1945 Jan 1
, Korean Peninsula

In 1945, following Japan's defeat in the Pacific War, the Korean region which had been its territory was occupied by American and Soviet forces. Two years later, South Korea declared its independence from Japan as the Republic of Korea. This was officially recognised by Japan when it approved the independence of the Korean region under the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952, making it a fully independent and sovereign nation under international law. This led to the division of Korea into two occupation zones - one administered by the United States and the other by the Soviet Union - that was meant to be temporary. However, when the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and China were unable to agree on a single government for the peninsula, two separate governments with opposing ideologies were established in 1948: The Communist-aligned Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the West-aligned First Republic of Korea. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea.

Japanese forces surrender to the U.S. Army at Seoul, Korea, on 9 September 1945

United States Army Military Government in Korea

1945 Sep 8 - 1944 Aug 15
, South Korea

The United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) was in charge of the Southern half of the Korean Peninsula from September 8, 1945, to August 15, 1948. The country during this time was facing political and economic difficulties due to a variety of reasons. The negative effects of Japanese occupation were still present in the occupied zone, as well as in the North. People were not satisfied with the USAMGIK's support of the previous Japanese colonial government, their keeping of former Japanese governors as advisors, their disregard of the well-liked People's Republic of Korea, and their support of United Nations elections that led to the division of the country. Furthermore, the US military was not well-equipped to manage the country, as they had no knowledge of the language or political situation, leading to unintended consequences of their policies. The influx of refugees from North Korea (estimated at 400,000) and returnees from abroad added to the instability.

Autumn Uprising of 1946

Autumn Uprising of 1946

1946 Aug 1
, Daegu

The Autumn Uprising of 1946 was a series of protests and demonstrations that took place in South Korea against the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK). These protests were sparked by the USAMGIK's support of the former Japanese colonial government and their decision to keep former Japanese governors as advisors, as well as their disregard of the well-liked People's Republic of Korea. The protests were also a result of the economic and political turmoil that the country was facing in the aftermath of World War II and the division of the Korean Peninsula. The Autumn Uprising led to a crackdown by the USAMGIK, which resulted in the arrests and imprisonment of many Korean leaders and activists. The Autumn Uprising is considered a significant event in the history of South Korea, as it marked the first large-scale popular resistance against USAMGIK's rule, and was a precursor to the larger political and social movements that emerged in the following years.

Jeju inhabitants awaiting execution in late 1948

Jeju Uprising

1948 Apr 3 - 1949 May 13
, Jeju

The Jeju Uprising was a popular rebellion that took place on the island of Jeju, South Korea, from April 3, 1948, to May 1949. The uprising was sparked by the decision of the newly-established Republic of Korea government to hold a controversial election for a National Assembly, which many on Jeju saw as a sham that would exclude left-leaning and progressive groups from the political process. The rebellion was led by the leftist and progressive groups who were against the government. The government responded by sending in the military to crush the rebellion, which resulted in a brutal crackdown that left thousands of people dead and many more injured. The suppression was marked by mass killings, torture, rape, and forced disappearances of tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians suspected of supporting the rebellion. The Jeju Uprising is considered a dark chapter in the history of South Korea and is still a sensitive subject today.

Syngman Rhee, the 1st President of South Korea

First Republic of Korea

1948 Aug 1 - 1960 Apr
, South Korea

The first Republic of Korea existed from August 1948 to April 1960 and was the government of South Korea. It was established on August 15th, 1948, after the transfer of power from the United States Army Military Government which had been governing South Korea since the end of Japanese rule in 1945. This was the first independent republican government in Korea, with Syngman Rhee being elected as the first president of South Korea in May 1948 and the National Assembly in Seoul adopting the first constitution in July of the same year, which established a presidential system of government. The first republic claimed to have authority over all of Korea but only controlled the area south of the 38th parallel until the end of the Korean War in 1953, after which the border was changed. The first republic was marked by the authoritarian rule and corruption of Rhee, limited economic development, strong anti-communism, and by the late 1950s, increasing political instability and public opposition to Rhee. The April Revolution in 1960 led to Rhee's resignation and the beginning of the second Republic of Korea.

Mungyeong massacre

Mungyeong massacre

1949 Dec 24
, Mungyeong

The Mungyeong Massacre was a mass killing that occurred on December 24th, 1949, in which 86 to 88 unarmed civilians, mostly children and elderly people, were killed by the South Korean Army. The victims were suspected of being communist supporters or collaborators, however, the South Korean government blamed the crime on communist guerrillas for decades. In 2006, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Korea determined that the massacre was committed by the South Korean Army. Despite this, a South Korean court decided that charging the government with the massacre was barred by statute of limitations, and in 2009 the South Korean high court dismissed the victims' family complaint. However, in 2011, the Supreme Court of Korea decided that the government should compensate the victims of the inhumane crimes it had committed, regardless of the deadline to make the claim.

A column of the US 1st Marine Division move through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir.

Korean War

1950 Jun 25 - 1953 Jul 27
, Korean Peninsula

The Korean War was a military conflict between North and South Korea that lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. The North invaded the South on June 25, 1950, in an effort to unify the country under communist rule. The United Nations, led by the United States, intervened on behalf of South Korea, and a coalition of UN forces, primarily from the United States, fought against the North Korean and Chinese armies. The war was marked by brutal fighting, with heavy casualties on both sides. A ceasefire was declared on July 27, 1953, and a demilitarized zone was established along the 38th parallel, which still serves as the border between North and South Korea today. The Korean War resulted in the deaths of millions of people and left the Korean Peninsula divided and heavily militarized.

South Korean soldiers walk among bodies of South Korean political prisoners shot near Daejon, South Korea, July 1950. Photo by U.S. Army Major Abbott.

Bodo League Massacre

1950 Jul 1
, South Korea

The Bodo League massacre refers to a mass killing of political prisoners and suspected communist sympathizers that took place in South Korea in the summer of 1960. The killings were carried out by a group called the Bodo League, which was created and controlled by the government. The league was composed of members of the South Korean police and military, as well as civilians who were recruited to carry out the killings. The victims were rounded up and taken to remote locations, such as islands or mountainous regions, where they were killed en masse. The number of victims is estimated to be around 100,000. The Bodo League massacre was a systematic, large scale extrajudicial killing orchestrated by the South Korean government in an effort to eliminate political opponents and maintain control of the population. The event is considered one of the most serious human rights violation in the history of South Korea.

The site of negotiations in 1951

Korean Armistice Agreement

1953 Jul 27
, Joint Security Area (JSA)

The Korean Armistice Agreement was a ceasefire agreement signed on July 27, 1953, between North Korea and the United Nations, represented by the United States, to end the fighting in the Korean War. The agreement established a demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that still exists today. The armistice was signed by North Korean General Nam Il and U.S. Army Lieutenant General William K. Harrison Jr. and was supervised by the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC). The armistice has never been formally ended and a state of war technically still exists between the two Koreas.

Proclamation of the Second Republic of Korea. From right: Chang Myon (Prime Minister), Yun Bo-seon (President), Paek Nak-chun (President of the House of Councillors) and Kwak Sang-hoon (President of the Chamber of Deputies)

Second Republic of Korea

1960 Apr 1 - 1961 May
, South Korea

The Second Republic of Korea refers to the political system and government of South Korea that was established after the April Revolution of 1960, which led to the resignation of President Syngman Rhee and the end of the First Republic of Korea. The April Revolution was a series of mass protests that were sparked by the discovery of the body of a local high school student who had been killed by police during demonstrations against rigged elections in March. The Second Republic of Korea was established after the fall of the Rhee government and his replacement by President Yun Posun.

The Second Republic was marked by a transition towards democracy, with a new constitution adopted in October, 1960 which provided for a separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, and a strong presidency. The government under the Second Republic was characterized by a shift from authoritarian rule to a more democratic system with free and fair elections, civil liberties, and a free press.

However, the Second Republic also had its challenges, including political instability and economic difficulties, which led to a series of coups d'etat, and military dictatorship led by Park Chung-hee which lasted until 1979. It was followed by the Third Republic of South Korea which was a democratic government that lasted until 1987.

April Revolution

April Revolution

1960 Apr 11 - Apr 26
, Masan

The April Revolution, also known as the April 19 Revolution or April 19 Movement, was a series of mass protests that occurred in South Korea against President Syngman Rhee and the First Republic. These protests began on April 11th in the city of Masan and were sparked by the death of a local high school student at the hands of police during earlier demonstrations against fraudulent elections. The protests were driven by widespread dissatisfaction with Rhee's authoritarian leadership style, corruption, use of violence against political opponents, and uneven development of the country. The protests in Masan quickly spread to the capital city of Seoul, where they were met with violent suppression. As a result of the two weeks of protests, 186 people were killed. On April 26th, Rhee resigned and fled to the United States. He was replaced by Yun Posun, marking the beginning of the Second Republic of South Korea.

The leaders of the Military Revolutionary Committee pictured on 20 May, four days after the coup: Chairman Chang Do-yong (left) and Vice-Chairman Park Chung-hee (right)

May 16 Coup

1961 May 16
, Seoul

The "May 16 Coup" refers to a military coup d'état that took place in South Korea on May 16, 1961. The coup was led by Major General Park Chung-hee, who seized power from President Yun Bo-seon and the ruling Democratic Party. The coup was successful and Park Chung-hee established a military dictatorship that lasted until his assassination in 1979. During his 18-year rule, Park implemented a number of economic and political reforms that helped to modernize South Korea and transform it into a developed nation. However, his regime was also known for its suppression of political dissent and human rights abuses.

National Intelligence Service

National Intelligence Service

1961 Jun 13
, South Korea

The military government established the KCIA in June 1961 as a way to monitor the opposition, with Kim Jong-pil, a relative of Park, as its first director. The KCIA is responsible for overseeing and coordinating intelligence activities both domestically and internationally, as well as criminal investigations by government intelligence agencies, including the military. With broad powers, the agency was able to become involved in politics. Agents go through extensive training and background checks before being officially inducted and assigned their first tasks.

Park Chung-hee served as President for the Third Republic's existence from 1963 to 1972.

Third Republic of Korea

1963 Dec 1 - 1972 Nov
, South Korea

The Third Republic of Korea refers to South Korea's government from 1987-1993. It was the second and last civilian government under the 1987 constitution, which began when President Roh Tae-woo took office in 1988. During this period, South Korea experienced a period of rapid economic growth and democratization, marked by the end of military rule, the abolition of political censorship, and direct presidential elections. Additionally, South Korea's relations with North Korea and other countries improved, leading to the establishment of diplomatic ties with China and many other nations.

General Chae Myung-shin, the commander of South Korean forces in Vietnam

South Korea in the Vietnam War

1964 Sep 1 - 1973 Mar
, Vietnam

South Korea played an important role in the Vietnam War (1964-1975). After the United States withdrew its forces in 1973, South Korea sent its own troops to help the South Vietnamese government. The Republic of Korea (ROK) Army Expeditionary Force provided military assistance and support to South Vietnam, with a total of 320,000 troops taking part in the war effort.

The ROK forces were mostly stationed in the Central Highlands and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. They provided security for local Vietnamese citizens and helped the South Vietnamese military to protect their borders. In addition, South Korean forces built infrastructure for development projects, including roads, bridges, irrigation systems and airfields.

The presence of Korean troops in Vietnam was controversial, with some accusing them of human rights abuses. However, they were credited with providing much-needed assistance to the South Vietnamese government during a difficult period in its history. The Korean Army was withdrawn from Vietnam in 1978 and their contribution to the war effort has been largely forgotten in history.

새마을 지도자 교육

Saemaul Undong

1970 Apr 22
, South Korea

Saemaul Undong (also known as the New Village Movement) is a South Korean rural development program that began in the 1970s under the leadership of then-President Park Chung-hee. Its aim is to reduce poverty and improve living conditions in rural areas by empowering local communities and encouraging self-help initiatives. The program emphasizes collective action, cooperation, self-discipline, and hard work. It includes a range of activities such as cooperative farming, improved agricultural techniques, infrastructure development, and community organization. The program has been credited with helping to reduce poverty and improve living standards in rural areas. It has also been used as a model for similar programs in other countries around the world.

Choi Kyu-hah

Fourth Republic of Korea

1972 Nov 1 - 1981 Mar
, South Korea

In 1972, the Fourth Republic was established following a constitutional referendum that approved the Yushin Constitution, which provided de facto dictatorial powers to President Park Chung-hee. Under Park and his Democratic Republican Party, the country entered into an authoritarian period known as the Yushin System. Following Park's assassination in 1979, Choi Kyu-hah took over as president but martial law was declared and the country fell into political instability. Chun Doo-hwan then overthrew Choi and launched a coup d'état in December 1979. He then suppressed the Gwangju Democratization Movement against martial law in May 1980, after which he dissolved the National Assembly and was elected president of the National Council for Reunification. The Fourth republic was then dissolved when a new constitution was adopted in March 1981 and replaced with the Fifth Republic of Korea.

Kim Jae-gyu on trial

Assassination of Park Chung-hee

1979 Oct 26
, Blue House

The Assassination of Park Chung-hee was a major political event in South Korea which took place on October 26, 1979. Park Chung-hee was the third President of South Korea and had been in power since 1961. He had led an authoritarian regime and had implemented sweeping economic reforms that had brought rapid economic growth to the country.

On October 26, 1979, Park was attending a dinner at the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) headquarters in Seoul. During the dinner, he was shot by Kim Jae-gyu, the director of KCIA. Kim had been a close ally of Park and had been serving as his bodyguard for many years.

The news of Park's assassination quickly spread throughout the country and sparked widespread protests. Many people viewed Park as a dictator and were glad to see him gone. However, others saw his death as a great loss since he had brought much economic prosperity to South Korea during his rule.

In the aftermath of Park's death, the country entered a period of political turmoil. This led to the election of Chun Doo-hwan as President in 1980, who then led an authoritarian military regime until 1987 when democratic elections were held again.

The assassination of Park Chung-hee remains a significant event in Korean history and is still remembered today. It was the first time that a Korean President had been assassinated and it signaled the end of an era of authoritarian rule in the country.

Coup d'état of December Twelfth

Coup d'état of December Twelfth

1979 Dec 12
, Seoul

Major General Chun Doo-hwan, commander of the Defence Security Command, without authorization from Acting President Choi Kyu-hah, arrested General Jeong Seung-hwa, ROK Army Chief of Staff, accusing him of involvement in the assassination of President Park Chung-hee. Subsequently, troops loyal to Chun invaded downtown Seoul and arrested two of Jeong's allies, Major General Jang Tae-wan and Major General Jeong Byeong-ju. Major Kim Oh-rang, an aide-de-camp of Jeong Byeong-ju, was killed in the gunfight. By the next morning, the Ministry of Defense and Army HQ were all under Chun's control with the assistance of his fellow 11th class of Korea Military Academy graduates. This coup, alongside the Gwangju Massacre, led to Chun's 1995 arrest by the Kim Young-sam administration and established the Fifth Republic of South Korea.

May 18th Movement

Gwangju Uprising

1980 May 18 - 1977 May 27
, Gwangju

The Gwangju Uprising was a popular uprising in the city of Gwangju, South Korea, from May 18 to 27, 1980. It began as a protest against the dictatorship of President Chun Doo-hwan and the military government, and quickly grew into a demonstration for democracy and human rights. The uprising was violently suppressed by the South Korean military and the incident resulted in the deaths of hundreds of citizens.

The uprising began when students and workers led a protest against the military government on May 18th. The demonstration quickly spread throughout the city, with citizens joining in to demand democracy and human rights. The military responded with force, using tear gas, batons, and live ammunition to disperse the crowds. Over the next few days, clashes between protesters and the military escalated into a full-scale battle. On May 27th, the military declared martial law in Gwangju and sent in more troops to put down the rebellion. Despite this, protesters continued to resist until June 3rd, when martial law was finally lifted.

South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan with U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Seoul, November 1983

Fifth Republic of Korea

1981 Mar 1 - 1984 Dec
, South Korea

The fifth republic was established in March 1981 by Chun Doo-hwan, a military colleague of long-time president and dictator Park Chung-hee, after the political instability and military rule in the fourth republic since the assassination of Park in October 1979. The fifth republic was ruled by Chun and the Democratic Justice Party as a de facto dictatorship and one-party state to extensively reform South Korea for democratization and dismantle the autocratic system of Park. The fifth republic faced growing opposition from the democratization movement of the Gwangju Uprising, and the June Democracy Movement of 1987 resulted in the election of Roh Tae-woo in the December 1987 presidential election. The fifth republic was dissolved three days after the election upon the adoption of a new constitution that laid the foundations for the relatively stable democratic system of the current sixth Republic of Korea.

Rangoon Bombing

Rangoon Bombing

1983 Oct 9
, Martyrs' Mausoleum

On 9 October 1983, an assassination attempt occurred against Chun Doo-hwan, the fifth president of South Korea, in Rangoon, Burma (present-day Yangon, Myanmar). North Korea was believed to be behind the attack, in which 21 people died and 46 were wounded. One suspect was killed and two others were apprehended, one of whom admitted to being a North Korean military officer.

Crowds gather at the state funeral of Lee Han-yeol in Seoul, July 9 1987

June Democratic Struggle

1987 Jun 10 - Jun 29
, South Korea

The June Democratic Struggle, also referred to as the June Democracy Movement and June Democratic Uprising, was a nation-wide pro-democracy movement that took place in South Korea from June 10 to June 29, 1987. The protests triggered by the military regime's announcement of Roh Tae-woo as the next president, forced the government to hold elections and institute other democratic reforms, leading to the establishment of the Sixth Republic. Out of fear of violence before the 1988 Olympic Games at Seoul, Chun and Roh accepted the demands for direct presidential elections and restoration of civil liberties. This eventually led to Roh being elected president in December with a bare majority, paving the way for democratic consolidation in South Korea.

Roh Tae-woo

Sixth Republic of South Korea

1988 Jan 1 - 2023
, South Korea

The sixth Republic of South Korea is the current government of South Korea, established in 1988 following the end of military rule. This constitution provides for a more democratic form of government with the president being elected by popular vote and a unicameral legislature. It also includes a Bill of Rights that guarantees civil liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and press.

South Korea's economic growth during the sixth republic has been remarkable. The country has gone from a developing economy to one of the world's largest economies, with a per capita GDP comparable to that of some European countries. This economic growth has been largely due to the country's successful export-oriented economic policies, high levels of investment in education and research, and strong emphasis on technology-driven innovation.

The sixth republic also saw the rise of a powerful labor movement that has been instrumental in improving working conditions and wages for South Koreans. It has also brought about reforms to the judicial system, including changes that have made it easier for citizens to sue corporations for violations of their rights.

Fireworks at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Summer Olympics

1988 Summer Olympics

1988 Sep 17 - Oct 2
, Seoul

The 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea from September 17 to October 2, 1988. This was the first time that the Summer Olympics were held in South Korea, and the first time they were held in Asia since the 1964 games in Tokyo, Japan. The games featured 237 events in 27 sports and were attended by around 8,391 athletes from 159 nations, making it the largest number of countries participating in any Olympics at that time. The games were considered a major success for South Korea, as they showcased the country's rapid economic and social development in the years leading up to the Olympics.

Full House

Korean Wave

1990 Jan 1
, South Korea

K-dramas have become immensely popular throughout Asia and around the world since they began airing in the early 1990s. These Korean television dramas often feature complicated romantic storylines, touching family themes, and plenty of action and suspense. In addition to entertaining viewers, K-dramas have had a profound effect on South Korea’s economy and soft power.

The popularity of K-dramas has helped to boost South Korea’s economy, as the sale of drama DVDs, soundtracks, and related products has become an important source of revenue for the country. Furthermore, the success of K-dramas has led to an increase in tourism to South Korea as fans of these dramas flock to experience the culture and sites that inspired the shows.

In addition to its economic effects, K-dramas have also had a significant impact on South Korea’s soft power. The melodramatic storylines and attractive actors have made these shows incredibly popular across Asia, helping to strengthen South Korea’s cultural influence in the region. This has also had a positive effect on South Korea’s international relations, as countries that had previously been hostile towards the country have begun to embrace it due to its cultural presence.

Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il

Sunshine Policy

2000 Jan 1
, Korean Peninsula

The Sunshine Policy is the foundation for South Korea's approach to North Korea in terms of foreign relations. It was first established and put into practice during the presidency of Kim Dae-jung. This policy led to the initiation of cooperative business ventures between the two Koreas, including the development of a railway and the establishment of the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, which remained open to South Korean visitors until 2008, when a shooting incident occurred and visits were halted. Despite the challenges, three family reunions were also arranged.

In 2000, the leaders of the two Koreas, Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il, met for the first time since the Korean War at a summit. During this meeting, the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration was adopted, in which the two Koreas agreed on five points: the pursuit of independent reunification, peaceful reunification, addressing humanitarian issues like separated families, promoting economic cooperation and exchange, and holding a dialogue between the two Koreas. However, after the summit, talks between the two states stalled. Criticism of the policy increased and the Unification Minister Lim Dong-won faced a no-confidence vote on September 3, 2001. After a meeting with newly elected President George Bush, Kim Dae-jung felt humiliated and privately expressed his disappointment with President Bush's hardline stance. This meeting also led to the cancellation of any possibility of a North Korean visit to South Korea. With the Bush administration labeling North Korea as part of the "axis of evil," North Korea withdrew from the non-proliferation treaty, expelled UN inspectors and resumed its nuclear program. In 2002, a naval confrontation over disputed fishing territory resulted in the death of six South Korean naval soldiers, further deteriorating relations.



2003 Jan 1
, South Korea

K-pop (Korean Pop) is a genre of popular music originating in South Korea. It began in the early 1990s and has since become one of the most popular genres of music in the world. K-pop is characterized by its catchy melodies, strong beats, and fun, upbeat lyrics. It often incorporates elements from other genres such as hip hop, R&B, and EDM. The genre has seen a steady increase in popularity since its inception and continues to grow in popularity today. It has also had an impact on global culture, with K-pop stars appearing on TV shows, movies, and even fashion runways around the world. K-pop has also become increasingly popular in North America and Europe, with fans attending concerts and following their favorite artists.

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, K-pop began to gain popularity in other parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia and the United States. This was largely due to the success of groups like Girls' Generation, Super Junior, and 2NE1, who had a strong international fan base.

In 2012, K-pop group PSY's "Gangnam Style" became a viral sensation, garnering over 3 billion views on YouTube. This song helped to bring K-pop to a global audience and significantly increased the popularity of K-pop around the world.

Sewol at a port in Incheon in March 2014, after modifications had been made

Sinking of MV Sewol

2014 Apr 16
, Donggeochado

The ferry MV Sewol sank on the morning of April 16, 2014, en route from Incheon towards Jeju in South Korea. The 6,825-ton vessel sent a distress signal from about 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi; 1.5 nmi) north of Byeongpungdo at 08:58 KST (23:58 UTC, April 15, 2014). Out of 476 passengers and crew, 306 died in the disaster, including around 250 students from Danwon High School (Ansan City), Of the approximately 172 survivors, more than half were rescued by fishing boats and other commercial vessels that arrived at the scene approximately 40 minutes before the Korea Coast Guard (KCG).The sinking of Sewol resulted in widespread social and political reaction within South Korea. Many people criticized the actions of the ferry's captain and most of the crew. Also criticized were the ferry's operator, Chonghaejin Marine, and the regulators who oversaw its operations, along with the administration of President Park Geun-hye for her response to the disaster and attempts to downplay government culpability, and the KCG for its poor handling of the disaster, and the perceived passivity of the rescue-boat crew on scene. Outrage has also been expressed against the initial false reporting of the disaster by the government and South Korean media, who claimed everyone aboard had been rescued, and against the government for prioritizing public image over the lives of its citizens in refusing help from other countries, and publicly downplaying the severity of the disaster.On May 15, 2014, the captain and three crew members were charged with murder, while the other eleven members of the crew were indicted for abandoning the ship. As part of a government campaign to manage public sentiment over the official response to the sinking, an arrest warrant was issued for Yoo Byung-eun (described as the owner of Chonghaejin Marine), but he could not be found despite a nationwide manhunt. On July 22, 2014, police revealed that they had established that a dead man found in a field in Suncheon, roughly 290 kilometres (180 mi) south of Seoul, was Yoo.

Parade of Nations at 2018 Olympic opening ceremony

2018 Winter Olympics

2018 Feb 9 - Feb 25
, Pyeongchang

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, was an international winter multi-sport event that was held between 9 and 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. A total of 102 events in 15 disciplines of 7 sports were held. The host nation, South Korea, won 17 medals, including 5 golds. The games were notable for the participation of North Korea, which sent 22 athletes to compete in 3 sports.

Moon and Kim shaking hands over the demarcation line

April 2018 inter-Korean summit

2018 Apr 27
, South Korea

The April 2018 inter-Korean summit was a meeting between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea, which took place on April 27, 2018. The summit was the first of its kind in over a decade, and it marked a significant step towards peace and reconciliation between the two countries, which have been technically at war since the Korean War of the 1950s. The summit was held at the Peace House, a building located on the southern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea. The leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, respectively, met and discussed a wide range of issues, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the reduction of military tensions, and the improvement of economic and cultural ties between the two countries. As a result of the summit, the two leaders signed a joint statement in which they committed to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to improve relations between the two countries.

Transfer of a COVID-19 confirmed patient by Busan Medical Center

COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea

2020 Jan 20
, South Korea

The COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea began in January 2020 and has since spread throughout the country. South Korea was one of the first countries outside of China to report a large number of cases, with the majority of early cases linked to a religious group in the city of Daegu. The South Korean government quickly implemented measures such as widespread testing, contact tracing, and quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The country was able to bring the outbreak under control relatively quickly and has managed to keep its case numbers low compared to many other countries. However, there were several small outbreaks and periodic resurgence of cases over time. The South Korean government has also implemented a range of social distancing measures, such as closing schools and public places, and has also issued guidelines for mask-wearing and self-quarantine. Despite the pandemic, South Korea has managed to keep its economy relatively stable, and has managed to keep its death rate low.


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  • Institute of Historical Studies (역사학 연구소) (2004). A look into Korean Modern History (함께 보는 한국근현대사). Paju: Book Sea. ISBN 978-89-7483-208-7.
  • Seo Jungseok (서중석) (2007). Rhee Syngman and the 1st Republic (이승만과 제1공화국). Seoul: Yuksa Bipyungsa. ISBN 978-89-7696-321-5.
  • Oh Ilhwan (오일환) (2000). Issues of Modern Korean Politics (현대 한국정치의 쟁점). Seoul: Eulyu Publishing Co. ISBN 978-89-324-5088-9.
  • Kim Dangtaek (김당택) (2002). Our Korean History (우리 한국사). Seoul: Pureun Yeoksa. ISBN 978-89-87787-62-6.