Korea is in northeast Asia.
Korea was made into two countries after World War II. North Korea is a single-party state. South Korea is a presidential republic. North and South Korea and their allies fought each other in the Korean War.
The best silk came from Korea. In the 7th century, the people of China also liked gold-workers from Korea. Europeans knew very little about Korea until modern times. Koreans built a printing machine in 1232. This machine used metal letters. This was long before Johannes Gutenberg improved the printing press in Europe.
Korea is famous for its traditional food kimchi. Kimchi is spicy pickled Chinese cabbage. It is very popular in Korea.
South Korea has over 48 million people, and North Korea has more than 23 million. South Korea's biggest city is Seoul (서울), the capital of South Korea. The city has more than 10 million people and the region of Seoul has more than 21 million people. North Korea's biggest city is Pyongyang(평양), the capital of North Korea. It has fewer than 4 million people.
South Korea is an advanced country with large cities, high-speed trains, high-speed internet, and many television and radio networks. Many Korean television dramas are popular around the world. Korean TV commercials are among the most expensive in the world[source?]. But there are still poor areas in Korea. The Korean farmers are not rich and struggle to compete with cheap food from other countries.
History[change | edit source]
Gochosun[change | edit source]
Gochosun is the first state in Korean history. It was established in 2333 BCE. Its real name is Chosun, but it is called Gochosun to make it different from other Chosun in Korean history. Go is a Korean prefix meaning 'old'. The founder of Gochosun is said to be Dangun. The Korean people believe that Dangun established the country on October 3rd, and still celebrate that day. In Korea October 3rd is a national holiday, which is named Kaecheonjeol (The day heaven opened). It is said to be the day that Dangun's father whose name is Hwan-ung came from sky on October 3rd 2457 BCE. Gochosun was destroyed by the Chinese Han Dynasty in 108 BCE.
Proto-Three Kingdoms[change | edit source]
The ancient confederation countries later merged into three more powerful kingdoms and an advanced confederation country.
Three Kingdoms[change | edit source]
Between 57 BC and the year 668 there were three kingdoms in Korean Peninsula and Manchuria. The names of the kingdoms were: Silla, Goguryeo and Baekje. In the year 372, the religion Buddhism came from China to Korea. Buddhism was very important in Korea.
In the year 660, the kingdom of Silla invaded the kingdom of Baekje. In the year 668 the kingdom of Silla invaded the kingdom of Goguryeo. The people of Goguryeo ran away and made a new kingdom with the name Barhae. After a little time, the kingdom of Balhae was invaded by Liao Dynasty.
The time when Silla was the only country has the name Unified Silla. In the Silla kingdom Buddhism was very important.
|57 BCE||Silla was established. The first leader is Hyeokgeose.|
|37 BCE||Goguryeo was established as a kingdom. The first leader is King Dongmyeong.|
|18 BCE||Baekje was established. The first leader is Onjo. The age of Three Kingdoms of Korea began.|
|1st century||Gaya was established by some states around Gimhae.|
|562 CE||Gaya was destroyed by and merged into Silla.|
|660 CE||Baekje was destroyed by Tang Dynasty and merged into Silla.|
|668 CE||Goguryeo was destroyed by Silla-Tang Alliance. The age of Three Kingdoms of Korea was finished.|
|935 CE||Silla was destroyed by and merged to Goryeo.|
The northern and southern kingdoms[change | edit source]
In the year 998, Balhae was founded by allies of Goguryeo. We call the time when united Silla and Balhae were exsisted together (698∼926) The northern and southern kingdoms period.
Goryeo(Korea)[change | edit source]
In the year 918 the kingdom of Goryeo began. The name Korea comes from Goryeo. The kingdom of Goryeo had power until the year 1392.
The kingdom of Goryeo wrote the law in books, and had a big government. Buddhism was very important in the kingdom of Goryeo. Bronze-type printing technology was invented in Goryeo Dynasty. This is known as world's oldest bronze-type printing technology.
Joseon[change | edit source]
In the year 1392 a man from the military of Korea went to China. His name was Yi Seonggye. Yi's job was to attack China. But Yi returned without doing it. When Yi came back to Korea, he changed the kingdom. Yi became king.
The name of the kingdom was Joseon. In the year 1394, the people of Joseon moved the capital to Seoul. The religion of Buddhism was not important. A new religion, Confucianism was important. Confucianism came from China.
In the year 1592 and the year 1598 the people from Japan fought Korea. A man from the military made very strong ships, including the famous turtle ship. The name of the man was Yi Sun-sin. With the strong ships, the people of Korea won.
The people of Joseon were friends with the people of China.
Today, North Koreans use the name Joseon (officially Chosŏn) to mean Korea.
19th century[change | edit source]
In the 19th century the people of Korea did not want to trade with other people. People called Korea Hermit Kingdom.
The people of the United States wanted to trade with Korea. The people of Japan also wanted to trade with Korea. Before 1876, people failed when they tried to use force to trade with Korea. In the year 1876 the military of Japan fought Korea. Korea and Japan made a contract to trade.
In 1895 Japan won a war against China. This war was fought in the Korean peninsula. The name of the war was Sino-Japanese War. The military of Japan killed the Queen of Korea in 1895. The last name of the Queen was Min[source?]. Korea's name changed to Daehan Jeguk (empire of Korea).
The people from Korea made friends with the people from Russia. In 1905 Japan won a war against Russia. The name of the war was Russo-Japanese War. In the year 1910, the emperor of Japan made Korea a colony of Japan.
Colony of Japan to today[change | edit source]
Korea was a colony of Japan from the year 1910 to the year 1945.
The Japanese rule had both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, Koreans were forced to study the history of Japan and become Japanese. On the other hand, the Japanese also made the Korean economy and school system more modern. However, this stopped the Korean tradition and culture and tried to make the whole country Japanese.
In 1919 the people of Korea made a big demonstration. The people asked the Emperor of Japan to make Korea an independent country. The police arrested many Koreans.
When World War II started, the policy of the Japanese government changed. They wanted Korea to be a part of Japan[source?]. The government made the religion of Japan (Shinto) the religion of Korea. If they did not worship the Japanese religion, the Korean people would be imprisoned and tortured. Japan stopped the people of Korea from celebrating the festivals of Korea.
Many men from Korea entered the military of Japan and went to work in Japan. They worked in mines and factories. The men did not want to go, but were forced to. Some women were forced to work as prostitutes for Japanese Soldiers.[source?] These women were called comfort women.
The people of Korea wanted to be independent. United States and the Soviet Union agreed the people of Korea would be free and independent. But in 1945 United States and Soviet Union were not friends. The Cold War started. United States and Soviet Union refused to settle a deal. In 1948 the people in the south made an independent country called South Korea. United States helped the people of South Korea. In 1948 the people of North Korea also made a country. Soviet Union helped the people of North Korea.
In 1950 a war started in Korea. The name of the war was the Korean War. The war ended in 1953, but no peace treaty was signed. The border line between North and South was the same in the end as it was before the war. No land was lost or gained.
Other websites[change | edit source]
- "Korea.net : The official website of the Republic of Korea". korea.net. http://www.korea.net/index.do. Retrieved 22 April 2010.