Portal:Korea

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Korea is a civilization and geographical area situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia, bordering China to the northwest and Russia to the northeast, with Japan situated to the southeast across the Korea Strait. It is often called the "Land of the Morning Calm" (조선 朝 (Morning) 鮮 (Bright and Fresh and Beautiful and Soft).

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.

North Korea is a socialist state that is sometimes described as Stalinist and isolationist. South Korea is a capitalist liberal democracy, and its world economic ranking is 10th (based on GDP).

Korea is populated by a relatively homogeneous ethnic 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.

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Korean War Montage 2.png

The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which was supported by People's Republic of China (PRC), and with air support from the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the North established a Communist government. During the war, both North and South Korea were sponsored by external powers, thus facilitating the war's metamorphosis from a civil war to a proxy war between powers involved in the larger Cold War. The initial mobile campaign transitioned to trench warfare, lasting from July 1951 until the 1953 border stalemate and armistice though minor outbreaks of fighting continue to the present day.

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Wongudan, Seoul
Credit: Burton Holmes; Restoration: Lise Broer

A 1925 photo of Wongudan, an altar site in Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the rite of heaven. King Seongjong of the Goryeo Dynasty was the first to perform the rite, designed to ensure a bountiful harvest, in the tenth century. The practice was discontinued by later Goryeo kings, revived briefly in the mid fifteenth century by Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty, then reinstated with the founding of the Korean Empire in 1897. Much of the altar complex was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, and the gate and fountain seen here were also subsequently removed, leaving only the three-storey Hwangungu pagoda remaining.

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Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon (born June 13, 1944 in Eumseong, North Chungcheong, Korea) is a South Korean diplomat and the current Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated college, accepting his first post in New Delhi. In the foreign ministry he established a reputation for modesty and competence. Ban was the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. Ban was initially considered to be a long shot for the office. As foreign minister of Korea, however, he was able to travel to all of the countries that were members of the United Nations Security Council, a manoeuvre that turned him into the campaign's front runner. On October 13 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. On January 1, 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan, and passed several major reforms regarding peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and Darfur, where he helped persuade Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan.

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Announcement of the Sōshi-kaimei policy issued by the Taikyu court, written bilingually in Japanese and Korean, in a special parallel style in which hanja/kanji were printed only once and were "shared" by the hangul and kana texts

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