sparsest population of the nation. comprising the second (4 million) and third (2. "Honam" is another name for Chollado province. and Kyongsangbuk-do (north) and Kyongsang-nam-do (south) provinces. which lies off the South Sea. This region is characterized by a bast vasin of the Naktonggang river and is surrounded by the Sobaeksan Mountains. The regional economy has lagged somewhat behind the Capital and Kyongsang-do regions due to sparse industrial investments made here during the past decades. due mainly to the heavy investment in the region by the South Korean government since the 1960's. located in the southeast. the tidal flats near Kunsan and Mokp'o have recently been reclaimed. However. sub-areas within the region share common cultural traits such as dialect and custom which are quite distinct from other peoples of outlying regions. Kyongsang-do province This region includes Pusan. second only to the Capital Region. Pusan and Taegu are the major urban centers of the southern and northern regions of this province. the Kyongsang-do province." attests to the key role that the mountains have historically played in fostering regional differences between the Korean people. have made the region the major granary of the nation. The fact that Kyongsang-do province also has another name. Chollabuk-do (north) and Chollanam-do (south). automobile and petrochemical factories are largely concentrated along the southeast stretch of P'ohang. as well as along its western coast. "Yongnam Region. Pusan. The South Region The South includes three geographical regions. . Cholla-do province. The northwestern province also has two major clusters of industries around Taegu and Kumi. adding huge new lands for industrial development. Kyongsang-do province has one of the largest industrial agglomerations. with less than 2 million residents.5 million) largest metropolitan cities of South Korea. Ch'angwon and Chinju. Kwanju. Also. specializing in textile and electronics. shipbuilding.
However. The island is also famous for its subtropical fruits such as tangerines. and more than four-fifths of the South Koreans live in cities. boasts mining and forestry as its major economic activities. The North Region The northern part of the peninsula is divided into two geographical regions: the P'yong-an-do province in the northwest and the Hamgyong-do province in the northeast. This unique coastal landscape attracts a number of tourists year-round. very irregular coastline. even though the population of both nations has more than doubled .The region is endowed with vast tidal flats. P'yongyang. Hwanghae-do province lies to the south of O'yong-an-do province. a leading urban center in the P'yong-an-do province. The mountain highlands in the northeast and south are generally less populated than the coastal plains in the west. the population distribution is uneven. Hwanghae-do province shares a great many cultural similarities with other west-central regions of the peninsula. and countless large and small islands. pineapples and bananas. The third geographical region of the North. Located about 140 kilometers south of Mokp'o in the South Sea. Indeed. It is also famous for its women divers. its histori isolation from the mainland contributed to the Chejudo peoples' to its fiery origins. comparable to the most heavily populated areas in the United States and Europe. due to its mountainous topography. Kaesong is the major city of the region. thus offering excellent opportunity for fishing and diving. Because of its subtropical climate and the unique lifestyles and customs of its people. Hamgyong-do province. The People of Korea Korea has one of the highest average population densities in the world. By contrast. Once a part of the Central region prior to the South-North division. tourism is the most is the most important industry in the region. As may be seen in Tables (1) and (3) on the next page. but now more than two-thirds of the North Koreans. The former with more flatlands is also known as the Kwanso region while the latter is often referred to as Kwanbuk. Chejudo island Chejudo island is the largest in Korea. Hamhung and Ch'rongjin are the other major centers of amgyong-do province. as may be seen in the population map. P'yong-an-do province serves as the major agricultural area of the North. more than three-fourths of all Koreans lived in the countryside in 1950. is the capital of North Korea and Namp'o serves as the gateway port to P'yongyang. The map doesn't accurately convey one of the most important population phenomena in Korea since the Korean War: the shift of population from rural to urban settings.
000 1.000 1.869 45.3 74.189 25. New York City. Seoul is currently the tenth largest metropolitan area in the world. Los Angeles.000 3.4 79.553 --28. Urban and Rural Rural Total % Urban % Rural Population (millions) (millions) 20. The birth rate in Korea has now dropped below replacement level.367. Seoul has led them all: a city of only about 1 million people in 1950.6 (est.229.000 2.612.000 3.085. Urban and Rural . The People of Korea Table 1 South Korea: Population Growth.160. it has over 11 million people today.0 16. Even though the population of Korea has grown enormously since the Korean War. the average age of the general population will grow older in the future.0 9.000 728. the rate of growth in the last ten years has slowed greatly due to government efforts.049. the rural population of North Korea has stayed about the same.since the Korean War.798. while the rural population of South Korea has decreased by more than half.0 57. As a result. and Bombay.7 25.3 11.0 42.0 --72.012 38.607.000 1.124 42.) Year 1949 1960 1980 1990 1995 Table 2 South Korea: Largest Cities Cities Seoul Pusan Inchon Taegu Kwangju Taejon 1980 Population 8.000 --1990 Population 10.000 Table 3 North Korea: Population Growth.000 1.000 1.0 --18. comparable to Mexico City. Due to the population shift city populations in Korea have exploded in the last fifteen years.6 21.139.817.
Other observers suggest more like 2.000 *260.4 (est. and CIA World Fact Book 1995.) 8.359 10.000 310. McCune (1966).Year 1949 1953 1956 1960 1983 1995 Rural Total % Urban % Rural Population (millions) (millions) 9. .000 The preceeding tables were complied using data from the following sources: Dickey (1986).789 19. Korean Overseas Information Service (1993).1 million people were either killed directly or indirectly by the Korean War or emigrated to the South during the war.185 23.) ------7. Table 4 North Korea: Largest Cities Cities P'yongyang Ch'ongjin Kaesong Hamhung Sinuiju Hungnam Estimated 1986 *Estimated 1981 2.2 (est.000 530.000.000 330.622 8.7 (est.487 25 ------60 64 75 ------40 36 7.000 670.) *Official North Korean estimate.491* 9.
city. Conditions in the large Korean cities are similar to those in large American cities: smog. Life in the city may not be better than in the country. Jobs are plentiful. There may be more bicycles than in a typical U. Land policies have sometimes been unjust and taxes have often been heavy. freeways. but it certainly is different. As Korean agriculture is modernized. but otherwise this snapshot could be in any large city in America.S. The photo to the right shows a traditional farming village in South Korea. and big and sometimes ugly buildings. Working conditions range from hard physical labor in construction and assembly plants to typical desk jobs in modern business buildings and school campuses. so good agricultural land is limited. Working hours are long. and the signs are in a foreign language. The migration to the cities has been fueled by the lack of land and jobs in the countryside. Here we see a typical set of new high-rises in Seoul overlooking the Han river.The People of Korea Rural life in Korea has been difficult through most of its history. and living conditions are frequently primitive. this type of dwelling is being replaced by more modern single family dwellings made of cinder block. traffic. The photo below shows a fairly typical street scene in downtown Seoul. but many of the older homes remain. The land is hilly. the labor is physically demanding. The People of Korea The photo to the right shows one of the more . but living space is limited and expensive.
Traditional arts of painting. and ceramics are kept alive by both individuals and government support. Religion has been an important part of Korean life for more than a millennium. Religious activity is discouraged under the Communists in North Korea. On the other hand. drama. This statue of Bhudda is on the Kyong-bok Palace grounds in Seoul. The populations of both North and South Korea are almost perfectly homogeneous. The photo to the left shows a fourteenth century temple on the Kyongbok Palace grounds in Seoul. Christianity. and local religions that combine aspects of all three. about 20.000 Chinese. The last census in South Korea indicated only one other ethnic group.there are no other ethnic groups present. in South Korea. Reminders of Korea's past are found everywhere in both North and South Korea. religious thought and activity permeates much of society. The most prominent religions in South Korea are Bhuddism. It is a typical crowd out for a day of fun at the local zoo in Seoul. That's only twenty thousand out of 45 million! The North Koreans report no other ethnic groups at all. Can you see anything different from a typical crowd at a mall in the USA? They are all Koreans -. It is no wonder that when American or European soldiers visit the countryside. The Korean people feel strong ties to their past and to their cultural heritage. . so about half of the people there are nonreligious. they attract many children.interesting aspects of the population of Korea. The commitment to religious philosophy in society and government is expressed even in the national flag. most of whom have never seen a non-Korean. Confucianism.
According to legend Silla was founded in 57 BC by Bak Hyeokgeose. At first Korea was divided into tribes but eventually organised kingdoms emerged. Following the Chinese example a university was formed where Confucian classics were taught. There were fights over the succession to the throne. The Baekje kingdom was defeated by 660 AD and became part of Silla. In reality the 3 kingdoms emerged later between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. The three kingdoms of Korea fought for supremacy.A SHORT HISTORY OF KOREA By Tim Lambert The Rise of Korean Civilisation By 4000 BC there were stone age farmers living in Korea. China tried to defeat the northern kingdom of Goguryeo twice. These 3 kingdoms were heavily influenced by Chinese civilisation. By the 4th century they were highly civilised. This was underlined by the existence of the hwabaek. Gyeongju. Moreover local warlords began to break away from the government in the capital. The Silla (668-935) Although Korea was united under one monarch it was still largely a tribal society. By about 300 BC they had learned to use iron to make tools and weapons. Jumong founded Goguryeo in 37 BC and Onjo founded Baekje in 18 BC. Later they were a council of nobles and they had the power to decide who succeeded to the throne. Goguryeo followed in 668. Goguryeo in the north and Silla and Baekje in the south. and formed their own states. (You had to be of noble birth to study there). He defeated his rivals and in 935 became ruler of Silla. Korea was then united under the Silla. (Again only those of noble birth could take them). Most of the population were serfs and even the nobility were divided into ranks. By 1000 BC they had learned to use bronze. Korean society was strictly heirarchical. There were also civil service exams following the Chinese model. In the late 8th century AD the Silla kingdom began to break down. There were 3 of them. Both times they were defeated by General Eulji Mundeok. Bhuddism was introduced into Korea in the 4th century AD and soon many Bhuddist temples were built. However the Chinese then made an alliance with the Silla kingdom against the other two. Originally they were a council of tribal leaders. One warlord called Wang Geon formed a state called Goryeo in 918. .
Certain trades such as butchers. A people called the Jurchens conquered north China and frequently fought the Koreans. However the Koreans fought back and the Mongols were never able to completely subdue Korea. Then China fell to the Mongols. Under the Yi rulers Confucianism was made the official religion of Korea. craftsmen and merchants. The Mongols were unable to take the island but they were able to rampage throughout mainland Korea. Finally in 1258 the Korean royal family surrendered. The History of the Three Kingdoms. In the 17th century Korea suffered from factionalism among its ruling class. In 1392 a General named Yi Seong-gye was ordered to lead an army against the Ming rulers of China. Instead he turned against his own ruler. In Korea trade and commerce flourished.The Goryeo (918-1392) The Goryeo kingdom was faced with aggressive neighbours. They were allowed to remain as puppet rulers. A man named KIm Bu-sikwrote a history of Korea called Samguksagi. So the scholar-official class were hereditary. This was also an age when exquisite celadon pottery was made. In 1443 king Sejong created a native Korean alphabet. . Below them were the great mass of Korean society called the yangmin. Merchants had low status in Korean society. Bhuddism lost its influence. They were called the jungin (middle-men). The Japanese were forced to withdraw. They soon turned their attention to Korea and they invaded in 1231. In order to join the civil service or to become an army officer you had to pass certain exams in Confucian thought. The general became the new king of Korea. However the Goryeo dynasty was in decline. In the 13th century the Chinese philosophy called Neo-Confucianism arrived in Korea. tanners and entertainers were outcasts. The Korean royal family fled to the island of Ganghwado. Below the yangban were a class of clerks and specialists like doctors and accountants. Silhak (practical learning). At the bottom of the pile were slaves. In order to take the exams you had to be the son of a yangban. They invaded again in 1597 but they withdrew in 1598. Japan invaded Korea in 1592. They were peasants. They prevailed on land but at sea they were defeated by Admiral Yi Sun-sin. In the 18th century the kings clamped down on factionalism. The Joseon (1392-1910) The king moved the capital to Hanseong (Seoul) in 1394. Scholars discussed the practical ways of of solving Korea's problems rather than purely abstract ideas. In Korea there was a class of scholars-officials called the yangban.
The USA sent ships to Korea but they too were fought off. Koreans visiting China met them and by the end of the 18th century some Koreans had been converted to Catholicism. The treaty stated that Japan and Korea were independent nations. In that year they forced the Koreans to sign a treaty of trade and friendship. Europeans Arrive In Korea During the 19th century Korea adopted an isolationist policy. They burned the Japanese legation and killed the Japanese military advisor. The Koreans refused to trade with Westerners. There were to be no tarriffs on Japanese goods. . Confucianism was a very conservative religion or philosophy and made radical change difficult. Other ports were opened to the Japanese. However Japan had increasing power and influence over the Koreans.Confucianism regarded them with suspicion since they did not actually produce anything. The new religion slowly spread in Korea despite waves of persecution in 1801. Then in the 18th century Jesuit priests travelled to China. At first this policy was successful. Until 1876 Japanese merchants were only allowed to trade in Busan. After 1880 king Gojong attempted reform. western technology' but his measures were unpopular and were resisted by conservative officials and by the ordinary people. In the 1850s a new religion spread among the peasants. which increased Japanese influence. (King Gojong realised that Korea was too weak to fight them). the Treaty of Jemulpo. Some French priests were killed in Korea in 1866. The rebellion was crushed and Choe Je-u was executed. In 1882 some soldiers in Imo rebelled. The peasants were discontented in the 19th century and in 1864 there was a rebellion. The French sent a gun boat to avenge them but they were driven off by Korean shore defences. In 1884 she signed a trade treaty with Russia and in 1886 with France. Furthermore the Chinese used the uprising as an excuse to station their troops on Korean territory. In 1871 Koreans burned a US ship called the General Sherman which came to plunder the coast. This was followed by treaties with Britain and Germany the same year. Korea was forced to pay compensation to the Japanese and signed a new treaty. The first contact with Europeans came in 1656 when a Dutch ship was shipwrecked off the coast of Korea. In 1882 he introduced the slogan 'eastern ethics. However Korea's policy of isolation meant she fell behind other countries in technology and industry. Korea signed a similar trade treaty with the USA 1882. 1839 and 1866. unlike peasants and craftsmen. It was called Donghak (Eastern learning) and it was led by Choe Je-u.
Slavery was abolished. However they also built bridges. China and Japan then fought a war. railways and roads. They were crushed by the Japanese and the movement was destroyed. were not allowed to be involved in trade. The Japanese installed a regent to rule and under Japanese pressure a Deliberative Council was formed to introduce reforms. A new curriculum was introduced for schools with modern subjects. He was assassinated in 1909. The urban population grew rapidly although Korea remained predominantly agricultural. Chinese influence was now ended and Japan began to dominate Korea. New exams were introduced based on modern subjects. Then in 1907 Korea was forced to accept limited Japanese control of its internal affairs and the Korean army was disbanded. However Korea remained an overwhelmingly agricultural nation. For centuries Korea was a 'tributary' state of China. The Japanese also built many factories in Korea. Some further reforms were undertaken in the years 1895-1910. Their leader was captured and executed in 1895. While all this was being done the Donghak started a second rebellion. the scholar-official class. That gave the Japanese an excuse to annex Korea which they did in 1910. Widows were now allowed to remarry and child marriage was abolished. They insisted they were loyal to the king but they demanded certain reforms. A Japanese official was sent to run things. from Seoul to Incheon.In 1894 members of the Donghak religion and discontented peasants rose in rebellion. By 1910 there was a small but rapidly growing number of converts. Now they were free to engage in business. which Japan won easily. In the past the Yangban. There were many Koreans who wanted some reform but the Japanese forced them to introduce these reforms anyway. The Colonial Period in Korea (1910-1945) The Japanese turned Korea into a colony to supply Japan with food. The king appealed to the Chinese for help and they sent troops. In Korea was made a Japanese 'protectorate' which meant that Japan now controlled Korean foreign policy and its relations with other countries. The regent resigned in October 1894 but the king made no attempt to stop the reforms. By 1900 there were many Protestant missionaries in Korea. The king then made a truce with the rebels but the Japanese refused to leave. The old rigid division of Korean society into classes was abolished. Japan also sent troops. From July 1894 to December 1895 the Council swept away much of Korean tradition. was built in 1901. Nevertheless Japanese rule was . The old civil service exams based on Confucian thought were abolished. The first modern textile mill in Korea was built in 1897 and the firt railway. Increasingly Korea fell under Japanese domination.
However Japanese attempts to turn Korea into part of Japan were ended in 1945 when they surrendered to the allies. They quickly drove south and captured Seoul. On the same day allied troops liberated Seoul. The allies counter-attacked on 25 January and on 14 March they again liberated Seoul. The North Korean army invaded the south on 25 June 1950. On 15 September other US troops landed at Incheon 150 miles north of Busan. The first British troops arrived in Korea on 14 September to reinforce them. However the Chinese then intervened. Strengthened by Chinese 180. In August 1945 Russian troops entered the north. United Nations troops then pushed the communists back over the 38th parallel and by 24 November they controlled about 2/3 of North Korea. one communist. During World War II many Koreans either volunteered and were forced to work in Japan. the 38th parallel. Afterwards they made some small reforms.000 troops the communists then counter-attacked and drove the allies south. Several communist offensives . The Korean War Even before the war ended Russia and the USA had agreed that after the war Korea would be divided into two zones. after the Japanese surrender. In 1919 many Koreans took part in peaceful demonstrations for independence. The soldiers in the Busan area broke out and pushed north and linked up with the troops in Incheon on 26 September. The communists attacked again on 1 January 1951. It was originally intended that the two zones would eventually be united into one. Schoolchildren were forbidden to speak Korean. Korea was divided in two along an imaginary line. The Koreans were allowed to print newspapers and hold meetings. Of course that did not happen. Korea became two countries. The Russians installed a communist government in the north and in the south a government was elected in 1948. The Japanese responed by arresting and executing thousands of people. The Japanese also tried to persuade the Koreans to adopt Shinto (the Japanese national religion) without much success.repressive. They were also granted religious freedom and more respect was shown to Korean customs. With the onset of the cold war the divide between them hardened. In September. From 1938 education was only in Japanese. Russian and American. However all these reforms were superficial and in the 1930s the Japanese tried to assimilate the Koreans by persuading them to adopt Japanese names. US troops arrived on 30 June but they were forced to withdraw into the area around Busan. The UN Security Council invited members to help the south. By the end of 1950 the allies were back at the 38th parallel. American troops landed in the south. one democratic.
It was also a democratic country. Demonstrations against him were held in the city of Gwangju. In 1987 Christian leaders spoke out against the regime and many people held mass demonstrations. It was transformed from a poor. General Chun agreed to step down and democratic elections were held. Faced with inflation. He declared martial law and arrested his opponents. . The South Korean Economic Miracle At first the general declared martial law but in 1963 he held presidential elections and won. In the 1990s the government began to deregulate industry. However his administration was corrupt and by 1960 it was facing growing economic problems. killing hundreds of people. General Park Chung-hee became ruler. The war ended in a stalemate and on 27 July 1953 a cease fire was signed. The state played a large part in the transformation. The president. After the asassination of General Park in 1979 the army again stepped in to restore order. He won a second election in 1967. Despite repressive rule South Korea's economy began to grow rapidly from the mid 1960s and by the 1990s the country had undergone an economic miracle. A series of 5 year plans were drawn up and the government took a central role in running the economy. In 1960 riots by students forced Rhee to resign.followed but all of them were repulsed. Afterwards he drew up a new constitution which gave him more power. Nevertheless his rule was repressive. In 1988 General Roh Tae-woo was elected president. In 1988 the Olympics were held in Seoul which brought South Korea into the international limelight. Industry became dominated by large corporations called Chaebol. unemployment and continuing riots the army staged a coup in 1961. relatively undeveloped country into a thriving and rich economy. General Chun Doo-hwan took power in May 1980. South Korea became an affluent society. The army crushed the protests by force. He was asassinated in October 1979. However from the mid 1980s there was increasing unrest in South Korea led by students unhappy with the regime. By the 1990s South Korea had become a fairly rich nation and its people had quite a high standard of living. The 38th parallel was once again the border between the two countries. In the 1980s the Korean economy continued to grow and the country climbed out of poverty. In the 1960s General Park built roads and bridges and expanded education. Syngman Rhee used a national security law of 1949 to close newspapers and imprison critics. South Korea Since 1945 Democracy did not flourish in South Korea in the 1950s. They were led by students. The General won a third election in 1971 by only by a small margin.
In fact he created a very repressive regime. In 2008 a woman named Yi So Yeon became the first Korean to travel in space. North Korea Since 1945 In stark contrast is North Korea. With a great deal of Russian aid North Korea was transformed from a poor agricultural country into an industrial one. However North Korea remains a very repressive and very isolated regime. Kim Il Sung was made ruler. Kim Il-sung died in 1994 but was succeeded by his son. followed by a drought in 1997 and typhoon damage in 1997. Like many dictators he created a 'cult of personality' by erecting statues of himself everywhere. which was another milestone in the countrys development. In effect the communists have created a new dynasty. Today the population of North Korea is 22 million while the population of South Korea is 48 million. The food shortages dragged on through the 1990s. How many people died in the famine is not known as information is very hard to come by but some estimates put it at one million. In the late 1990s a severe famine occured in North Korea. In the 1990s South Korea made some attempt to normalise relations with the north but Korea remains a deeply divided nation. .At the beginning of the 21st century Korea is a prosperous and thriving nation. After Russian troops occupied the north a communist government was installed. Religious belief was outlawed and the people strictly controlled. There were unusually heavy rain and floods in 1995-96. Schoolchildren were taught to see him as the fount of all wisdom. Furthermore North Korea was harmed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Malnutrition became common especially among children. However in the mid 1970s the economy began to stagnate and North Korea was overtaken by the south. Today North Korea is the last stalinist regime in the world.
Lee Myung-bak Administration Advancement and Integration are the demands of the times that helped the Lee Myung-bak Administration to emerge. the Lee Administration employs Creative Pragmatism. promotes realistic approaches to problem-solving processes. revive the economy to benefit ordinary people and overcome ideological and regional rifts. poverty-ridden country after the Korean War (1950 . Nonaggression and Exchanges and Cooperation (the Basic South-North Agreement) and the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Korea is also seeking global cooperation to cope with global environmental issues. ensures a more systematic awareness of issues and searches for solutions for them. diversification of international relations and the spread of universal values. forges new objectives and ways to implement them. the advent of an age of knowledge and information. global warming. The guiding principle of the President emphasizes substantive results. To meet the demands of the public. With its diplomatic foundation firmly in place. Korea's trade with developing as well as advanced countries is expected to keep expanding as long as Korea's economy and trade continue to grow and the country's industrial structure continues to focus on technology-intensive activities. Korea continued to pursue cooperative partnerships with all countries in every field. To establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. including the founding of the nation. such as . But that image began to change in 1962.APEC. including globalization. The Republic of Korea was regarded as a devastated. The history of the Republic of Korea is understood as the story of continuing development. To carry on the legacy of historic progress. Korea has been actively taking part in regional international gatherings -. ASEM and ASEAN to name a few -.and seeking global cooperation to tackle with the recent global economic difficulties through building international cooperation. Korea successfully transformed itself from a war-torn country to the world's 13th largest economy. International meetings South and North Korea laid the foundation for peaceful coexistence in December 1991 when they concluded the Agreement on Reconciliation. the administration aims to nurture new growth engines. the Republic of Korea has been playing a leading role by participating in regional international cooperation gatherings and holding summit talks with many countries. To further boost international cooperation in the world's peace and co-prosperity. industrialization and democratization. backed by its leading industries and brisk exports. In regard to the economy.1953). The Lee Administration also strives to meet the complicated challenges stemming from drastic developments in civilization. when Korea adopted a policy of export-driven economic development and began to actively pursue international commerce worldwide.
has been preparing the International Exposition 2012.depletion of the ozone layer." . which have emerged as new challenges to people throughout the world. green growth. The country's southern coastal city Yeosu. The country also set up policy goals on environment dubbed as "low carbon. the international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of natural wetlands. Korea's strong support on environmental protection was also shown in the 10th meeting of member nations of the Ramsar Convention. global warming and deforestation. focusing on protecting the marine environment and ocean ecosystem and maintaining sustainable growth in line with the government's stance on the environment and ecosystem. which was held in Korea's Changwon in November 2008.
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