One of the world's oldest civilizations, Korea has a recorded history dating back to approximately 2,333 B.C. It enjoyed long periods of relative peace throughout its history. In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan, becoming a colony until 1945. Following World War II, the country was devastated in the Korean War and divided into two political entities as a result, North Korea and South Korea.
Korea is populated by a relatively homogeneousethnic group, the Koreans, who speak a distinct language, not known to be related to any other called Korean and use a unique script, called Hangul in south Korea, also called Chosongul in North Korea.
The Ryugyong Hotel is a 105-storypyramid-shaped skyscraper under construction in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its name ("capital of willows") is also one of the historical names for Pyongyang. The building is also known as the 105 Building, a reference to its number of floors. Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. Since 1992, the building stood topped out without windows or interior fittings until 2008, when construction resumed. The hotel is scheduled to open partially in July or August 2013 and will be operated by Kempinski AG.
A c. 1890 Korean illustration of a litter (gama in Korean), a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Gamas were primarily used by royalty and government officials, or in traditional weddings. Because of the difficulties posed by the mountainous terrain of the Korean Peninsula and the lack of paved roads, gamas were preferred over wheeled vehicles.
Mo Tae-bum (Hangul: 모태범, Hanja: 牟太釩 born 15 February 1989) is a South Koreanspeed skater. He is the 2010 Olympic Champion and the 2012 World Champion in 500 m. He started speedskating while in the third grade. Prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Mo won two distances at the 2006 World Junior Speed Skating Championships. He has competed on the national level since 2004 and has competed internationally since 2005. He won two Junior World Championships in 2006, but did not win any other events until 2009. In 2009 he won gold in the 1000 m and 1500 m events at the Winter Universiade. The international community gave him little attention before the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but he became the first Korean to win a gold medal in a long track speed skating event as well as earning the silver medal in the 1000 m race. This was a large upset, as he was ranked fourteenth in the world in the 500 m race. Lee Myung-bak congratulated Mo for his achievements in speed skating following these wins. Mo currently attends the Korea National Sport University, and lives with his parents in Pocheon province.