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Timeline of Korean history

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This is a timeline of the history of Korea. Some dates prior to the 6th century are speculative or approximate.


Early history

  • 300 BC: Establishment of Jin in southern Korean peninsula.

Proto-Three Kingdoms

  • 18 BC: Traditional date for the founding of Baekje by Onjo.

Three Kingdoms

  • 42: Traditional date for the founding of Gaya by Suro.
  • 53: Goguryeo becomes a centralized kingdom under Taejo's reign.
  • 234: Baekje becomes a centralized kingdom under Goi's reign.
  • 356: Silla becomes a centralized kingdom under Naemul's reign.
  • 384: Chimnyu of Baekje officially adopts Buddhism.
  • 433: Baekje and Silla form an alliance against Goguryeo's aggression.
  • 475: Goguryeo attacks Baekje and captures Hanseong (modern day Seoul). Baekje moves its capital south to Ungjin (modern day Gongju), and again to Sabi (modern day Buyeo) in 523.
  • 553: Silla attacks Baekje, breaking the alliance.
  • 562: Silla completes annexation of Gaya.
  • 612: Goguryeo repulses second Sui invasion at the Salsu.
  • 648: Silla establishes alliance with Tang.
  • 660: Baekje falls to the Silla-Tang forces.
  • 668: Goguryeo falls to the Silla-Tang forces.

North South States Period and Later Three Kingdoms

  • 676: Silla repels Chinese alliance forces from Korean peninsula, completes unification of much of the Three Kingdoms.
  • 892: Silla begins to lose control of parts of the peninsula as the brief Later Three Kingdoms period begins.
  • 900: Hubaekje ("Later Baekje") established in the southwest of the peninsula.
  • 901: Taebong ("Later Goguryeo") established in the northwest of the peninsula.
  • 926: Balhae falls to Khitan forces.
  • 935: Silla formally surrenders to Goryeo.
  • 936: Hubaekje formally surrenders to Goryeo.


  • 936: Goryeo completes the reunification of the Later Three Kingdoms, absorbing the remainder of Hubaekje and parts of former Balhae territory.
  • 956: Emperor Gwangjong forces major land and slavery reforms, and in 958 implements civil service examinations.
  • 1033: Goryeo builds the Cheonri Jangseong (lit. "Thousand Li Wall"), a massive wall running along the northern border.
  • 1170: The military coup.
  • 1234: Choi Yun-ui's Sangjeong Gogeum Yemun is published, world's first metal-block printed text.
  • 1251: Goryeo completes the Tripitaka Koreana, the most comprehensive and oldest intact version of the Buddhist canon in Chinese script.
  • 1268: Mongol peace treaty is signed which Mongols agree to protect them the best they can.
  • 1388: General Yi Seonggye, ordered to engage China in a border dispute, turns his troops against the Goryeo court.


  • 1396: Capital moved to Hanyang. (modern day Seoul)
  • 1402: Paper currency initiated.
  • 1408: High military service examination system created.
  • 1791: Persecution of Catholicism begins.
  • 1884: Kim Okgyun leads the Gapsin coup. In 3 days, Chinese forces are able to overwhelm the Progressives and their Japanese supporters.

Korean Empire

  • 1897: 20 February. King Gojong returns to the his palace after 1 year of refuge at the Russian legation.
  • 1907: 18 July. Gojong was abdicated in favour of his son, Sunjong by Imperial Japan.

Japanese Colonial rule

  • 1919: March 1st Movement. Spurred by the sudden and mysterious death of Gojong. Declaration of Korean Independence. Nationwide peaceful demonstrations are crushed by Japanese military and police forces after two months. Governor-General Hasegawa resigns.
  • 1919: Saito Makoto appointed as third Governor-General of Korea. The period of "cultural policy" begins.
  • 1932: Korean independence activist Lee Bong Chang fails in his attempt to assassinate Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo.
  • 1932: Korean independence activist Yun Bong Gil bombs Japanese Military gathering in Shanghai.
  • 1938: Governor-General of Korea begins Soshi-kamei (Order to Japanese-style name changes) policy.

Division of Korea

  • 1945: South Korea created a franchise to raise money and funds to recover.
  • 1946: US-USSR Joint-Commission on the formation of a Korean Government reaches an impasse. The Joint-commission is dissolved as the Cold War begins.
  • 1948: 10 May. UN sponsored elections are held in South Korea.
  • 1949: The murder of Kim Gu. Kim Gu was a Korean independence activist who believed in, and fought for, a unified Korea. He strongly objected to the formation of a separate South Korean state. He was shot in his home by a South Korean Army lieutenant.
  • 1950: August. UN Forces are driven back to South-east corner of the Korean Peninsula (The Pusan Perimeter).
  • 1950: November. Chinese Forces enter the war
  • 1961: 12 November. Summit conference for normalization of Kor-Japanese relations
  • 1967: start of the second Five-year plans of South Korea
  • 1968: 5 December. Proclamation of the National Education Charter
  • 1972: start of the third Five-year plans of South Korea
  • 1972: 12 August. The first Red Cross talks between North and South Korea are held.
  • 1972: President Park Chung Hee declares Emergency Martial Law and changes Constitution in August, which may allow him to become the permanent ruler. This is similar to Gojong of the Korean Empire stating his country's governmental system as 'autocratic' in the constitution- for greater leadership and less opposition.
  • 1976: 12 October: Discontinuation of rice imports, accomplishment of total self-sufficiency in rice by the 'Unification Rice'
  • 1977: start of the fourth Five-year plans of South Korea
  • 1977: 22 December. Celebration of achievement of 10 billion dollars gained by exports.
  • 1978: 26 October. Detection of 3rd underground tunnel. Made by North Korea to attack South Korea.
  • 1978: 10 December. Achievement of 1,117 US dollars as GNP.
  • 1979: American president Jimmy Carter visits Korea. Threatens Park by stating he would reduce the US forces in Korea if he does not stop the ongoing Nuclear Weapons Development project.
  • 1980: Gwangju massacre. Martial Law is declared throughout the nation. The city of Gwangju becomes a battleground between dissenters and the Armed Forces (18–27 May). Some reports claim over 100 casualties.
  • 1990: 11 September: South Korea and the USSR establish diplomatic relations.
  • 1991: 17 September: North Korea (DPRK) and South Korea (ROK) join the United Nations (UN).
  • 1992: 11 August: South Korea's first satellite, KITSAT-1, aka 우리별 (Uri Byol) is successfully launched from Guiana Space Centre.
  • 1998: Taepodong-1, a two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile is developed and tested by the DPRK. End of the Arduous March. It is possible that up to 3.5 million people did not survive the 'march'.
  • 1999: The DPRK promises to freeze long-range missile tests.
  • 2004: The DPRK reaffirms moratorium.
  • 2005: The DPRK fires short-range missile into the East Sea.
  • 2007: The second summit between DPRK and ROK leaders is held, with Roh Moo-hyun representing the south and Kim Jong Il the north. The DPRK fires short-range missile into the East Sea.
  • 2011: Kim Jong Il dies, Kim Jong un takes over as the Supreme Leader of North Korea. The National Intelligence Service discovers Communist spies who have been working underground for the DPRK for almost 10 years. One of the members was a former Democratic Party representative. Their mission was to influence the party named above and extract military secret information.
  • 2012: 13 April: The Kim Regime of the DPRK tested a rocket, officially called "Unha-3", an expendable launch system developed from the Soviet Scud rockets. The rocket was to send a satellite, called "Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3", into orbit. The rocket failed to launch the satellite and fell into the Yellow Sea. The mission ultimately ended in complete failure.
  • 2013: 8 December: Jang Song Thaek, uncle of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, was ousted from all powerful posts on various charges. The official Korean Central News Agency said the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea stripped Jang of all posts, depriving him of all titles and expelling him and removing his name from the party.[5]
  • 2013: 12 December: North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, executes his Uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, as a "traitor for all ages." Jang Son-Thaek's execution was said to be set up by his own wife, Kim Kyong-hui, Late Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il's sister. Jang Song-Thaek was considered to be the most powerful official in the DPRK Regime.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Carter J. Eckert, el., "Korea, Old and New: History", 1990, pp. 2
  2. ^ a b
    "An extreme manifestation of nationalism and the family cult was the revival of interest in Tangun, the mythical founder of the first Korean state... Most textbooks and professional historians, however, treat him as a myth."
    "Although Kija may have truly existed as a historical figure, Tangun is more problematical."
    "Most [Korean historians] treat the [Tangun] myth as a later creation."
    "The Tangun myth became more popular with groups that wanted Korea to be independent; the Kija myth was more useful to those who wanted to show that Korea had a strong affinity to China."
    "If a choice is to be made between them, one is faced with the fact that the Tangun, with his supernatural origin, is more clearly a mythological figure than Kija."
  3. ^ Park Suk-mu (2008-02-05). "Where from Korean bronze age" (in Korean). Weekly Kyunghyang. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ (2013-12-08, 11:53 PM). "N. Korean media confirm leader's uncle Jang Song Thaek ousted". UPI News.
  6. ^ Johee Cho (2013-12-12) Seoul, Korea. "North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Executed His 'Worse Than a Dog' Uncle". ABC News.

Further reading

External links