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And the Korean culture possesses a 5,000 year distinct, unified homogenous history devoid of ethnic minorities.
Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi won control of most of geographically close-by Japan in 1590, and two years later invaded Korea with 160,000 men seeking to conquer China after subduing Korea.
The majority of historians document Korea’s history to the 12th century B. when a Chinese scholar (Kija) founded a colony at Pyongyang. C., the Korean tribal kingdom of Ancient Choson had emerged in the area between the Taedong River in present day western North Korea and the Liao River in Manchuria 250 miles to the northwest. Korean literary tradition adopted the Chinese language and its ideograph (written system representing an idea or object directly rather than a particular word) system.
Ancient Choson (“land of the morning calm”) possessed relatively advanced iron technology for tools and weapons. With Chinese support the Silla dynasty conquered Koguryo and Paekche in 668 A.
Traces of the earliest ancestors of modern humans have been discovered in tropical eastern sub-Sahara Africa as early as 5 million years ago. Koguryo expanded its territory well into eastern Manchuria (present day northeast China) in the north, as far south near the Han River (flows through present day Seoul) in proximity of where the other two major kingdoms emerged, Paekche (c. D.) in the in the southwestern portion of the Peninsula, and the more powerful Silla (c. D.) in the southeastern portion in and around the Naktong River valley.
By 1.8 millions years ago early hominids (walking bipedal) began spreading out from these original homelands, migrating into temperate regions as distant as East Asia. Many sites have been found of lavishly furnished tombs for the elite in Koguryo society, adorned with exquisite paintings.
Later, Korea attempted to protect itself from outside threats by closing its borders and thereby became known as the Hermit Kingdom. The Yi dynasty lasted 519 years from 1392 until its formal annexation by Japan on August 22, 1910. Then in August 2000, as a representative of the newly formed Korea Truth Commission (KTC), our delegation visited the Kumjung Cave massacre site in Ilsan, Kyonggi Province north of Seoul, and the massacre at twin bridges viaduct near infamous Nogun Ri, 100 miles south of Seoul near Yongdong in North Chungchong Province.