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Korean Affairs The Korean peninsula shot into prominence in 1950 when it became the theatre of a major war between the communists and the United Nations forces led by United States Geographical Location The Korean peninsula lies in North East Asia The Potsdam Conference of July 1945 designated 38th Parallel as the dividing line between American and Soviet forces The DPRK and the Republic of Korea were declared in 1948 North Korea North Korea covers an area of 47399 square miles and has a population of 23904124 It has China and Russia on North and South Korea on South It is a communist state Currently Kim Jong II is the leader of the government since July 1994 Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea South Korea South Korea has an area of 38375 square miles It has a population of 45482291 which mostly consists of Christians and Buddhists Currently Kim Young Sam is the President of South Korea Seoul with a population of 108 million is the capital whereas Pusan Taegu and Inchon are other major cities of the country Historical Background Korea is an ancient land In the 7th century AD it was a united empire under the Silla Dynasty In the subsequent centuries it remained a part of the Chinese Kingdom It became an independent country in 1895 Japans victories in the war with China in 1894-95 and with Russia in 1904-5 gave her a free hand in Korea which was annexed in 1910 It failed to recover its independence although a provisional government was established under the presidency of Syngman Rhee In the Cairo Conference held in 1943 USA USSR and Britain agreed to grant independence to Korea after the war In 1945 the Japanese surrendered to USSR and US separately which resulted in the division of Korea into two parts along the 38th Parallel The super powers USA USSR and Britain agreed
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