HISTORY IN THE NEWS
Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world.
Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world.
TIMELINE AND CHRONOLOGY FOR THE HISTORY OF KOREA:
108 BC- the Chinese Han occupy Korea, bringing Buddhism and Confucianism.
57 BC Koguryo founded in central and northern Korea and Manchuria. Paekche was the southwest (Seoul) and Silla in the SE.
-3-4th cent. Collapse of the Han- Japanese military activity and influence moves into the south, forming the protectorate of Kaya with influence in Paekche in southern Korea- initiating Japanese contact with China.
7th century -Silla unites the South and founds a paid aristocracy and bureaucracy. The small Japanese protectorates are expelled.
668- Koguryo is driven out of the South leaving a united Kingdom of Silla protected by a wall on the north side of which is Pyongyang and the state of Bohai whioch succeeds Koguryo.
-internal divisions, due to a national parliament's restriction on monarchical power, open Korea to Chinese Tang suzerainty.
-900- South Korean state of Silla is destroyed by the states of Paekche and Koguryo.
-935- a unified state is restored by diplomatic marriages, conquest and alliance and named Koryo after a royal principality. It is ruled by a Confucian administration; Korea faces China’s Sung dynasty as more of an equal.
11th century. Korea a tributary state of China's Sung Dynasty.
-1170- General Cho Chung-hon stages a military coup. Rule by warlords ensues.
1238- Koryo falls to Mongols but is never successfully controlled. Kublai Khan levies Korean tribute armies for ill-fated invasions of Japan.
1392- After the fall of the Mongols, General Yi Songoye overthrows the Koryo. Litan of Korea’s new and greatest Joseon dynasty, sets up an administrative system which will last until the 20th century. He makes Confucianism and Chinese higher education universal. Korea opens relations with the Ming dynasty and will be protected by China for the next 200 years.
1400s- Korean ‘Hangul’ alphabet is formed under the Joseon
1419-1450- the Josean reaches its height under Sejong the Great.
-the Joseon develop the powerful Yangban ruling class.
16th cent. during Joseon period Korea reaches her height in cultural development, science, technology and Confucianism and successful use of Chinese ideas. This period has a profound effect on modern Korea- even its cultural, social ad political attitudes.
-1592 —under Hideyoshi, Japan’s Tokugawa dynasty invades and occupies Korea, looting Korean art.
1598- Japan is finally expelled from Korea by the Joseon. Korean admiral Yo Shun Shin, using the world's first armoured ships, beats the Japanese at sea. But Korea will be in Japan’s zone of influence until 1790. A historic hatred develops.
-1627-1636- The Manchu take Korea as they overthrow Ming China. Korea becomes a vassal state of the Manchu.
17th cent. As a consequence of the Chinese and Japanese invasions, the Joseon dynasty forms the Hermit Kingdom, by building fortresses, limiting contacts with other nations, enforcing stricter border controls, and controls in trade. This period is one of the sources for the CHUCHE ideology.
18th century: King Yongjo and then King Chongjo maintain the old, Confucian style of Joseon Yangban rule by appointing officials for merit rather than class or political faction,
19th cent. Europe’s use of punitive expeditions against Korea for its mistreatment of missionaries and adventurers only hardens the sense of isolation that began with the Hermit Kingdom.
-Korea's situation changes as a result of China's waning power and the rise of Japan.
-internal disorder in court and government and expressure weakens the Korean state.
-1876- Japanese influence is secured through the signing of the treaty of Kanghwa. Japan opens an embassy in Seoul and China, now threatened opens a competing legation in the same ciity. y
-1882-- the U.S. signs a treaty with Korea. the US, China, Japan and Russia are all competeting for Influence.
-1884- aristocratic reformers, inspired by Japanese ideas, attempt a coup which brings Chinese and Japanese relations to the boiling point. The crisis is headed off by a Sino-Japanese treaty whichprovides that neither country would occupy Korea without notifying the other.
-1894- deteriorating social creations explode in the Tonghak rebellion. Korea appeals for Chinese help in quelling the rebellion. Japan also sends troops. The rebellion ends leaving Japanese and Chinese troops confronting one another.
-1894-5- Japan invades China, overrunning Korea.
-Japan turned Korea-
"into a colony, indeed, virtually a 'military camp.' When the Japanese marched in, Koreans had, in a poet's slight hyperbole, 'nothing, neither sword nor pistol, dagger nor club' to fight back with. Korea became 'a peacock chained by the neck.' Although collaboration was irresistibly practical, and Koreann children had to 'endure hardships in order to become good citizens of great Japan,' patriotism throve during the occupation. Independence, ineffectively claimed, wwas ecstatically anticipated. The poet Sim Hun typically promised, 'when that day comes 'to soar like crow at night and pound the Chongo bell with my head.'" -Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Millennium.
-1895- treaty of Simonoseki. Japanese victorious over China. Japan declares Korea a "sovereign state" but remains in essential control.
-Japanese influence replaces Chinese while the Japanese insist on “civilizing” reforms. But Korean absolutism returns quickly.
1905- Japan defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, leaving Japan the major power in the region. Japan establishes Korea as a protectorate.
1910- Japan formally takes Korea and begins systematic industrialization. During the period
1910-1945, Korean nationalism develops in opposition to Japanese attempts to extinguish Korean culture.
1945- Japan defeated. Korea gains independence from Japan
1945- the Yalta Conference. Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill agree on zones of post war occupation. In Korea, 38 degrees north would determine who would accept the Japanese surrender: Soviets to the north and Americans to the south.
1945- As with Berlin- Korea is divided between communist east and democratic west. The. Industrial north is occupied by Russia while the agricultural south is occupied by the US.
1947- The UN determines that internationally supervised elections should be held throughout Korea. But the Soviet-occupied north refuses the idea and declares itself The Democratic People's Repiublic of Korea. The South meanwhile elected a government to head what it named the Republic of Korea.
1948- 15 August- South Korea formaly created.
SK:- President Syngman Rhee relies on US political, military and economic support to resist several Communist insurrections supported by North Korea.
1949- June- US troops leave SK.
1950- Backed by Stalin, North Korea invades US-occupied South Korea. The US, with allied UN countries, occupies and defends South Korea.
1953- the Korean War ends with a Soviet-Occupied North and a US-occupied South. The Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea is drawn by the UN but 1999 it will be the subject of serious disoute.
SK- Rhee uses the continued communist threat from the north to impose autocratic rule with limitations on civil rights; he is strongly supported by the US.
-Krushchev's denunciation of Stalin leads to withdrawal of Soviet backing from North Korea.
1955- North Korea proclaims its Chiche ideology.
1960- SK: a student uprising over electoral fraud forces resignation of Syngmman Rhee.
-the new constitution of the Second Republic of SK still limits civil rights and insurrectionary movements continue to plot and agitate.
1961- In South Korea, a military coup led by park Chung-hee overthrows the civilian government of Chang Myon. Park institutes military rule.
1963-SK: Park is elected head of government, leading his own Democratic Republican Party (DRP). He institutes the Third Republic and restores some civil rights.
-Park leads massive industrial and economic, export-led expansion. He achieves record growth rates of 10-20 per cent into the 1970s. To build the economy he exports wealth in value-added manufactured goods and keeps wages low.
1970s- North Korea’s Communist dictator Kim Il Sung grooms his son Kim Jong Il for the succession. They live like the secluded royalty of the medieval Confucian Yangban class- even though feudalism and Confucianism have been repudiated.
1972- SK: Park brings back martial law and makes changes to the constitution granting himself unlimited power.
1975- SK: Park brings in emergency measures.
1979- Brief recession in South Korea; General Park Chung-hee is assassinated.
1980- SK: Choy Kyu Ha and then General Chun Doo Hwan succeed Park as president.
-SK's industrialization finally begins to raise its standard of living as well as capitalize on the hi-tech and computer revolution.
1987- SK: massive student demonstrations against General Chun Doo.
Oct- SK: a new constitution is passed.
1988- international pressures around the Seoul Olympics force Chun's resignation.
-first free elections in SK. Military man Roh Tae Woo succeeds Chun as president.
-Roh introduces political liberalization, creates the Democratic Liberal Party (DRP) and attacks corruption.
1990- first reunification talks between the two Koreas.
1991- the two Koreas agree not to develop nuclear weapons.
-early 1990s- North Korea working on a nuclear program.
-1993- SK: President Roh is succeeded by Kim Young Sam, a former opponent of the regime who is the country's first non-military president in 30 years.
1994- death of NK's Kim Il Sung.
1996- SK: former presidents Roh Tae Woo and Chun Doo Han are indicted for corruption and fomenting the 1979 coup.
1997- Succession of NK'S Kim Jong Il as supreme commander of the military and de facto head of state.
1998- Kim Dae Jong elected president of South Korea. But a recession follows. His business reforms barely save the economy.
-SK: in several amnesties, Kim Dae releases many communist dissidents from prison.
1997-1999- Kim Dae spurs resumption of unification talks.
-1998- floods, crop failures, food shortages result in famine in North Korea.
-South Korean president, Kim Dae Jong inaugurates his "Sunshine Policy" which declares a policy of cooperation with the north on the condition of mutual non-aggression as a prelude to eventual reinification. It also holds that threats and sanctions on the North from South Korea and the US do more harm the good.
-June 13-15, 2000- the leaders of North and South Korea hold historic unification talks in Pyongyang and produce the "North-South Joint Declaration'.
-increasingly, unified Korean teams participate in the Olympics.
2001-2002- US President Bush declares North Korea part of the ‘Axis of Evil’.
2002- North Korea is found to be developing a weapons program and expels UN weapons inspectors.
2003- North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and reports that it has enough plutonium to build a nuclear bomb
2003-2005- meetings with the international community to retrain North Korea from developing a weapons program. No agreement is reached.
2006- after missile tests, North Korea tests a nuclear device in October. The UN imposes sanctions.
Oct 31- North Korea agrees to return to nuclear talks.
Feb 12-19 2007- North Korea agrees to give up its nuclear arms program in return for oil.
March 28- after North Korea shows signs of reconciliation with the international community, South Korea resumes food aid to the north.
April 13- North Korea is silent on a promise to close a nuclear facility.
May 10- the North Korean military agrees to a test run of rebuilt north and south Korean cross-border railway lines.
May 17- North and South Korea sun ceremonial test runs cross-border railway trains.
June- for the first time since being expelled, five years ago, international inspectors are allowed to return to the Yongbyon nucelar plant.
July- international inspectors confirm the shutting down of the Yongbyon nuclear plant.
August- after massive floods, North Korea appeals for aid.
October- leaders of North and South Korea meet for a historic summit.
Lee Myung Bak President of South Korea.
December: South Korea Elects Conservative Lee Myung Bak in landslide as president.
2008- January- U.S. declares North Korea defaulting on declaration of nuclear activities. China urges Pyongyang to comply.
February- Seoul's Historic Namdaemum gate destroyed in fire.
Lee Myung Bak takes hard line against North Korea.
-Seoul's President Lee Mung Byak ties aid to North Korea to nucelar disarmement and improvement in human rights.
-Pyongyang accepts guest performance of New York Philharmonic Orchestra suggesting thaw in relations.
April- President Lee Mung Byak of South Korea taking tough line on North Korea; North Korea fires Southern managers from a joint industrial park. Pyongyang fires a test missile and accuses Ming Byak of sending a warship into North Korean waters.
Lees' majority wins narrow majority in parliament.
May- S. Korea removes sanctions on US beef, imposed because of BSE in 2003. Street protests erupt against removal of sanctions.
June- President Lee apologizes for not taking public concerns into account as his ratings fall sharply.
Relations Improve on US with Nuclear Disarmament.
-North Korea finally makes a declaration of its nuclear program.
-July- US and North Korea hold first nuclear disarmament talks in two years.
July- U.S. beef arrives in Seoul as government responds to popular pressure and puts further regulations in place to safeguard cosumers.
-South Korean tourist in North Korea's Mount Kumgang Special Tourism zone is shot by North Korean police, causing tensions with the South.
North Korea balks on Disarmament after not receiving US aid. Relations worsen with South Korea.
-North Korea threatens to restart its nuclear program after claiming US is reneging on renewed aid in disarmament deal.
October- South Korea, aware of its large foreign debt, brings in a $130 billion bailout package in response to the global market crash and credit crisis.
November- In response to increasing north-south tensions, North Korea tells South Korea: as of December 1, halt all cross-border traffic into the north.
-December- North Korea slows down disarmament as US suspends energy aid.
2009- January: North Korea declares an end to all military and political agreements with South Korea as relations deteriorate.
February- South Korea brings in rock bottom interest rates in anticipation of worsening credit crisis.
North Korea Carries out Nucelar and Rocket tests, raising tensions.
April- North Korea tests a rocket; in response to international objections, it walks out of disarmament talks.
May- Kim Jong Il makes first public appearance since rumours of his illness in 2008.
-North Korea carries out underground nuclear test, cuaing international protest.
August- death of Kim Dae-jung, former South Korean president. North Korea sends a senior delegion to pay respects.
-June- North Korea suggests re-starting talks on joint industrial park with South.
-August- UN Security Council votes to impose sanctions on North which threatens retaliation through nuclear war.
Pyongyang attempts to improve relations with South.
-North Korea announces easing up crossborder traffic and agrees to continue formerly suspended cross-border familuy reunions.
October- North Korea apologizes for the breaking of a dam on the Imjin River which killed campers downstream in South Korea and discusses flood prevention with the South.
-through China, Pyongyang suggests it might be willing to restart disarmament talks.
Dispute heats up on Disputed Area of Sea Border.
November- North and South Korean war ships exchange fire across a disputed border area known as the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea. Drawn in 1953 at the end of the Korean war, the North insists that it should be further south.
December- US envoy ontains understanding from Pyongyang on need for six-party talks on its nuclear disarmament.
2010- January- North Korea accepts first consignment of food from the South in two years, makes peace overtures to US and South Korea.
-failure of two days of talks about the North-South Kaejong industrial estate, the first in two years.
-artillery fire from North Korea near disputed sea border ignites return fire from South Korea.
North Korea Sinks South Korean Ship.
March- South Korean war ship Cheonan believed sunk by North Korean navy.
May- South Korea confirms sinking of war ship Cheonan by North Korea. North Korea denies it.
South Korea Cuts Ties With North.
-South Korea cuts all ties with North. The after, North Korea allows workers to return to the North-South joint industrial park which remains aan important source of revenue for North Korea.
June- North Korean government meets to approve a re-allocation of cabinet seats.
-South Korea: Lee Myung-bak's Grand National party suffers defeats in local elections.
US Sanctions against North Korea over the Cheonan.
July- the US, in continued response to the sinking of the Cheonan, imposes additional
sanctions on North Korea.
-the US and South Korea plan naval meouevres in the area in response to the Cheonan incident. North Korea threatens to reply with nuclearweapons.
August- Kim Jong Il visits China in hopes of resuming six-party talks.
September- Kim Jong Il appears to be grooming his son, Kim Jong Un to succeed him.
The North Attempts to Placate the South.
2010 September - As US President Obama signs new sanctions into law, the North makes overtures to the South, including an offer of more family reunions and acceptance of flood-damage aid.
Kim Jong-il's youngest son Kim Jong-un is appointed to senior political and military posts, fuelling speculation that he is being prepared to succeed his father.
November- North Korea allows a visiting US scientist to visit the nation's new, state of thecentrifuge, suggesting imminent nuclear capability, causing alarm in Tokyo and Washington.
Cross Border Clashes Continue.
-after South Korean military manoeuvres, North Korea shells a South Korean island, provoking threats of string retaliation from South Korea.
2010 November - North Korea shows an eminent visiting American nuclear scientist a vast new secretly-built facility for enriching uranium at its Yongbyon complex. The revelation sparks alarm and anger in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.
2010 November - Cross-border clash near disputed maritime border results in death of two South Korean marines. North Korea's military insists it did not open fire first and blames the South. South Korea places its military on highest non-wartime alert after shells land on Yeonpyeong island.
2011 February - North Korea- Foot and mouth disease hits livestock, threatening to aggravate desperate food shortages.
2011 July - Nuclear envoys from North and South Korea hold first talks since collapse of six-party talks in 2009.
2011 August - Further exchange of fire near Yeonpyeong island.
2011 October - US Congress approves long-stalled free trade agreement with South Korea. The deal is expected to increase US exports to South Korea.
Death of Kim Jong Il; Succession of Kim Jong Un.
2011 December - Kim Jong-il dies. Kim Jong-un presides at his funeral, is hailed as "Great Successor" and takes over from his father as chairman of the National Defence Commission.
2012 February - Kim Jong-il is posthumously awarded the highest military title of Generalissimo - the same rank held by his father, Kim Il-sung.
Army pledges loyalty to his successor, Kim Jong-un, in a mass parade held to mark the 70th anniversary of Kim Jong-il's birth.
2012 March - South Korea hosts a global conference on nuclear security, attended by the US and Russian leaders among others. Iran and North Korea do not attend.
2012 April - Kim Jong-un formally takes over ruling party leadership, becoming First Secretary of the Workers Party.
North Stages Long Range Missile Test.
The launch of a "rocket-mounted satellite" to mark the birthday of Kim Il-Sung fails. Most observers think it was a long-range missile test of the sort that North Korea had agreed to suspend in return for US food aid. North Korea says it is no longer bound by the agreement, which also banned nuclear tests.
2012 April - South Korea: the governing conservative Saenuri (New Frontier) Party, formerly called the Grand National Party, wins parliamentary elections with a reduced majority.
2012 June - South Korea becomes the first major Asian economy to halt oil imports from Iran.
2012 July - South Korea begins move of most ministries to "mini capital" at Sejong City, 120km south of Seoul. Key ministries will remain in Seoul.
2012 July - Army head Ri Yong-ho is removed from senior posts in the ruling party, and leader Kim Jong-un appoints himself to the highest rank of marshal.
North Korea needs food after Devastating Floods.
2012 August - The United Nations says North Korea has asked for urgent food aid after devastating floods in July.
Dispute Over Islands by South Korea and Japan.
2012 August - Lee Myung-bak becomes South Korea's first president to visit the Liancourt Rocks, which Japan also claims. Tokyo recalls its ambassador in protest.
2012 October - Days after South Korea and the US unveil a new missile deal, North Korea says it has missiles that can hit the US mainland.
Arms race between North and South Korea.
2012 October - South Korea strikes deal with the US to almost triple the range of its ballistic missile system to 800km as a response to North Korea's test of a long-range rocket in April.
South Korea Eelects a new President, a woman- Park Geun-hye
2012 December - South Korea elects its first female president, Park Geun-hye. She takes office in February.
2012 December - A North Korean rocket launch puts a satellite into orbit, after the failure to do so in April. The UN including China regard this as a violation of a ban on North Korean ballistic missile tests, as the rocket technology is the same.
North Korea Stages a Third nuclear test- allegedly aimed at US.
2013 January - The UN Security Council condemns the December launch. North Korea announces it will carry out a third "high-level nuclear test" and rehearse more long-range rocket launches aimed at the US "arch-enemy". The previous two tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009.
2013 January - South Korea launches a satellite into orbit for the first time using a rocket launched from its own soil. Previous attempts in 2009-10 failed. The launch comes weeks after a North Korean rocket placed a satellite in orbit.
2013 February - North Korea carries out a third nuclear test, said to be twice as big as the 2009 test.
UN Approves more Sanctions against North Korea; North Korea on War Footing.
2013 March - UN Security Council approves fresh sanctions over North Korea's nuclear test, targeting cash transfers and travel for diplomats. North Koreas threatened the US with a pre-emptive nuclear attack and issues threats to South Korea over nearby islands and non-aggression pacts.
2013 March - South warns North over unilateral abrogation of Korean War armistice and bellicose rhetoric. North also cut off a hotline and vowed to end non-aggressions pacts with South. A cyber-attack from an internet address in China temporarily shuts down the computer systems at South Korean banks and broadcasters.