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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Korea \Korea\ prop. n. An Asian peninsula off Manchuria.

Syn: Korean Peninsula.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

from Chinese Gao li, name of a dynasty founded 918, literally "high serenity." Japanese Chosen is from Korean Choson, literally "land of morning calm," from cho "morning" + son "calm." Related: Korean (1610s).\n


Korea is a historical state in Northeast Asia, since 1945 divided into two distinct sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea") and South Korea (officially the "Republic of Korea"). Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by China to the northwest and Russia to the northeast. It is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea) .

Korea emerged as a singular political entity after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which were unified as Later Silla to the south and Balhae to the north. Later Silla divided into three separate states during the Later Three Kingdoms period. Later Goguryeo ( Goryeo), which had succeeded Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and united the Korean Peninsula. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last remaining crown prince fled south to Goryeo, where he was accepted into the imperial family. Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a highly cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. The invasions by the Mongol Empire during the Yuan dynasty in the 13th century, however, greatly weakened the nation, which the Mongols forced into vassalage. After the Yuan dynasty's collapse, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to an uprising led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1388.

The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace and saw the creation of the Korean alphabet by Sejong the Great in the 14th century and the increasing influence of Confucianism. During the later part of the dynasty, however, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the " Hermit kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. Despite attempts at modernization by the Korean Empire, in 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan and remained a part of Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.

In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel, with the North under Soviet occupation and the South under U.S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea (formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea (formally the Republic of Korea). This eventually led to the Korean War in 1950, which ended in a stalemate without a formalized peace treaty, a factor that contributes to the high tensions which continue to divide the peninsula.

Korea (disambiguation)

Korea may refer to:

territory in East Asia
  • Korea, civilization and geographical area in East Asia
    • Korean Peninsula, geographical area in East Asia
    • North Korea, country, officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
    • South Korea, country, officially known as the Republic of Korea
    • Goryeo or Koryŏ, medieval Korean kingdom
    • Goguryeo, Kogurea or Koguryŏ, ancient Korean kingdom whose name changed to Koryŏ in the 5th century
other toponymy
  • Korea, Otwock County, part of Sobienie Szlacheckie, east-central Poland
  • Korea, Gmina Telatyn in Lublin Voivodeship (east Poland)
  • Korea, Gmina Ulhówek in Lublin Voivodeship (east Poland)
  • Korea District (also spelt Koriya), Chhattisgarh, India
  • Korea, Ivory Coast, town in Côte d'Ivoire 6.82N 6.65W
  • Korea, India, town in India 23.15N 83.97E
  • Korea, Pakistan, town in Pakistan 34.42N 72.62E
  • Korea, Puerto Rico, town in Puerto Rico 18.38N 65.78W
  • Korea, South Sudan, town in the South Sudan 4.76N 33.60E
  • Korea, Kentucky, an unincorporated community in the United States
  • Korea, Virginia, an unincorporated community in the United States
  • Korea (Irish film), an Irish film directed by Cathal Black

Korea may also be an alternative spelling of:

  • Chorea (dance), ancient Greek dance
  • Chorea (disease), medical disorder involving involuntary movement
  • Kalimotxo, a cocktail sometimes spelled Korea in Germany
Korea (film)

Korea is a 1996 Irish feature film directed by Cathal Black and produced by Darryl Collins based on a short story by John McGahern. In 1996 Korea won the Asta Nielsen Best Film Award at the Copenhagen Film Festival and was runner-up for the Audience Prize at the Seattle Film Festival.

Usage examples of "korea".

On the aft wall Pacino had taped a large chart of the Go Hai and Korea bays, the Lushun area in the center.

Four countries--Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Syria--are believed to be developing botulinum toxin as a weapon.

My daughter Bee, from my marriage to Tweedy Browner, was just starting seventh grade in a Washington suburb and was having trouble readjusting to life in the States after two years in South Korea.

In charge of finding an ideal location to eavesdrop on Russia, China, and North Korea was Navy Captain Wesley Wright, a pioneer cryptologist, who was based in Tokyo as chief of NSA Pacific.

I had heard that shipboard romances could be really memorable occurrences, but the only person who I could find on deck at night was a wrinkled old dermatologist from Korea who spent the better part of a week trying to convince me that contrary to popular belief the earth was really flat, or at the very least built along the lines of a gently pitched roof.

Instead of being honored as they deserved, the dogs of Korea, Vietnam, and of the peacetime military in the years following that war were put to death.

About the only people who use the Enfield Marine complex in a VA-related way now seem to be wild-eyed old Vietnam veterans in fatigue jackets de-sleeved to make vests, or else drastically old Korea vets who are now senile or terminally alcoholic or both.

North Korea, past Inchon, where on September 15, nine days before General Ned Almond had led the X Corps ashore.

X Corps at Inchon, General Ned Almond, had had to borrow a helicopter from the Marines to make his way around Korea.

Korea to Inchon, the seaport used by the American forces, a center of great cargo dumps and gasoline depots.

Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Yugoslavia, North Korea, Cuba, South Yemen, Congo-Brazzaville, North Vietnam, Guinea-Bissau, Cambodia, Laos, South Vietnam, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Grenada, and Afghanistan.

South Korea, the Malaysian peninsula, the Philippines, Borneo, maybe even Australia.

The Government of the Mikado did its best to prove its concern and goodwill by continuing an ostentatious policy of emigration to its new possessions, Korea and Southern Manchuria.

STEVENS, 0498666, Tank Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, was interviewed at Tokyo General Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment both for bum injuries received in combat and in the neuropsychiatric division, related the following: On 16 September 1950, shortly after he joined Tank Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, in the vicinity of Tonghae, Republic of Korea, he was serving as a crew member of an M4A3 tank.

Then in 1905 the first Roosevelt, seeking to arrive at a diplomatic understanding with Japan, instigated an exchange of opinions between Secretary of War Taft, then in the Far East, and Count Katsura, amounting to a secret treaty, by which the Roosevelt administration assented to the establishment by Japan of a military protectorate in Korea.