A Political Chronology of Central, South and East Asia

By Ian Preston | Go to book overview

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)

c.3000 BC: Tribal units of the Puyo people (later known as Koreans) emerged, when the Tungusic people migrated from Siberia into South Manzhou (Manchuria) and the Korean peninsula. They brought with them their Ural-Altaic language, shamanistic religion and palaeolithic culture.

2333 BC: Tan’gun, a mythological figure, is said to have consolidated tribal units into a ‘kingdom’ in northern Korea, named Choson.

37 BC: The Koguryo kingdom emerged in the southern region of Manzhou, along the Yalu River, and later extended into the Korean peninsula. Koguryo ended Chinese domination in Korea and successfully defended its territory against Chinese aggression in the late sixth and early seventh centuries AD.

108 BC: The Chinese overthrew the Choson of the Tan’gun, Kija and Wiman dynasties. The Chinese colonies in the north-western region of Korea lasted until the fourth century AD and, under their domination of the region, the Sinification of Korean culture occurred.

7th-20th centuries AD: For events relating to the whole Korean peninsula see the chronology of The Republic of Korea.

668: In collaboration with China, Silla unified Korea by destroying the kingdom of Koguryo. Following unification Buddhism in Korea reached its zenith and many historic Buddhist temples, pagodas and statues were produced.

1627: Northern Korea was occupied by the Manzhous (Manchus), who withdrew after Korea agreed to their demand for brotherhood.

August 1945: The Japanese Governor in Pyongyang handed over control to Cho Man Sik and a newly formed Provincial People’s Committee.

11 August 1945: The General Order No. 1 was drafted by the USA, outlining the Japanese terms of surrender in Korea. Its proposals led to the division of Korea into two military zones: the area south of the 38th parallel (38°N) being under US occupation and the northern area under Soviet control.

12 August 1945: Soviet troops entered North Korea. On reaching Pyongyang they accepted the legitimacy of the Provincial People’s Committee and approved Cho as Chairman of the Five Provinces Administrative Bureau, formed to act as the indigenous government organ for North Korea.

15 August 1945: Following its defeat in the Second World War, Japan surrendered to the Allies.

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