The History of Korea
The West discovers Korea
According to allunitconverters, the oldest news about Korea comes from China. In fact, the Chinese geographical and historical literature of each era provides multiple descriptions of the geography and history of the Korean peninsula, sometimes accompanied by a graphic representation of its shape and topography. Although the region already spoke a passage from the Book of ways and kingdoms of the Arab geographer Ibn Khurdadhbih, which flourished in the 3rd century of Hijra (9th-10th century AD), which described the main commercial communication routes of his time, up to in the sixteenth century Europe did not even know Korea by name. Starting from the 16th century it began to appear, as an island, in the first Dutch maps and in the atlases of the Ortelius, the Mercator, the Sanson.
During the 17th century some Dutch travelers were the first Europeans to enter Korea and leave a trace of it in their travel diaries. Since then, the only direct information on the interior of the peninsula consists of passages from the letters of missionaries who settled in the country starting from 1834. The difficulties of penetration due to the nature of the region, characterized by impassable mountains and inaccessible roads, the hostility of residents, the lack of those commercial interests that contributed so much to the knowledge of other regions of Asia were the main causes that delayed for a long time the geographical knowledge of the interior of the country. The scarce elements used for the layout of the coasts and for the hydrography of Korea and the adjacent islands that geographers had at their disposal until the 19th century were collected by the few travelers who embarked on expeditions in the seas of the Far East. A new era in the history of knowledge of Korea began around the mid-nineteenth century, when the expansionist aims of the great European powers directed attention to the chessboard of the Far East. The numerous military expeditions that these and the United States of America sent, especially to China and Japan, to protect their interests resulted in a precise reconstruction of the details of many portions of the Korean coasts. But it was above all at the turn of the century that, with the opening of Korea to Western civilization.
The Korean War
With the intention of militarily reuniting the country, on 25 June 1950 the North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel; US President Harry Truman then ordered the intervention of the armed forces deployed in the Pacific in support of South Korean troops, while the UN Security Council, boycotted by the Soviet representative, invited the member states to provide the Republic of Korea with the necessary assistance to repel the attack. The command of the UN troops, made up largely of American soldiers, was entrusted to the US general Donald McArthur. The South Korean forces, which had been pushed into the far south of the country by the Pyongyang offensive, managed with American support to conquer almost the entire peninsula, forcing, after the capture of Pyongyang, the North Korean government to withdraw on the border with Manchuria. In November of that year, however, Chinese troops intervened in support of the North Koreans, giving rise to a massive counter-offensive that again moved the border to the south. Pyongyang was recaptured and Seoul itself fell in January 1951, but was taken over by UN forces in March, when the front stabilized again on the 38th parallel. President Truman’s exoneration of McArthur, concerned that his conduct of military operations tended to extend the conflict to China, and the transformation of the conflict into position warfare, after the failure of two successive offensives by Chinese and North Korean forces , imposed the opening of negotiations which ended with the armistice of Panmunjong on July 27, 1953. In addition to establishing the dividing line between the troops of the two Koreas near the 38th parallel and establishing the modalities for the repatriation of prisoners, the armistice recommended that the whole matter be settled peacefully in an international conference. Held in Geneva in April-June 1954, the conference, however, did not lead to any agreement, thus sanctioning the definitive division of the country. In just over three years, the war had caused nearly 4 million victims and severe destruction in both the north and the south. April-June 1954, however, the conference did not lead to any agreement, thus sanctioning the definitive division of the country. In just over three years, the war had caused nearly 4 million victims and severe destruction in both the north and the south. April-June 1954, however, the conference did not lead to any agreement, thus sanctioning the definitive division of the country. In just over three years, the war had caused nearly 4 million victims and severe destruction in both the north and the south.