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Identify when North Korea, South Korea, and Mongolia became independent countries and describe how independence was achieved.


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Map of Asia, including North and South Korea, Mongolia, and China (source: CIA web site):

Focus Question: How did the countries of Northeast Asia gain independence?


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China

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  • For historical background on China before 1800, go to World History WHI.23 and WHI.24.

  • For historical background on China in the 19th century, see World History WHII.13.

  • For historical background on China in the 20th century, see World History WHII.33 and WHII.34

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Korea


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Flag of North Korea



  • Japan invaded Korea and occupied it until the end of World War II (1945)
    • primary_sources.PNGClick here for the Korean Declaration of Independence from 1919. It was written by Koreans to protest the Japanese rule.
  • It was then split up by the victors.south-korea-flag.gif
  • North of the 38th parallel went to Soviet control, and became North Korea.
  • South Korea went under the control of the United States.
  • In 1950, North Korea (later with the help of the Chinese) invaded South Korea
  • It was an effort to take over the whole peninsula and reunite the country.
  • The United Nations sent troops, led by the U.S., to repel the invasion
  • The Korean War was fought from 1950 to 1953, until a cease-fire was agreed on.
  • The Korean war has been in a truce since 1953.
  • North Korea and South Korea are, technically, still at war.
  • Effectively, however, the two are separate states
    • with a democracy in the south and a growing economy
    • a dictatorship in the north that leaves many North Korean people in poverty and isolation.
      • Click here for an article from the Guardian that compares life in North Korea vs. South Korea

Click here for a Korean history
Click here for more information on North Korea from the United States Department of State
Click here for the Freedom House page on North Korea
The Korean Peninsula as seen by satellite view.  While South Korea has lights and cities, North Korea is left in the dark
The Korean Peninsula as seen by satellite view. While South Korea has lights and cities, North Korea is left in the dark


Mongolia

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  • Mongolia became independent in 1911.
  • It is surrounded by both Russia and China
  • As a result, it is an amalgam of those countries' two cultures and governments; its history intertwined with theirs.
  • Mongolia was part of China after the Chinese defeated the Mongols in the 1600s up until 1911.
  • Independence came during the Chinese revolution, when China was in chaos.
  • A few years later, China tried to seize control of Mongolia again
    • The Russian revolution created the Soviet government, which protected Mongolia from the Chinese in the early 1920s.
  • Mongolia remains culturally Asian and Chinese, and governmentally Russian and Soviet (even though the Soviet Union is defunct).
timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a timeline on Mongolia

Sources :
country information, maps, and flags
maps (public source)

Books: