A peninsula that located at the 38th parallel. It borders China and Russia at the north with Japan situated to the east. The Korean Peninsula is divided into two separate nations, North Korea and South Korea. However, the name "Korea" is often used to refer to South Korea due to its greater economic significance and influence in the world.
The history of Korea began with the legendary founding of Gojoseon in 2333 BC by Dangun. Limited linguistic evidence suggests probable Altaic origins of these people, whose northern Mongolian steppe culture absorbed migration and trade with the peoples of Manchuria and China. The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("hanja" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Baekje later passed on a modified version of these cultural advances to Japan. In 1910, Korea was forcibly annexed by Japan and remained occupied until the end of World War II in August 1945. In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender and disarming of Japanese troops in Korea; the Soviet Union accepting the surrender of Japan north of the 38th parallel and the United States taking the surrender south of it. This led to division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The two Cold War rivals then established governments sympathetic to their own ideologies, leading to Korea's current division into two political entities: North Korea and South Korea. With the defeat of Japan in 1945, the United Nations developed plans for a trusteeship administration, the Soviet Union administering the peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the United States administering the south. The politics of the Cold War resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate governments, North Korea and South Korea. In June of 1950 North Korea invaded the South, using Russian tanks and weaponry. During the Korean War (1950-1953), millions of civilians died and the three years of fighting throughout the nation effectively destroyed most cities. Around 171,000 POWs were captured and held by the Americans and South Koreans on Geojedo (an island in the south The war ended in a ceasefire agreement at approximately the Military Demarcation Line (Korea).
Since then, South Korea has soared economically leaving its northern neighbor in the dust. North Korea has a horrible economy and a freakishly huge military which does practically nothing. According to accepted estimates, North Korea spends $5 billion out of a gross domestic product (GDP) of $20.9 billion on the military, compared with South Korea's $24 billion out of a GDP of $1.196 trillion.
The North Korean government uses propaganda against South Korea and officially states on its website that the U.S. government controls South Korea, and maintains an army of 40,000 US military personnel there to "avoid the union of the Korean people". North Korea also advises that any South Korean attempting to cross into North Korea will be killed by U.S. soldiers. According to North Korea, any South Korean citizen who talks or reads about North Korea will be punished with incarceration or capital punishment. This perspective is rejected by the international community at large.
Kim Jong-Il, ruler of North Korea, is a crazy 4 foot tall midget.