Timeline of Humanity
in focus: Korea - Russia - China
Timeline: Korea - Russia - China | BeingBlackToday.com
1200 BC
The Balkan People Invade Russia
The Cimmerians, a Balkan people, invade Russia around the area north of the Black Sea, and settle in what in now southern Ukraine.

700 BC
The Iranian Scythians Defeat the Balkans
The Cimmerians, who had occupied Russia for over 500 years were defeated by the Scythians, an Iranian people from central Asia.

The Scythians also controlled the region for over 500 years.

200 BC
Iran (aka Persia)
New Group of Iranians Defeat the Scythians of Ukraine
While still in control of the southern Ukraine region after 500 years, the Scythians were defeated by the invading Sarmatians, another Iranian group of people.

Their cultures merged.  And because they lived in close contact with Greek colonies along the norther coast of the Black Sea, they absorbed many Greek and Roman ways of life through trade, marriage, and other contacts.

108 BC
China Conquers Northern Half of Korea Peninsula
China conqueers the northern half of the Korean peninsula, and then proceeds to establish four territories.

75 BC
Korea Tribes Win Back Territory Taken by China
Korean tribes win back three of the four territories taken by China in 108 BC.  

The territory of Lolang, in the northwestern part of the peninsula remained under Chinese control.

Through contact with Lolang, the Koreans adopt many Chinese arts and sciences and much of their system of government.

The Chinese would prove to have direct influence on Korean people and their culture for nearly 2000 years.

Where is China?
China World's Largest Population with Nearly 1-1/2 Billion
China, officially the People's Republic of China, has the world's largest population, around 1.4 billion. It is the world's second-largest by surface area. China is governed by the Communist Party of China.

Republic of China Defeats Qing Dynasty (Last Dynasty of China)
For thousands of years, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties. In 1912, the Republic of China replaced the Qing Dynasty.

Republic of China Defeated by Communist People's Liberation Army
The communist People's Liberation Army defeated the Republic of China at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The Communist Party then established the People's Republic of China.

Nuclear Weapon State
China is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states, that includes the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, and France.

As of 2015, China possesses the second smallest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, at about 260 total warheads.

Where is Korea?
Korea: Two Sovereign States Bordered by China and Russia Across the Sea from Japan
Korea, located on the Korean Peninsula, has been divided into two distinct sovereign states, since 1945 --- North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea). Korea is bordered by China to the northwest and Russia to the Northeast. It is separated from Japan by the Sea of Japan.

The combined population of the Koreans is about 76 million (North Korea: 25 million, South Korea: 51 million).

Japanese Lose Control of Korea to Russia and the United States
Korea was under Japanese military occupation since 1910. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces. The Soviets occupied the North and the United States occupied the South. The two superpowers could not agree on the terms of Korean independence as a unified country.

North Korean Government Established by Russia, South Korean Government
Established by U.S./U.N
The Soviets established a communist government in North Korea, and the United States, with assistance from the United Nations, established a democratic government in South Korea.

North Korea, South Korea at War
Both Korean governments claimed sovereignty over all of Korea -- a civil war would ensue, each aided with millions of troops from powerful allies.

Nuclear Weapons Program
North Korea has a military nuclear weapons program that dates back to the 1980s. They also has a significant amount of chemical and biological weapons.

Russia and China Deny
Korea Help in Developing Nuclear Weapons
In 1963, North Korea asked the Soviet Union for help in developing nuclear weapons, but was refused. The Soviet Union agreed to help North Korea develop a peaceful nuclear energy program, including the training of nuclear scientists. Later, China, after its nuclear tests, similarly rejected North Korean requests for help with developing nuclear weapons.

2003: Korea Withdraws from
Nuclear Proliferation Treaty
In 2003, North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. In 2005, it admitted to having nuclear weapons but vowed to close the nuclear program.

2006: North Korea Conducts First Nuclear Test - Sanctions Follow
On October 9, 2006, North Korea announced it had successfully conducted its first nuclear test. An underground nuclear explosion was detected, its yield was estimated as less than a kiloton, and some radioactive output was detected. Beginning this year, and following, the country has come under sanctions for conducting nuclear tests.

Where is Russia?
Russia, Largest Country in the World by Surface Area
According to data published by the United Nations, there are 7.2 billion people in the world, and as of 2016, Russia has the ninth largest population with 144 million people.

As of 2015, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.

Nuclear Weapon State
It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

Global Memberships
  • Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
  • G20
  • Council of Europe
  • Leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
  • One of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

The Three Kingdoms of Korea
Chinese Maintain Control of Most of Northern Korea
China conquered the northern half of the Korean peninsula in 108 BC, and established four territories there.  However, by 75 BC, Korean tribes had won back all territory, except for the territory of Lolang, which remained under Chinese control.  The Chinese would go on to control Lolang for nearly 500 years.

Korean Tribes Unite to form the "Three Kingdoms" - Koguryo, Paekche, and Silla in Unoccupied Territory
During the 100's, several Korean tribes united and formed the state of Koguryo, in the northeastern part of the peninsula.  Within the next 100 years, or so, the state of Paekche was formed in the southwest, and Silla in the southeast.

Koguryo Conquers Lolang Gaining Full Control of Northern Korea
In 313, Koguryo conquered Lolang to gain control of the northern half of Korea, but maintained close relationships with China.  Influenced by the Chinese, Buddhism became the chief religion of all Three Kingdoms.

Silla Conquers Paekche and Koguryo Gaining Full Control of the Entire Peninsula
In the 660's Silla conquered Paekche and Koguryo to gain full control of the Korean peninsula.

With close ties maintained with China, for the next 200 years, Korean art and learning flourished under the influence of their neighbor.

The Unified Government of Koryo (Korea) is Born
By the 800s, Silla was brought to collapse due to constant fighting between warlords to gain control of the the peninsula.

In 936, a general name Wang Kong was able to reunite the country, and he renamed the country Koryo.

The government of Koryo worked to improve education.  It built schools and encouraged the development of printing to make more books available.  

Goths Conquer the Ukraine
The Goths, a group of germanic tribes from the West invaded the Ukraine to conquered the Iranian Sarmatians who rule the region.

Northern Korea Territory Held by the Chinese Conquered by Korean Kingdom of Koguryo
Koguryo, one of the three Korean kingdoms, conquer Lolang, held by the Chinese, to take complete control of the northern half of Korea.

Koguryo goes on to develop close relations with China.  Buddhism, which the Koreans learned about from the Chinese, became the chief religion of the Three Kingdoms during the 300's and 400's.

Attila and the Huns Conquer Ukraine
After nearly 200 years of controlling the region, the Goths are invaded and conquered by the Huns, a warlike Asian people.  The Huns ruled the region for just over 80 years.  The Hun empire broke up soon after the death of their leader, Attila the Hun.

King Gyeongsun, Last King of Silla
Kingdom of Silla Gains Control of Korea
During the 660's, the kingdom of Silla conquered both Paekche and Koguryo, to take control of the entire Korean peninsula.

During the next 200 years, Korean art and learning flourished.

Silla rulers maintained close ties with China.  Confucianism was introduced into Silla from China and became a strong influence on Korean thought and behavior.

United Kingdom of Silla Broken by Fights from Within
In the 800's, the kingdom of Silla broken apart as warlords from different provinces within the kingdom began to fight among themselves for total control of the Korean peninsula.

Taejo Wang Geon (Wang Kŏn)
General Wang Kŏn Establishes the Koryŏ Dynasty Established by General Wang Kŏn
General Wang Kŏn (aka Taejo Wang Geon), was included in the fight for control of Korea, among the battling warlords.  In 918 all tribes of Silla surrendered to him.  Wang Kon changed the name of the peninsula to Koryo, founding the Koryo Dynasty, also known as the Goryeo Dynasty.

By 936, Emperor Taejo Wang Geon (Wang Kon) reunited Koryo (Korea).  His government worked to improve education, by developing schools and encouraging the development of printing to make books.

Mongol Tribes Begin Campaign of Attacks to Conquer Korea
In the early 1200's, Mongol tribes from the north, begin making repeated attacks against Korea.

In 1259, after many years of battle, the Mongols finally conquered Korea.

Korea did not regain its freedom from Mongol rule, until over 100 years had passed -- in 1388.

Hongwu Emperor
1368 - 1398
Ming Dynasty Becomes Ruling Dynasty of China and Last Dynasty Ruled by the Han Chinese
Following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, the Ming dynasty -- the Empire of the Great Ming -- became the ruling dynasty of China, that would rule for nearly 300 years, from 1368 to 1644.  This dynasty became the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by the ethnic Han Chinese.

Hongwu was the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, ruling for 30 years.  He was a former commander of one of the many rebel forces that rose in rebellion against the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. 

Emperor Hongwu Builds a Million Strong Standing Army and the Largest Navy in the World
Hongwu attempted to create a society of self-sufficient communities that would guarantee and support a permament class of soldiers for his dynasty.  Eventually, he had a standing army of more than one million troops and the largest navy in the world.

Trusting only his family, Hongwu provided much of the land throughout China to his many sons, installing them as feudal princes.

Zhu Yunwen Succeeds Emperor Hongwu
The natural successor of Hongwu died before he did, so Hongwu passed the throne to his grandson, Zhu Yunwen, who became the second emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1389, after Hongwu's death.

The Jianwen Emperor, Zhu Yunwen, Overthrown
Zhu Yunwen's reign did not last very long.  After four years, in 1402, he was overthrown by one of his uncles, a son of Hongwu and feudal prince, after making an attempt to reduce the power and influence of all of his uncles by taking back the territories that they were granted by their father.  By his second year on the thrown, Zhu Yunwen had demoted or arrested several of his uncles.  It was Hongwu's fourth son, Zhu Di, Prince of Yan, who overthrew him.

Zhu Di Assumes Throne as the Yongle Emperor
After personally leading forces in revolt against Zhu Yunwen to overthrown his nephew, Zhu Di assumed the throne as the Yonge Emperor in 1402.

Beijing Becomes the Capital
The Imperial City is Built
The Yongle Emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, constructing a new city there, pver a four mile area, taking over 13 years to complete.  The Imperial City was built at its center, and the Forbidden City, the palatial residence of the emperor and his family was built at the center of the Imperial City.

China Increases in Power and Wealth Becoming the Great Naval Power of the 15th Century
The Yongle Emperor built a gigantic fleet of militarized ships, designated for making expeditions and "treasure hunting", which provided China with notoriety as a power nation with great wealth, throughout the known world.

The Yi Dynasty Korea Regains Its Freedom from Mongol Rule
After regaining its freedom, two primary groups fought for control of the peninsula for over 20 years.

General Yi Songgye Captures Koryo, Changes Name from Koryo to Choson, and Establishes New Dynasty
In 1388, a general named Yi Songgye led his troops to victory, and four years later, in 1392, he became king of Koryo.  Once he became king, Yi renamed the Korean peninsula Choson.  A name Koreans would use to identify themselves for centuries, until the 1940's.

Buddhism No Longer Observed
One of Yi's goals was to eliminate the power of the Buddhist church, which had existed for over 600 years. Buddhist temple lands were confiscated, and Confucianism was established as the state "religion."

Strict Divisions Between Social Classes and the Outside World
Under Yi, there were strict social divisions, based upon social status and occupation. Positions in government were limited only to the upper class. It was under Yi that Koreans began to embrace isolating themselves from most of the outside world.

A Strong and Unified Korea
Yi and those who followed him reunited Korea.

Trade Begins Between Imperialist Europe and China
While at the verge of European imperialism reaching its height, Europe and China began a trade relationship in 1557, when the Portuguese lease an outpost at Macau.

Other European nations soon followed the Portugese, in direct competition with the Arab, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese merchants.

The trade between China and Europe quickly accelerated at the Spanish imperialist conquered the Philippines.

China was the primary destination of silver that was being mined in South America, as the Chinese would only sell their goods for silver.  From the mid-17th century onward around 28 million kilograms of silver were received by China, principally from European powers, in exchange for Chinese products.

The British tried to circumvent establishing formal relations with China, and were only allowed to trade at three China ports.

Canton became the center of China's sea trade.  Goods such as tea, porcelain, and silk were highly valued in Europe and the trade system, known as the "Canton System", was highly regulated by the Qing government.

Foreign traders...
  • were only permitted to do business through a body of Chinese merchants known as the Cohong
  • were forbidden to learn Chinese
  • could only live in one of the Thirteen Factories
  • were not allowed to enter or trade in any other part of China, a policy the Qing called the Yī kŏu tōngshāng, or the "Single port commerce system"
  • could only deal with low level government officials
  • could not lobby the imperial court for any reason excepting official diplomatic missions.
The Imperial laws that upheld the system were collectively known as the Prevention Barbarian Ordinances.

Internal Conflicts Weaken Yi Dynasty
During the 1500's, after over 200 years of continual progress and Korean unification, the government of the Yi Dynasty is weakened by a struggle for political power, between government officials and wealthy landowners.

Japan Invades Korea but is Driven Back
The Japanese, sweeping over the countryside with great force, made several attempts to conquer Korea. They made repeated large-scale, swarming attacks, while the Koreans engaged in a form of guerrilla warfare and commanded the sea battles between the two countries. The Yi Dynasty was able to withstand the Japanese in each of the bloody battles, until they fully retreated.

The Korean victory, however did not come without cost.  In the course of the seven-year struggle, great numbers were slaughtered all over Korea.  Population decreased drastically, entire villages disappeared.  The majority of their cultural treasures were destroyed by fire.

The Korean people were plagued by famine and disease, and their suffering prompted many uprisings.

Military Advancements
Battles against Japan brought advancement in military tactics and new weaponry for Korea.  They developed a mobile rocket launcher and a "heaven-shaking explosive shell".

The Chinese Manchu Conquer Korean Peninsula
Manchu armies from China conquered Korea in the 1630's, but left the Yi family on the throne.  However, they required the Koreans to pay tribute (make payments) to them over the next 200 plus years. 

The Koreans would go on to have contact only with the Chinese during this time.

Korea Closes its Borders to All Foreigners
Beginning in the 1600's, Korea's rulers closed the country to all foreigners -- for almost 200 years.

It had some contact with China, but the policy was to restrict all foreigners.

Catholic Missionaries Enter Korea and are Persecuted
Roman Catholic missionaries from Europe first entered Koread during the 1830's.

The Korean authorities persecuted the missionaries and killed thousands of Koreans who had become Catholics.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Economists, Philosophers, Revolutionaires
Influence on the Development of Communism in Russia and the World
German born Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, were intellectual thinkers, who worked in collaboration in developing many theories and thoughts about the functioning and operation of society.

Communist Manifesto Published
In 1948, they published a pamphlet called The Communist Manifesto, along with the three-volume Das Kapital (Capital: Critique of Political Economy), three most popular works.

All of Marx's theories about society, economics, and politics are collectively know as Marxism.

Capitalism: A Struggle Between Ruling Classes and Working Classes
Marxism theorizes that all of human societies developed from a class struggle between the ruling classes (the bourgeoise) that control the means of production and the working classes (the proletariat) that enable production by selling their labor in return for wages.  Marx predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced conflict and tension that would lead to self-destruction, and replacement by a new system of socialism.

Working Class will Overthrow the Ruling Class
Marx believed that industrialization and capitalism were necessary steps required for society to go through, before the working class would rise up to overthrow the ruling class and institute communism.

Influence of Marx's Philosophy  in Developing Communism in Russia
Many countries banned the distribution of Marx's writings, but not Russia.  With Russia being in the early state of industrialization and primarily an agricultural society, the Russian Emperor didn't believe that Marx's writings posed a serious threat.  Therefore, Marx's philosophy became highly influential in the development of communism in Russia.

Vladmir Lenin
The writings of Karl Marx had a profound impact on Vladmir Lenin, who would go on to become the most influential figure in early Russian communism.  Lenin formed the Bolshevik group,  that rose to power after the collapse of the Russian monarchy.

Crimean War: Russia Goes to War Against Ottoman Empire
In 1853, the Crimean War broke out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.  Because Great Britain and France objected to Russian expansion in the Black Sea Region, they came to the aid of the Ottoman Turks.  Greatly outnumbered, Russia was defeated.

In 1856, Russia signed a treaty that forced them to give up some of the territory it had taken earlier from the Turks, and to remove its warships from the Black Sea.

Russia Expands into Asia
After its defeat in the Crimean War, Russia began to expand in Asia. They first won disputed territories from China, and soon after the Chinese signed treaties giving Russia lands north of the Amur River and east of the Ussuri River.

By 1864, Russian forces had defeated most of the rebel tribes and won Central Asia.

Original Delegates to First Congress Gathering
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) Formed 1st Congress Held
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) is formed to unite the various revolutionary organizations of the Russian Empire into one party.

The RSDLP program was based on the theories of Karl Marx and Fiedrich Engels -- that true revolutionary potential lay with the industrial working class.

Revolutionary Groups Illegal in Russia
Revolutionaries in Russia were considered to be criminals, and after their first public party meeting, all nine delegates were arrested by the Imperial Russian Police and eventually exiled.

Vladimir Lenin
(born Vladimir Ulyanov)
Russian Communist Revolutionary
Leader of the Bolsheviks
Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) Holds its Second Congress in Brussels
In 1903, the Second Congress of the RSDLP met in exile in Brussels.  However, due to harassment by Belgian authorities, they were forced to disband and meet later in London.

Vladimir Lenin
Before this Second Congress, a young intellectual named Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) joined the party.  In 1902, Lenin published "What is to be Done?", outlining his view of the party's task and methodology.  He advocated a disciplined, centralized party of committed activists who would blend the underground struggle for political freedom with the class struggle of the proletariat (working-class people).

RSDLP Splits into Two Factions:
Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks
Due to irreconcilable differences, at a meeting of the Congress in November of 1903, the RSDLP split into two factions, the Bolsheviks headed by Lenin, and the Mensheviks headed by Julius Martov.  Lenin's faction would end up in the minority and smalller than the Mensheviks until the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The two factions made a number of attempts at reunification, however, the split remained, as they disagreed on the vision of revolution.

Haves vs Have-Nots
Julius Martov, Russian Politician
Leader of the Mensheviks

Lenin and the Bolsheviks pushed for an immediate working-class revolution, while the Mensheviks believed that Russia was in too early a stage of its history to start a working-class revolution.  The Bolsheviks regarded peasants as their allies, while the Mensheviks viewed bourgeois (middle-class) liberals as their revolutionary allies.

First Communist Armed Forces Evolves from Revolution
The first Communist armed forces organization began with the 1905-1917 revolution, when the Bolsheviks began to attract a following.

In December 1905, eight thousand armed workers, called Druzhiniks, led an uprising in Moscow.  Separate and smaller units of them fought against police throughout the country.

Although this revolution failed, its organizers gained valuable military experience.

While the revolution was in progress, the Bolsheviks created illegal units in the army and on naval ships, that continued to function in secret after the uprising was put down.

Triple Entente Defense Agreement Formed Russia - France - Great Britain
In 1894 Russia and France entered an agreement to defend each other against attack.  Ten years later, in 1904, France and Great Britain signed the Entente Cordial (friendly understanding), and Russia followed three years later by signing a similiar agreement with Great Britain in 1907.

The Triple Entente developed from these treaties.

Japanese Gain Complete Control of Korea
The Japanese government took over the management  of Korean businesses.  They set up many new industries on the peninsula and put them under Japanese control.  They also took much of the land and sold it to Japanese settlers.

The Chinese Civil War Begins
In 1927, the rivalry between the Kuomintang (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CPC) evolved into a civil war that was to span nearly 25 years.  (see 1911 and 1923 ASIA)

The conflict eventually results in two separate, unofficial states, the Kuomintang's Republic of China (ROC), located in Taiwan, and the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China, each claiming to be the legitimate government of China.

Second United Front:
Conflict Temporarily Halts 
to Fight Japanese Invasion
In 1937, the two parties came together, to take a stand against a Japanse invasion, forming the Second United Front.  However, as soon as the conflict ended with Japan, the civil war resumed in 1946.

1950: Major Conflict Ends
with Communists Winning War
All major military action ended between the two political factions in 1950, resulting in the communist People's Republic of China maintaining control of mainland China and the nationalist Republic of China being restricted to Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy, Matsu and severaly outlying islands.

The Great Purge: Political Repression in the Soviet Union
In the mid-1930s, many Soviet citizens opposed the policies of Joseph Stalin, Communist Dictator of the Soviet Union.  Because of this, Stalin began a program of terror called the Great Purge.

Stalin's secret police arrested millions of people.  Neighbors and even family members spied on one another.  Fear spread throughout the country.

Stalin eliminated all real or suspected threats to his power.  Hundreds of thousands of victims, including scientist, poets, writers, artist,  were accused of various political crimes and were quickly executed by shooting, or sent to the Gulag labor camps. Many died at these labor camps of starvation, disease, exposure, and overwork. Stalin also ordered many experimental methods to be used against his victims, such as gassing people to death in batches in the back of a specially made airtight vans driven around the cities to collect the accused.

When trials were staged, arrested Communist leaders were forced to confess to "crimes against the people".  He would then replace these party leaders with young Stalinists he could trust.  The secret police enforced stict loyalty to Stalin's policies on all levels of life.  Stalin controlled everything that was published, taught, or publicly spoken.

It has been estimated that 600,000 people died at the hands of the Soviet government during the Purge.

Syria and Russia Establish Diplomatic Relations Close Bond Begins
After World War II, the Soviet Union took an interest in the Middle East.

On February 1, 1946, the Soviet Union and Syria signed an agreement where the Soviet Union agreed to rovide military help in the formation of the Syrian Arab Army, promising diplomatic and political support in the international arena.

During the Cold War (1947 - 1991), a stronger political bond developed and Syria was considered an ally to the Soviet Union in opposition to the Western powers.

Korea Becomes a Divided Nation: 30-Year Control of Korean Peninsula Lost to Russia and the U.S.
The Japanese held control of Korea continuously for 30 years, until forced to surrender to allied forces, bringing an end to World War II.

U.S. Occupies the South
Russia Occupies the North
After Japan's defeat, United States troops moved to occupy the southern half of Korea, while Russian forces occupied the northern half -- each formed separate governments in their occupied half of the country.

For the two years following, the United States, Russia, the two Korean governments and Britain tried to develop a plan for reuniting Korea.  But their attempt at cooperative effort failed, and the problem was submitted to the United Nations (UN) in 1947.

Russia Refuses to Yield to the United Nations
The UN devised a plan to supervise an election to choose one government for Korea, but, the Russians refused to allow UN representatives into the north.

UN Works to Form the South Korean Government
Without cooperation from Russia, the UN supervised an of a national assembly in the south.  This national assembly drew up a constitution and elected Syngman Rhee as president of the newly formed Republic of Korea.

Russia Forms the North Korean Government
Approximately one month after the formation of the South Korean government, communist Russia announced the formation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Russia and the United States Remove Their Troops from Korea
In December, 1948, Russia announced that all its troops had left Korea.  The United States announced all of its troops withdrawn from South Korea in mid-1949.

Meanwhile, each of the newly formed Korean governments claimed sovereignty over all of Korea.

The Korean War: Russia and U.S. Establish Two Koreas after Victory Over Japan Leading to Civil War
After Japans surrender and the subsequent end of World War II,  the Korea territory that they once controlled was taken over and occupied by Russia (in the north) and the United States (in the south). 

North Korea and South Korea Established by Foreign Powers
Russia established a North Korean government, and with the help of the United Nations, the United States, established a South Korean government.  

Sovereignty Claimed by both North Korea and South Korea
Soon after they formalized the two separate governments in Korea,  the United States and Russia announced, over time, that they had removed all of their troops.  Each of the governments that they left behind claimed  sovereignty over all of Korea, and became involved in many border clashes. 

Civil War Begins: North Korea Invades South Korea
In June, 1950, North Korean troops invaded South Korea, to begin the Korean War.

Their civil war, soon involved the most powerful Communist and non-Communist nations in the world.

The Weak South vs the Strong North
Each Gains Powerful Allies
The division of Korea left the South weak economically and militarily.  It had very little industry and very few electric power plants.

The North Koreans had about 135,000 men in their army, many who had fought for China and Russia during World War II.  North Korea also had airplanes, artillery, and tanks.  The South Koreans, on the other hand, had an army of about 95,000 men, mostly whom were untrained and inexperienced.

However, with support of the Member States of the United Nations, including the United States who contributed over 700,000 troops, South Korea was greatly strengthened.  

China, on the other hand contributed a million additional troops to North Korea.

Kim Il Sung
1912 - 1994
1st Leader of Soviet Union Controlled North Korea Government
At the end of World War II, Russia and the United States, split the Korean territory, once controlled by Japan.  Russia claimed dominion of Northern Korea, the United States claimed dominion of Southern Korea. 

Communist Russia established a new government in North Korea, and the United States, with the help of the United Nations, established a new government in South Korea. 

Kim Il Sung became the first leader of communist North Korea.

Under Kim Il Sung, the government took farmland from wealthy landowners and gave it to the farmworkers.  He also took control of most industries.

In the 1950's, Kim's government organized all of the country's farmland into collective farms.

Kim's government operated as a strict dictatorship.  It carefully limited freedom of speech and of the press.  It decided which citizens would receive a higher education.  Kim's government even decided where people would live and work.

In 1977, the government announced that Kim's eldest son, Kim Chong (aka Jong) Il, would become president after Kim's retirement or death.

Syngman Rhee
1875 - 1965
1st Leader of U.S. Controlled South Korean Government
After the United States occupied the South Korean territory after the defeat of Japan, at the end of World War II,  the United Nations intervened to supervise an election of a national assembly made up of the Korean people there.  The newly formed national assembly drafted a constitution and elected their first president, Syngman Rhee, who was 73 years old at the time.  

Rhee Faces a Korean Civil War
Two years into his presidency, South Korea was invaded by the newly formed government of North Korea and the Korean (Civil) War began.  Each side had powerful allies who provided millions of troops to each.  Communist China contributed close to a million troops to North Korea, and the United States contributed nearly a million troops, along with military contributions made by other UN Member States.  A truce was called in 1953.

Rhee Amends the Constitution to Ensure His Reelection
Because Rhee feared that the legislators would not reelect him in 1952, he submitted an amendment to the constitution that turned over election of the president to the people.  As a result, the voter reelected him twice, in 1952 and 1956.

Rhee Fixes Fourth Term Election
In 1960, Rhee ran for a fourth term, determined to keep control of the government, so he fixed the election to ensure victory.

Rhee Resigns Office Under Pressure of Political Protests
At the age of 85 Syngman Rhee resigned from the office of President, following nationwide demonstrations against the government, soon after his fraudulent reelection.

For several months following there was political upheaval and turmoil in South Korea.

North Korea Signs Biological and Toxic Weapons Agreement
North Korea signs the Geneva Protocol and agreed to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC).

Mikhail Gorbachev, Last Leader of Soviet Union and Kim Jong-Il, Supreme Leader North Korea
North Korea Begins to Lose Long-Standing Support from USSR
As Soviet control of the communist governments begins to weaken, the security guarantees and economic support provided North Korea for nearly 45 years begin to erode.

Boris Yeltsin
(1931 - 2007)
President of Russia
1991 - 1999
1st President of Russia Resigns
With an approval rating at an estimated 2%, Boris Yeltsin, after 9 years in office, resigned as President of Russia, by way of a taped message aired on Russian television.

Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia was then named acting president.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
2nd President Reelected to Second Term as 4th President of Russia
When Vladimir Putin left office as the 2nd President of Russia in 2008, he was Russia's most popular politician, and only left office because, by law, he could not serve three consecutive terms.

Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych
Former 4th President of the Ukraine
1950 - Present
2014 Ukrainian Revolution Ukrainian President Flees to Russia
The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted after a series of violent events involving protestors, riot police and unknown shooters in the capital of Kiev.

This was immediately followed by a series of changes in quick succession in Ukraine's sociopolitical system, including the formation of a new interim government, the restoration of the previous constitution, and the call to hold impromptu presidential elections within months.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, 13 years earlier, in 1991, the Ukraine had been mired in years of corruption, mismanagement, lack of economic growth, currency devaluation, and an inability to secure funding from public markets.

In 2013, President Yanukovych signed a treaty  with Russian President Vladimir Putin with multi-billion dollar load, which included a provision for Russia to by $15 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds. 

This agreement sparked civil unrest in Kiev that led to violent clashes between protestors and law enforcement.  As unrest and violence increased, Yanukovych fled the country to Russia and never returned.
Kiev After the Russian-Ukraine Agreement
The newly appointed interim government of Ukraine signed a new agreement in order to secure foreign investments.  In exchange for agreeing to commit to adopting reforms in the legal and political system, as well as financial and economic polies, the interim government secured loans amounting to more than $18 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

Throughout the course of these events, unrest continued, including opposition to the newly formed government.  Pro-Russian unrest in some south-eastern regions was sparked, and Russian-back separatists were also active in the discord.

After the seizure of Perevalne
military base March 9, 2014
Russia Annexes Ukrainian Territory of Crimea


Annexation is the forcible acquisition of a state's territory by another state.  Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller and weaker of the two merging entities. It can also imply a certain measure of coercion, expansionism or unilateralism on the part of the stronger of the merging entities.

After the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Russia refused to recognize the new interim government.  And, as  part of the wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists were active, the Russian Federation staged a military intervention and invaded the internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of the Crimea.  
This territory was annexed by Russia, who  immediately began to administer the territory as two federal subjects – the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

Russia Membership Suspended from the G8 Forum of World's Wealthiest Countries
As of March 24, 2014, the G8 (Group of 8), is now G7 (Group of Seven), after suspending Russia indefinitely from this forum of the leading advanced world economies.  
 Vladimir Putin, Russian President
This was done in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention and annexation of Crimea.   The event was condemned by many world leaders, as well as NATO, as an illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.

The economic forum originated in 1975 as G6, bringing together the six governments of the wealthiest developed countries: France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  In 1976, Canada joined.  Russia was added to the group in 1997.

Xi Jinping, President People's Republic of China
Jinping President for Life:? China Abolishes Presidential Term Limits
According to the current Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the President's term of office is the same as the term of the National People's Congress (currently five years), and the president and vice-president were both limited to two consecutive terms.

China's Road to a
New De facto Monarchy
However, on February 25, 2018, an amendment by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the 13th National People's Congress abolished presidential term limits. After the vote in favor by the National People's Congress, it is now possible for China's current leader, Xi Jinping, to serve in office for life. The two-term limit had been in effect since the 1990s.

On paper, the National People's Congress is the most powerful legislative body in China, similar to the parliament in other nations, and the presidency is largely a ceremonial office with limited powers that serves at the pleasure of the National Peple's Congress. But, while serving in office, Xi Jinping has amassed a lot of power, infuence and respect.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Vladimir Putin Elected to Fourth Term
Valdimir Putin has extended his rule for another six years, after winning his 4th term in the presidential election.

Many analysts believe that it is unlikely that Putin will leave power after his current term, in spite of the current rule of law. Russian presidents are not allowed to serve more that two consecutive terms, so without constitutional reform, Putin will not be able to run for a fifth term. Putin, however, said "I never changed the constitution, especially for it to benefit me and I do not have this kind of intention today".

Park Geun-hye, President South Korea 2013 - 2017
1st Female President Receives 24 Year Prison Sentence After Impeachment
2012  Meeting that Would Lead to President Park’s Downfall
Shortly after Park Geun-hye was elected President of South Korea, Ko Young-tae (36 years), operator of a bag manufacturing company, met Choi Soon-sil (56 years), the president’s aide, who commissioned him to design 40 bags made of ostrich skin and crocodile leather, as well as 100 clothing items for President Park, for tens of thousands of dollars.  Two years later, a personal disagreement between the two would eventually lead to President Park’s downfall.

President Park’s former clothier, Ko Young-tae (L) and former personal aide Choi Soon-sil (R) at court appearances., 2014.

2014 Ko Young-tae Resents Being Disrespected by Choi Soon-sil
Ms. Choi left a dog, belonging to her only child, in the care of Ko Young-tae, and when Ms. Choi discovered that Ko neglected the dog and went out to play golf instead, she strongly berated him. Mr. Ko stated that it was this incident was the last straw in his resentment of Ms. Choi, who often cursed at him and “treated him like a slave”. He then decided to expose the relationship dynamics of Ms. Choi to President Park that he’d witnessed over time. He began video tapping Ms. Choi, recording her giving orders to two presidential aides as if they were servants.

2015 Ko Young-tae Begins Leaking Information to the Media
In 2015, Mr. Ko turned his video over to Chosun TV, but the news channel held on to it as journalist conducted an investigation of Ms. Choi and President Park, including the investigation of two foundations set up by Ms. Choi to receive donations from business conglomerates (in exchange for favorable treatment by the government).

Later, media investigations revealed that the personal aide, Choi Soon-sil used her position to seek donations of money from several business conglomerates (known as cahebol), and that she and President Park's senior staff used their influence to extort $60 million from Korean chaebols -- family-owned large business conglomerates -- and set up two culture- and sports-related foundations, Mir and K-sports foundations.

In 2016, Mr. Ko was still peddling information to the media that Ms. Choi directly influenced and interfered with government policies, even though she had no official position in government. When interviewed by JTBC in October 2016, stated “Choi’s favorite thing to do is edit presidential speeches”. After the interview, JTBC somehow came into possession of a tablet previously owned by Ms. Choi that contained drafts of 44 speeches and statements President Park had given between 2012 and 2014.

October 24, 2016 The Media Releases Leaked Information and Reports on Its Investigation
On October 24, 2016, aired its findings, and Chosun TV followed up by releasing its incriminating video, supplied by Mr. Ko, the following day.

October 25, 2016 President Park Makes Televised Apology
In a televised address, President Park apologizes to the nation for giving Choi access to draft speeches during the first months of her presidency.

Protests against President Park
Massive rallies held across South Korea supporting the impeachment of President Park

October 26, 2016 Protests Against Park Spread Across South Korea
Protests began across South Korea calling on President Park's resignation and her approval rating dropped to 4%.

October 29, 2016 Park Dismisses Staff
President Park dismissed her top aides, two members of the cabinet, and attempted to replace prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn with Kim Byong-joon, former aide to former president Roh Moo-hyun, but this was rejected by the National Assembly.

October 31, 2016 Choi Soon-sil Arrested
On October 31, Choi Soon-sil was arrested and formally charged with abuse of power and fraud the following month.

November 4, 2016 President Park Makes Apology
President Park made yet another apology, promising to take responsibility if she was found guilty.

November 29, 2016 President Park Makes Third Apology
Days after Ms. Choi is charged with abuse of power and fraud, President Park made a third public apology, and called for the National Assembly to decide how she should leave the office of the presidency. The following day, she appointed Park Young-soo, former head of the Seoul High Prosecutor's Office, as a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

December 3, 2016 Parks Impeachment Proposal Moves to National Assembly
With opinion polls showing that 78% of South Koreans support the impeachment of President Park, Woo Sang-ho of the Democratic Party, Park Jie-won of the People's Party, and Roh Hoe-chan of the Justice Party moved the "President (Park Geun-hye) impeachment proposal" in the National Assembly on behalf of 171 members of their respective parties and other independent representatives, on the grounds that Geun-hye had violated the Constitution and the law

December 9, 2016 Impeachment of Park Approved
The National Assembly approved the impeachment motion by a vote of 234 in favor and 56 against in a secret ballot.

As a result of the motion's passage, President Park's powers and duties were suspended for up to 180 days while the Constitutional Court of Korea considered the validity of the impeachment motion. It was necessary for six of the nine judges on that court to agree with the impeachment for the removal to take effect.

Protests against President Park
Supporters of President Park gather in massive rallies across South Korea

Citizens who have been rallying in massive numbers against Park rejoiced at the news, while Park's supporters called the parliamentary impeachment a "witch-hunt" without concrete evidence of Park's wrongdoings.

President Park Holds Final Cabinet Meeting
President Park held a final cabinet meeting acknowledging the impeachment motion and apologized for causing uncertainty, before Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn assumed presidential powers and duties, on an interim basis.

March 10, 2017 Parks Impeachment Upheld, Park’s Presidency Ends
The Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment in a unanimous 8–0 decision read out by Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung mi which formally ended Park's presidency.

As a result of impeachment, Park was stripped of her post-presidential benefits such as retirement pension, free medical services, state funding for her post-retirement office, personal assistants and a chauffeur and right to burial at the Seoul National Cemetery after death. However, she is entitled to retain security protection under the Presidential Security Act.

March 31, 2017 Park Arrested and Charged
Park was arrested and placed into custody after indictment by prosecutors on charges of bribery, abuse of power, coercion, and leaking government secrets.

April 6, 2018 Park Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison
Former President Park Geun-hye, age 66, was found guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion and formally sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $17 million.

U.S. vs China
Donald J. Trump, US President
and Xi Jinping, President People's Republic of China
Trade Diplomacy Falters U.S. President Imposes Steep Trade Tariffs Against China
Less than two weeks after U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, announced that the issue of Chinese trade tariffs was on hold, and just days after China’s top economic advisor, Vice Premier Liu He, led a delegation to the U.S, President Donald Trump announced that he will proceed with its proposal to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and put into place new limits on Chinese investments in U.S. high-tech industries.

China’s Commerce Ministry said in an announcement that Trump’s acts were “obviously in violation” of their recent agreement, and urged the U.S. to move in the direction of the spirit of their joint communication.

The Trump administration said that it is moving forward with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment for intellectual property theft.

Donald J. Trump, US President
and Vladimir Putin, Russian Presiden
Russian Counter-Sanctions Retaliate Against the U.S. and Its Allies
Putin Signs Legislation
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a bill approved by Russian lawmakers last month that is intended to defend Russia's "economic interests and security". The bill was drafted by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the heads of all four parliamentary caucuses. It was drafted in April after the U.S. Treasury Department placed 24 Russians, including 14 corporations on a sanctions list.

Ties Can Be Severed with Unfriendly Countries
The legislation gives Putin the power to sever ties with unfriendly countries, and to ban trade of goods with those countries.

Russian Citizens Not to Be Impacted by Legislations
Even though the legislation intends to force firms to choose between doing business with Russia or with Russia antagonists, it carefully avoids hurting the Russian economy and dealings with current business partners. The countersanctions do not apply to imported essential items needed by Russian citizens, for which no replacements are produced in Russia.