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Korean History

  • First Japanese Invasion of Korea (Imjin Waeran)

    First Japanese Invasion of Korea (Imjin Waeran)
    On May 23rd of 1592, The Japanese Army led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi landed on the Southern Coast of the Korean Dynasty, with ambitions to conquer the Korean Peninsula and use it as a landbridge to attack the mighty Ming Empire. The war was one-sided until the intervention of the Ming forces, which eventually forced most of the Japanese forces to withdraw. The Koreans suffered most from the war, as the war was faught in Korean territory, and it had cost the lives of over a million people.
  • Second Japense Invasion of Korea (Jungyu Jaeran)

    Second Japense Invasion of Korea (Jungyu Jaeran)
    After the 'failed' first Korean Invasion and the following peace negotiations between the Ming, Joseon and Japanese, the Japanese leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi led another attack against the Koreans, only to find themselves facing a better equipped allied army. The allied army was able to repel the Japanese forces better to the prior invasion, and after glorious victories led by General Yi of the Korean navy, the Japanese withdrew all of their troops from the Korean peninsula.
  • Period: to

    Manchu Invasions of Korea

    After the Japanese invasions of Korea, the three belligerents, Ming, Joseon and Japan all declined in terms of power. The decline of the Ming empire led to the rise of Hong Taiji, who led the Manchus against the Ming and rose as the predominant force in East Asia. Hong Taiji led two campaigns against the Joseon Dynasty, the first on January 1627, and the second on December 9th, 1636. This caused the Joseon Dynasty to become a protectorate of the Manchu, which would later become the Qing Empire.
  • French invasion on Ganghwa Island

    French invasion on Ganghwa Island
    Colonialism was reaching the zenith in the 19th century, where the European superpowers colonized regions from the Americas to Asia. The French 'expedition' on Korea in 1866, led by Admiral Roze of the Second French Empire went smoothly at first, capturing the island of Ganghwa, however they met heavy resistance from the Korean army which led to the withdrawl of the army. This was the first military-involved encounter between Joseon and a Western power.
  • American 'Invasion' of Korea

    American 'Invasion' of Korea
    After the French 'invasion' of Korea, the Joseon Dynasty chose to be more isolated to western powers. Therefore, in order for the U.S.A to gain trade rights and entry to Korea, they used their military might to acquire access, invading the island of Ganghwa. However, they could not open Joseon to foreign relationships with other nations, due to the opposition against Western nations of the patriotic people of Joseon and it's government.
  • Sino-Japanese War

    Sino-Japanese War
    After the Opium wars and the French invasion on China, the Qing Dynasty had become weak, unable to protect itself from western domination. The Japanese used this opportunity for domination of Korea, and led an army against the Qing. Despite their disadvantage in numbers, the Japanese, with their advanced technology, were able to establish a Pro-Japanese government in Korea after defeating the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese war.
  • Anglo-Japanese Alliance

    Anglo-Japanese Alliance
    After the victorious campaign for domination of the Korean peninsula against the Chinese, Japan rose as the major power of Asia. In order to secure their position, Japan signed an alliance with the hyper-power British Empire which secured them their position and allowed them to freely invade and annex Korea to their Empire.
  • Russo-Japanese War

    Russo-Japanese War
    The Japanese Empire felt that they had to concrete their domination of Korea, therefore they led their supreme army against the Russian Empire. This was the first 'great war' of the 20th century, and it resulted the loss of the Russian empire. The triumph of the Japanese Empire solidified their position as the supreme power of Asia, and they would face no foreign intervention during their annexation of Korea.
  • Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905

    Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905
    With victory over the Chinese and the Russians, and the agreement between Japan and many western powers to ignore Japan's matters with Korea, Japan began unleashing it's plans to successfully annex Korea. On November 17th of 1905, Ito Hirubumi and Japanese forces forced the Emperor of Korea, Gojong to sign the Eulsa Treaty, which deprived the Joseon Dynasty of their diplomatic sovereignty, making Korea Japan's protectorate.
  • Hague Secret Emissary Affair

    Hague Secret Emissary Affair
    Although it wasn't official, the Japanese Annexation of Korea was becoming more visible. Japan had already agreed with western superpowers regarding the approval of the Japanese annexation of Korea. In order to repel this movement, the King of Joseon, Gojong sent three secret emissaries to speak the truth of the 'annexation' in the 2nd second peace conferenece. However, they were denied access to the conference, as Joseon was not considered an independent state anymore by the western powers.
  • Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910

    Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910
    Everyone in the peninsula knew it was coming. The Japanese had officially annexed the Joseon Dynasty to their mighty empire on August 10th of 1910, and this legally allowed the Japanese annexation of Korea. This meant the permanent cession of all national rights and the sovereignty of Korea to the Japanese Empire, and as the Emperor of Korea resfused to sign the treaty, the treacherous prime minsiter, Lee Wan-Yong signed the treaty, officially annexing the Joseon Dynasty to Japan.
  • March 1st Movement

    March 1st Movement
    After the annexation of Joseon by the Japanese Empire, the citizens of the Joseon Dynasty suffered from the ruthless rule of the Japanese Empire. They were often discriminated by the Japanese. This sparked many independence movements within and outside the country, and on March 1st of 1919, Yu Gwan Sun, the organizer of the independence movement intiated the movement, which was followed by over 2 million Korean citizens peacefully protesting for their independence.
  • Battle of Cheongsanri

    Battle of Cheongsanri
    After the March 1st independence movement, the Japanese empire wanted to root out independence movements, and sent an army to Manchuria to combat the Korean freedom fighters. The Korean troops, led by general Kim Kwan Jin, ambushed the Japanese in many locations over a span of six days, and were victorious against the Japanese forces, suffering from low casualties while inflicting severe damage. This battle is regarded the most glorious battle in the history of Korean independence movement.
  • Independence of Korea

    Independence of Korea
    After the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Japanese Empire surrendered to the Allied forces in World War Two, which ended the 35 years of dreadful Japanese occupation of Korea. Korea had finally regained it's independence. However, the two new superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States of America had divided the nation in to two by the 38 parallel line, and this would eventually lead to an upcoming disaster.
  • The Korean War

    The Korean War
    After the Soviet Union and the United States divided the Korean peninsula two, forming the Pro-Communist North Korea, and the Pro-Capitalist South Korea. The North Koreans crossed the 38 parallel line and invaded South Korea. Although the war ended with the intervention of international forces, it left a dreadful scar inthe hearts of the Korean people.
  • May 16 coup

    May 16 coup
    Park Chung Hee, a major of the Korean army launched a coup d’état against the hopelesPark Chung Hee, a major of the Korean army launched a coup d’état against the hopeless, figurehead, pathetic government, and successfully became the 'president/dictator' of Korea.
  • December 12th Coup

    December 12th Coup
    After the assasination of president Park, Chun Doo Hwan and his advocates launched a coup against the acting government and seized all authority from the acting president Choi Kyu-Ha.
  • May 18th Gwangju Independence Movement

    May 18th Gwangju Independence Movement
    On May 18th, the citizens of Gwangju protested against the oppressive, dictatorship government of South Korea, and in order to maintain their authority, the government sent troosp consisting tanks and helicopters to counter the rebellion and this resulted in the deaths of many citizens.
  • Kim Dae Joong is elected President

    Kim Dae Joong is elected President
    After a long reign of dictators, ranging from Park Chung Hee to Chun Doo Hwan, over a span of 20 years, Korea finally found it's rightful, peaceful leader, Kim Dae Joong. Kim initiated the Sunshine policy, similair to the policty West Germany adapted to reunite with East Germany. This resulted in better relationships between the Two Koreas, and Kim received a Noble Peace Prize for his achievements.