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Japanese occupation and division in South Korea


Japanese occupation and division in South Korea

In the late 16th century, Korea experienced the first invasions by the Japanese, then led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. However, an alliance between the Joseon dynasty and China's Ming dynasty eventually defeated the invaders, and this, in addition to the untimely death of Hideyoshi, forced the Japanese to pull out of Korea. Korea's status as a Chinese protectorate ended in 1895 after China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War and the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Under the terms of the treaty, Qing Dynasty of China was to recognize the independence of Korea, allowing Japan to exert its influence. In 1910, Japan officially annexed Korea, thus beginning a 35-year occupation of the country. There were numerous rebellions, but through suppression and a cultural assimilation policy that included forcing Koreans to take Japanese names and forbidding them to speak the Korean language, Japan maintained colonial control. After Japan's defeat in World War II, Soviet forces occupied the northern half of Korea while US forces occupied the southern half. North and South each declared independence as separate states in 1948, with Kim Il-Sung establishing a communist regime with the support of Soviet Union in the north, and Syngman Rhee establishing a capitalist regime with the support of the United States in the south. The disastrous Korean War, which destroyed much of the country, began in 1950 when Kim Il-Sung attacked the south. US and other UN forces intervened on South Korea's side, while the Soviet Union and China supported the North. An armistice was signed in 1953 splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone, with no significant territorial gains made by either side. But a peace treaty has never been signed, and the two Koreas remain technically at war with each other to this day.

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South Korea Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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