Korea: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Korea.



Location--Korea is a peninsula on the East Asian mainland, directly west of Japan. Most of its northern border, along the Yalu River, fronts China, but it also touches a small section of the Soviet Union near Vladivostok, on the Pacific coast. The Sea of Japan lies to the east; the Yellow Sea to the west.

How Created--Throughout Korean history the Chinese have often maintained control over Korea. In 1637 the Chinese Manchu rulers assumed loose authority, not renouncing it until defeated by Japan in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895).

Following the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), Japan made Korea a virtual protectorate. In 1910 Japan formally annexed Korea, ruling it until the end of W.W. II.

Under the Potsdam agreement, the Soviet Union occupied the northern half of the country in 1945 while the U.S. took over the southern half. Following W.W. II, left-wing Korean nationalists established the People's Republic of Korea, which was recognized by the U.S.S.R. The U.S., however, 1st acknowledged Japanese rule (even rearming Japanese, who had been disarmed by the Koreans, to put down independence demonstrations), and then--in 1948--staged elections to establish the anticommunist Republic of Korea.

Supporters of the People's Republic (later the Democratic People's Republic) in 1948 began a guerrilla campaign in the south to unify the country under northern leadership. The U.S. supervised the suppression of this movement, but the guerrilla war continued until the June 25, 1950, outbreak of conventional hostilities between the 2 Korean Governments, which did not end until 1953.

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