The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east and the Yellow Sea (West Sea) to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water.
|Hangul: 한반도; Hanja: 韓半島; RR: Han Bando|
(used in South Korea)
Hangul: 조선반도; Hanja: 朝鮮半島; MR: Chosŏn Pando
(used in North Korea)
|Part of||East Asia|
|Offshore water bodies||Sea of Japan, East China Sea, Yellow Sea, Korea Strait|
2,744 m (9,003 ft)
|Length||1,100 km (680 mi)|
|Area||220,748 km2 (85,231 sq mi)|
land: 217,818 km2 (84,100 sq mi)
water: 2,293 km2 (885 sq mi)
The peninsula's names, in Korean, Chinese and Japanese, all share the same origin, that being Joseon, the old name of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and Gojoseon even longer before that. In North Korea's standard language, the peninsula is called Chosŏn Pando (Hangul: 조선반도; Hanja: 朝鮮半島; RR: Joseon Bando), while in China, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia (where Chinese is a common language) it is called Cháoxiǎn Bàndǎo (朝鲜半岛/朝鮮半島).In Japan, it is either Chōsenhantō (Kanji: 朝鮮半島 / Hiragana: ちょうせんはんとう) or Kanhantō (South Korean-specific only) (Kanji: 韓半島 / Hiragana: かんはんとう). In Vietnam, it is called Bán đảo Triều Tiên. Meanwhile, in South Korea, it is called Hanbando (Hangul: 한반도; Hanja: 韓半島), referring to the Samhan, specifically the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula. They both use "Korea" as part of their official English names, which is a name that comes from the Goryeo (or Koryŏ, in North Korea) dynasty (고려; 高麗).
Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity whose territory roughly coincided with the Korean Peninsula. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Imperial Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, and liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U.S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was divided into two regions, with separate governments. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, the northern section of the peninsula has been governed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while the southern portion has been governed by the Republic of Korea.
The northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are commonly (and tacitly) taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and its northern neighbors, China (1,416 km (880 mi) along the provinces of Jilin and Liaoning) and Russia (19 km (12 mi)). These borders are formed naturally by the rivers Amnok and Duman. Taking this definition, the Korean Peninsula (including its islands) has an area of 220,847 km2 (85,270 sq mi).
The Korean Peninsula has a temperate climate with comparatively fewer typhoons than other countries in East Asia. Due to the peninsula's position, it has a unique climate influenced from Siberia in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and the rest of Eurasia in the west. The peninsula has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
As influence from Siberia weakens, temperatures begin to increase while the high pressure begins to move away. If the weather is abnormally dry, Siberia will have more influence on the peninsula leading to wintry weather such as snow.
During June at the start of the summer, there tends to be a lot of rain due to the cold and wet air from the Sea of Okhotsk and the hot and humid air from the Pacific Ocean combining. When these fronts combine, it leads to a so-called rainy season with often cloudy days with rain, which is sometimes very heavy. The hot and humid winds from the south west blow causing an increasing amount of humidity and this leads to the fronts moving towards Manchuria in China and thus there is less rain and this is known as midsummer; temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) daily at this time of year.
Usually, high pressure is heavily dominant during autumn leading to clear conditions. Furthermore, temperatures remain high but the humidity becomes relatively low.
The weather becomes increasingly dominated by Siberia during winter and the jet stream moves further south causing a drop in temperature. This season is relatively dry with some snow falling at times. Temperatures can drop to -20 °C in the mountainous areas.
The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River separates the peninsula from China and to the northeast, the Duman River separates it from China and Russia. The peninsula is surrounded by the Yellow Sea to the west, the East China Sea and Korea Strait to the south, and the Sea of Japan to the east. Notable islands include Jeju Island, Ulleung Island, Dokdo.
The southern and western parts of the peninsula have well-developed plains, while the eastern and northern parts are mountainous. The highest mountain in Korea is Mount Paektu (2,744 m), through which runs the border with China. The southern extension of Mount Paektu is a highland called Gaema Heights. This highland was mainly raised during the Cenozoic orogeny and partly covered by volcanic matter. To the south of Gaema Gowon, successive high mountains are located along the eastern coast of the peninsula. This mountain range is named Baekdudaegan. Some significant mountains include Mount Sobaek or Sobaeksan (1,439 m), Mount Kumgang (1,638 m), Mount Seorak (1,708 m), Mount Taebaek (1,567 m), and Mount Jiri (1,915 m). There are several lower, secondary mountain series whose direction is almost perpendicular to that of Baekdudaegan. They are developed along the tectonic line of Mesozoic orogeny and their directions are basically northwest.
Unlike most ancient mountains on the mainland, many important islands in Korea were formed by volcanic activity in the Cenozoic orogeny. Jeju Island, situated off the southern coast, is a large volcanic island whose main mountain Mount Halla or Hallasan (1950 m) is the highest in South Korea. Ulleung Island is a volcanic island in the Sea of Japan, the composition of which is more felsic than Jeju-do. The volcanic islands tend to be younger, the more westward.
Because the mountainous region is mostly on the eastern part of the peninsula, the main rivers tend to flow westwards. Two exceptions are the southward-flowing Nakdong River and Seomjin River. Important rivers running westward include the Amnok River, the Chongchon River, the Taedong River, the Han River, the Geum River, and the Yeongsan River. These rivers have vast flood plains and provide an ideal environment for wet-rice cultivation.
The southern and southwestern coastlines of the peninsula form a well-developed ria coastline, known as Dadohae-jin in Korean. Its convoluted coastline provides mild seas, and the resulting calm environment allows for safe navigation, fishing, and seaweed farming. In addition to the complex coastline, the western coast of the Korean Peninsula has an extremely high tidal amplitude (at Incheon, around the middle of the western coast. It can get as high as 9 m). Vast tidal flats have been developing on the south and west coastlines.
Animal life of the Korean Peninsula includes a considerable number of bird species and native freshwater fish. Native or endemic species of the Korean Peninsula include Korean hare, Korean water deer, Korean field mouse, Korean brown frog, Korean pine and Korean spruce. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with its forest and natural wetlands is a unique biodiversity spot, which harbours eighty-two endangered species.
There are also approximately 3,034 species of vascular plants.
Goguryeo (고구려; 高句麗; [ko.ɡu.ɾjʌ], 37 BCE–668 CE), also called Goryeo (고려; 高麗; [ko.ɾjʌ]), was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Manchuria. At its peak of power, Goguryeo controlled most of the Korean peninsula, large parts of Manchuria and parts of the Russian Far East and eastern Mongolia.Along with Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It was an active participant in the power struggle for control of the Korean peninsula and was also associated with the foreign affairs of neighboring polities in China and Japan.
The Samguk sagi, a 12th-century text from Goryeo, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BCE by Jumong (Hangul: 주몽; Hanja: 朱蒙), a prince from Buyeo, who was enthroned as Dongmyeong.
Goguryeo was one of the great powers in East Asia, until its defeat by a Silla–Tang alliance in 668 after prolonged exhaustion and internal strife caused by the death of Yeon Gaesomun. After its fall, its territory was divided among the states of Later Silla and Balhae.
The name Goryeo (alternately spelled Koryŏ), a shortened form of Goguryeo (Koguryŏ), was adopted as the official name in the 5th century, and is the origin of the English name "Korea".Gojoseon
Gojoseon (Hangul: 고조선; Hanja: 古朝鮮), originally named Joseon (Hangul: 조선; Hanja: 朝鮮), was an ancient kingdom on the Korean Peninsula. The addition of Go (고, 古), meaning "ancient", is used to distinguish it from the later Joseon kingdom (1392–1897).
According to the Samguk Yusa (1281), Gojoseon was established in 2333 BC by Dangun, who was said to be the offspring of a heavenly prince and a bear-woman. Though Dangun is a mythological figure for whom no concrete evidence has been found, the account has played an important role in developing Korean identity. Today, the founding date of Gojoseon is officially celebrated as the National Foundation Day in North Korea and South Korea.
Some of the same sources relate that in the 12th century BC the Chinese nobleman and sage Gija (also known as Jizi), a man belonging to the royal family of the Shang dynasty of China, immigrated to the Korean Peninsula and founded Gija Joseon.Gojoseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BC. During its early phase, the capital of Gojoseon was located in Liaoning; around 400 BC, it was moved to Pyongyang, while in the south of the peninsula, the Jin state arose by the 3rd century BC.In 108 BC, the Han dynasty of China invaded and conquered Wiman Joseon. The Han established four commanderies to administer the Gojoseon territory. The area was later conquered by Goguryeo in 313 AD.History of Korea
The Lower Paleolithic era in the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria began roughly half a million years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BCE, and the Neolithic period began after 6000 BCE, followed by the Bronze Age by 2000 BCE, and the Iron Age around 700 BCE.
According to the mythic account recounted in the Samguk yusa, the Gojoseon (Old Joseon) kingdom was founded in northern Korea and southern Manchuria in 2333 BCE.The Gija Joseon state was purportedly founded in 12th century BCE. Its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era, and seen as likely mythology. The first written historical record on Gojoseon can be found from the early 7th century BCE. The Jin state was formed in southern Korea by the 3rd century BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, Gija Joseon was replaced by Wiman Joseon, which fell to the Han dynasty of China near the end of the century. This resulted in the fall of Gojoseon and led to succeeding warring states, the Proto–Three Kingdoms period that spanned the later Iron Age.
From the 1st century, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla grew to control the peninsula and Manchuria as the Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 BCE–668 CE), until unification by Silla in 676. In 698, Go of Balhae established the Kingdom of Balhae (c.f. modern Bohai Sea) in old territories of Goguryeo, which led to the North–South States Period (698–926) of Balhae and Silla coexisting.
In the late 9th century, Silla was divided into the Later Three Kingdoms (892–936), which ended with the unification by Wang Geon's Goryeo dynasty. Meanwhile, Balhae fell after invasions by the Khitan Liao dynasty and the refugees including the last crown prince emigrated to Goryeo, where the crown prince was warmly welcomed and included into the ruling family by Wang Geon, thus unifying the two successor states of Goguryeo. During the Goryeo period, laws were codified, a civil service system was introduced, and culture influenced by Buddhism flourished. However, Mongol invasions in the 13th century brought Goryeo under its influence until the mid-14th century.In 1392, General Yi Seong-gye established the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) after a coup d'état that overthrew the Goryeo dynasty in 1388. King Sejong the Great (1418–1450) implemented numerous administrative, social, scientific, and economic reforms, established royal authority in the early years of the dynasty, and personally created Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
After enjoying a period of peace for nearly two centuries, the Joseon dynasty faced foreign invasions and internal factional strife from 1592 to 1637. Most notable of these invasions is the Japanese invasions of Korea, which marked the end of the Joseon dynasty's early period. The combined force of Ming dynasty of China and the Joseon dynasty repelled these Japanese invasions, but at cost to the countries. Henceforth, Joseon gradually became more and more isolationist and stagnant. By the mid 19th century, with the country unwilling to modernize, and under encroachment of European powers, Joseon Korea was forced to sign unequal treaties with foreign powers. After the assassination of Empress Myeongseong in 1895, the Donghak Peasant Revolution, and the Gabo Reforms of 1894 to 1896, the Korean Empire (1897–1910) came into existence, heralding a brief but rapid period of social reform and modernization. However, in 1905, the Korean Empire signed a protectorate treaty and in 1910, Japan annexed the Korean Empire.
Korean resistance manifested in the widespread nonviolent March 1st Movement of 1919. Thereafter the resistance movements, coordinated by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in exile, became largely active in neighboring Manchuria, China, and Siberia, influenced by Korea's peaceful demonstrations. Figures from these exile organizations would become important in post-WWII Korea.
After the end of World War II in 1945, the Allies divided the country into a northern area (protected by the Soviets) and a southern area (protected primarily by the United States). In 1948, when the powers failed to agree on the formation of a single government, this partition became the modern states of North and South Korea. The peninsula was divided at the 38th Parallel: the "Republic of Korea" was created in the south, with the backing of the US and Western Europe, and the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" in the north, with the backing of the Soviets and the communist People's Republic of China. The new premier of North Korea, Kim il-Sung, launched the Korean War in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the country under Communist rule. After immense material and human destruction, the conflict ended with a cease-fire in 1953. In 2018, the two nations agreed to work toward a final settlement to formally end the Korean War. In 1991, both states were accepted into the United Nations.
While both countries were essentially under military rule after the war, South Korea eventually liberalized. Since 1987 it has had a competitive electoral system. The South Korean economy has prospered, and the country is now considered to be fully developed, with a similar capital economic standing to Western Europe, Japan, and the United States.
North Korea has maintained a militarized dictatorship rule, with a cult of personality constructed around the Kim family. Economically, North Korea has remained heavily dependent on foreign aid. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, that aid fell precipitously. The country's economic situation has been quite marginal since.Korea
Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium, Baekje and Goguryeo were conquered by Silla, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north following the collapse of Goguryeo. Unified Silla eventually collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium Goryeo, which was a revival of Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as one single state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo. Goryeo (also spelled as Koryŏ), whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a highly cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, which eventually agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin which ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392.
The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the later part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.
In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U.S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea). Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty. This status contributes to the high tensions that continue to divide the peninsula. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region.Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization
The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was an organization founded on March 15, 1995, by the United States, South Korea, and Japan to implement the 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework that froze North Korea's indigenous nuclear power plant development centered at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, that was suspected of being a step in a nuclear weapons program.
KEDO's principal activity was to construct two light water reactor nuclear power plants in North Korea to replace North Korea's Magnox type reactors. The original target year for completion was 2003.
Since then, other members joined:
1995: Australia, Canada, New Zealand
1996: Argentina, Chile, Indonesia
1997: European Union, Poland
1999: Czech Republic
2000: UzbekistanKEDO discussions took place at the level of a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, South Korea's deputy foreign minister, and the head of the Asian bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry.
The KEDO Secretariat was located in New York. KEDO was shut down in 2006.Korean Unification Flag
The Korean Unification Flag is a flag designed to represent all of Korea when North and South Korea participate as one team in sporting events.Koreanic languages
The Koreanic languages are a language family consisting of the modern Korean language together with extinct ancient relatives.
The language of Jeju Island, considered by some as a dialect of modern Korean, is distinct enough to be considered a language in its own right by other authorities. This would make Korean and Jeju a small language family.
Koreanic is suggested to have originated somewhere in Manchuria and later migrated into the Korean Peninsula.Liaoning bronze dagger culture
The Liaoning bronze dagger culture or Lute-shaped bronze dagger culture is an archeological complex of the late Bronze Age in Korea and China. Artifacts from the culture are found primarily in the Liaoning area of northeast China and in the Korean peninsula. Various other bronze artifacts, including ornaments and weapons, are associated with the culture, but the daggers are viewed as the most characteristic. Liaoning bronzes contain a higher percentage of zinc than those of the neighboring bronze cultures.Lee Chung-kyu (1996) considers that the culture is properly divided into five phases: Phases I and II typified by violin-shaped daggers, Phases IV and V by slender daggers, and Phase III by the transition between the two. Of these, remains from Phases I, II and III can be found in some amounts in both the Korean peninsula and northeast China, but remains from Phases IV and V are found almost exclusively in Korea.List of political entities in the 1st century
Political entities in the 1st century BC – Political entities in the 2nd century – Political entities by yearThis is a list of political entities that existed between 1 AD and 100 AD.List of political entities in the 1st century BC
Political entities in the 2nd century BC – Political entities in the 1st century – Political entities by yearThis is a list of political entities that existed between 100 BC and 1 BC.List of political entities in the 2nd century
Political entities in the 1st century – Political entities in the 3rd century – Political entities by yearThis is a list of political entities that existed between 101 and 200 AD.List of political entities in the 3rd century
This is a list of political entities that existed between 201 and 300 AD.
Political entities in the 2nd century – Political entities in the 4th century – Political entities by yearList of political entities in the 4th century
Political entities in the 3rd century – Political entities in the 5th century – Political entities by yearThis is a list of political entities in the 4th century (301–400) AD.Moon Jae-in
Moon Jae-in (Hangul: 문재인; Hanja: 文在寅; Korean pronunciation: [mundʑɛin] or [mun] [t͡ɕɛin]; born 24 January 1953) is a South Korean politician serving as the 19th and current President of South Korea since 2017. He was elected after the impeachment of Park Geun-hye as the candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea.A former student activist, human rights lawyer and chief of staff to then-President Roh Moo-hyun, Moon served as Leader of Democratic Party of Korea (2015–2016) and a member of the 19th National Assembly (2012–2016). He was also a candidate for Democratic United Party in the 2012 presidential election in which he lost narrowly to Park Geun-hye. As President, Moon Jae-in has met with North Korean chairman Kim Jong-un at inter-Korean summits in April, May, and September 2018 making him the third South Korean president to meet his or her North Korean counterpart and most visited South Korean leaders to visit North Korea (3 times recently).Northeast Asia
Terms such as Northeast Asia, North East Asia or Northeastern Asia, refer to a subregion of Asia: the northeastern landmass and islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean. It includes the core countries of East Asia.
The term Northeast Asia was popularized during the 1930s by the American historian and political scientist Robert Kerner. Under Kerner's definition, "Northeast Asia" included the Mongolian Plateau, the Manchurian Plain, the Korean Peninsula and the mountainous regions of the Russian Far East, stretching from Lena River in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east.Panmunjom Declaration
The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula was adopted between the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, on April 27, 2018, during the 2018 inter-Korean Summit on the South Korean side of the Peace House in the Joint Security Area.
According to the declaration, the governments of North Korea and South Korea agreed to cooperate on officially ending the Korean War and the Korean conflict, beginning a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean communication and relations.This declaration includes the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.Paula Hancocks
Paula Hancocks is an international correspondent for CNN television news network. She is based in Seoul, South Korea, and is the channel's representative in the Korean Peninsula.South Korean
South Korean may refer to:
Something of, from, or related to South Korea, a country in East Asia, in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. For information about the South Korean people, see:
Demographics of South Korea
Culture of South Korea
the Korean language as spoken in South KoreaThree Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea (Hangul: 삼국시대; Hanja: 三國時代) refers to the three kingdoms of Baekje (백제, 百濟), Silla (신라, 新羅) and Goguryeo (고구려, 高句麗). Goguryeo was later known as Goryeo (고려, 高麗), from which the modern name Korea is derived. The Three Kingdoms period is defined as being from 57 BC to 668 AD (but there existed about 78 tribal states in the southern region of the Korean peninsula and relatively big states like Okjeo, Buyeo, and Dongye in its northern part and Manchuria).
The three kingdoms occupied the entire Korean Peninsula and roughly half of Manchuria, located in present-day China and Russia . The kingdoms of Baekje and Silla dominated the southern half of the Korean Peninsula and Tamna, whereas Goguryeo controlled the Liaodong Peninsula, Manchuria and the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Baekje and Goguryeo shared founding myths and originated from Buyeo.In the 7th century, allied with China under the Tang dynasty, Silla unified the Korean Peninsula for the first time in Korean history, forming a united Korean national identity for the first time. After the fall of Baekje and Goguryeo, the Tang dynasty established a short-lived military government to administer parts of the Korean peninsula. However, as a result of the Silla–Tang War (≈670–676), Silla forces expelled the Protectorate armies from the peninsula in 676. The following period is known as the Unified Silla or Later Silla (668–935).
Subsequently, Go of Balhae, a former Goguryeo general, founded Balhae in the former territory of Goguryeo after defeating the Tang dynasty at the Battle of Tianmenling.
The predecessor period, before the development of the full-fledged kingdoms, is sometimes called Proto–Three Kingdoms period.
Main primary sources for this period include Samguk sagi and Samguk yusa in Korea, and the "Eastern Barbarians" section (東夷傳) from the Book of Wei (魏書) of the Records of the Three Kingdoms in China.
Territorial disputes in East, South, and Southeast Asia