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Key dates in Korea's history

2333BC Founding of Chosun kingdom by Tangun

57-18BC Three kingdoms founded: Shilla (57), Koguryo (37) and Paekche (18) AD372- Buddhism adopted. Koguryo establishes 527 Confucian college.

427 Koguryo establishes capital at Pyongyang

663-668 Shilla-Tang alliance leads to unification of the three kingdoms after Shilla destroys Paekche forces (663) and Koguryo (668)

682 National Confucian college established

918 Koryo kingdom founded

935-36 Shilla overthrown by Koryo

1392 Choson dynasty begins (ends 1910)

1394 Hanyang (now Seoul) chosen as capital of Choson kingdom

1831 Independent Catholic diocese established in Korea

1904 Korea becomes Japanese protectorate

1910 Korea annexed by Japan, marking start of colonial rule

1919 Nationwide protests against Japanese occupation. Korean Provisional Government (in exile) formed in Shanghai, China

1925 Korean Communist Party founded

1945 Korea divided along 38th parallel. Korea liberated as Japan surrenders to Allies

1948 Election in South leads to inauguration of Republic of Korea, with Syngman Rhee as the first president. Democratic People's Republic of Korea in North established with Communist Kim Il Sung as premier

1950 Korean War begins with Communist invasion of South Korea (ends 1953)

1960-61 President Rhee resigns after student uprising. General Park Chung Heebecomes president after coup

1962 South Korea's first five-year economic plan

1979 President Park assassinated. General Chun Doo Hwan takes over after coup

1987 President Chun accepts 'democratisation manifesto'. Roh Tae Woo elected president

1988 Olympic Games in Seoul

1992 Kim Young Sam's election marks return to civilian government in the South

1997 Kim Dae Jung elected president, marking first victory of an opposition candidate in modern South Korea

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