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History

South Korea has a history of over 5000 years! Korean mythology includes a story about the nation’s birth. The story is that a god named Hwanung came from heaven and transformed a bear into a woman. He married her and she gave birth to a son, Tangun, and he was the founder of Korea.

Prehistoric remains found throughout Korea indicate that early in the history of the Korean Peninsula, the people used sophisticated technologies. Farming at this time included cultivating rice; many farm tools have been found from this period.

In 1910, Korea became a Japanese colony and was under Japanese rule for 35 years. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK).

In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, and the United Nations intervened in the war. A ceasefire was declared in 1953 which split the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. The border between South and North Korea remains one of the heaviest militarized zones in the world.


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