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Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (Hangul: 대한민국), is a nation located in East Asia, primarily on the Korean Peninsula. It shares borders with the Soviet Union and China to the north, as well as maritime borders with Japan to the east.
Modern Korea's beginnings can be traced to the three-kingdom unification under the Silla Kingdom in 688 AD, and the subsequent Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties, which ruled the present-day boundaries of the nation as the Korean Empire, until its annexation by a growing Japan in 1910. For thirty-five years, Korea was ruled by Japanese military authority, until the southern half of the peninsula was liberated by Western Allied (mainly American) troops in late 1945, on the heels of Japan's surrender. Korean subservience to Japan for so long fostered some mistrust of American troops in the years following the liberation, which only led to greater confusion in early 1950 when North Korea, a communist state established in the Soviet-occupied half above the 38th parallel launched an invasion of the south. This was the spark that served to ignite the four-year Korean War, a war fought to prevent complete Communist (mainly Chinese) domination of the peninsula.
Modern-day Korea is an economic powerhouse, with corporations such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Automotive, and LG Electronics providing technology for the growing world, and helping prove Korea's vast improvement in the half-century since World War II. It is a member of the G-11 top economies and G-30 emerging economies, and with the second-largest military in the world at 14 million troops (active, reserve, and paramilitary; behind only the Soviet Union) Korea is a key member of the Asia-Pacific Treaty Organization (APTO).
Japanese rule (1910-1945)
World War II (1938-1945)
Main Article: World War II (1938-1945)
Invasion and war (1950-1954)
Main Article: Korean War (1950-1954)
'Years of Instability' (1954-1982)
Expansion and revitalization (1958-present)
Move to democracy (1982-1985)
Modern Times (1985-present)
Main Article: Armed Forces of Korea
Main Article: Nuclear weapons