facts about korea
introduction of korea
land and climate
population and cities
the people
Introduction of Korea

At the end of World War II in 1945, the Korea Peninsula was liberated from Japanese colonial rule, which had been in place since 1910. To fill the power vacuum, Soviet forces occupied the northern portion of the Korea Peninsula, and United States forces occupied the southern portion. This political division was considered only temporary, but subsequent reunification efforts failed.

In 1948 the division became official when the Republic of Korea, backed by the United States and the United Nations, was established south of the 38th parallel,
and the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea, backed by the Soviet Union and China, was established north of the 38th parallel. For the history of the Korea Peninsula before 1948, see Korea. The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, was proclaimed on August 15, 1948. Its first president, Syngman Rhee, was elected by a legislature that had been popularly elected in May 1948. The legislative elections were sponsored and supervised by United Nations (UN) representatives. Left-wing groups had boycotted these elections, and virtually all the legislators were firm anti-Communists, as was their chosen president.