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.
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.
Seung-Hui Cho (/ˌtʃoʊsʌŋˈhiː/; January 18, 1984 – April 16, 2007) was a spree killer who killed 32 people and wounded 25 others on April 16, 2007, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia, United States. He was a senior-levelundergraduate student at the university. The shooting rampage came to be known as the "Virginia Tech massacre." Cho later committed suicide after law enforcement officers breached the doors of the building where the majority of the shooting had taken place. His body is buried in Fairfax, Virginia. Born in South Korea, Cho arrived in the United States at the age of 8 with his family. He became a US permanent resident as a South Korean national. In middle school, he was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder known as selective mutism, as well as major depressive disorder. After this diagnosis he began receiving treatment and continued to receive therapy and special education support until his junior year of high school. During Cho's last two years at Virginia Tech, several instances of his abnormal behavior, as well as plays and other writings he submitted containing references to violence, caused concern among teachers and classmates. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre, Virginia GovernorTim Kaine convened a panel consisting of various officials and experts to investigate and examine the response and handling of issues related to the shootings. The panel released its final report in August 2007, devoting more than 30 pages to detailing Cho's troubled history. In the report, the panel criticized the failure of the educators and mental health professionals who came into contact with Cho during his college years to notice his deteriorating condition and help him. The panel also criticized misinterpretations of privacy laws and gaps in Virginia's mental health system and gun laws. In addition, the panel faulted Virginia Tech administrators in particular for failing to take immediate action after the first shootings. Nevertheless, the report did acknowledge that Cho was still primarily responsible for not seeking assistance and for his murderous rampage.