|North Korea See South Korea Japanese name (1910--45): Chosen a former country in E Asia, now divided into two separate countries, North Korea and South Korea. Korea occupied the peninsula between the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea: an isolated vassal of Manchu China for three centuries until the opening of ports to Japanese trade in 1876; gained independence in 1895; annexed to Japan in 1910 and divided in 1945 into two occupation zones (Russian in the north, American in the south), which became North Korea and South Korea in 1948|
|Korean name: Hanguk a republic in NE Asia: established as a republic in 1948; invaded by North Korea and Chinese Communists in 1950 but division remained unchanged at the end of the war (1953); includes over 3000 islands; rapid industrialization. Language: Korean. Religions: Buddhist, Confucianist, Shamanist, and Chondokyo. Currency: won. Capital: Seoul. Pop: 47 950 000 (2004 est). Area: 98 477 sq km (38 022 sq miles)|
Note: Korea was under Japanese rule in the early twentieth century. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the thirty-eighth parallel of north latitude into two zones, with troops of the Soviet Union in the north and troops of the United States in the south. By 1948, two separate governments had emerged, the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north and the noncommunist Republic of Korea in the south. American and Soviet troops were withdrawn by 1949. The Korean War (1950–1953) began when North Korean forces invaded South Korea. Forces of the United Nations under General Douglas MacArthur aided South Korea, whereas Chinese forces aided North Korea.
Note: Supported by the United States, South Korea was created in 1948 after American and Soviet occupation zones established at the end of World War II had divided Korea into north and south.
Note: During the Korean War, noncommunist South Korea, aided by forces of the United Nations, and communist North Korea, aided by Chinese forces, fought from 1950 to 1953.
Note: During the 1980s, South Korea became a major industrial power in Asia.