North Korean History

North Korea: Kaesong - Pyongyang

Historical Events

  • 1446-10-09 The Hangul (Korean) alphabet is first published in Korea by King Sejong the Great
  • 1901-11-27 Prince Ito of Japan comes to St Petersburg hoping to get the Russians to grant Japan concessions in Korea, but later drops this goal and decides to make an alliance with Britain
  • 1902-01-30 Britain and Japan sign a treaty after months of negotiating which commits each country to supporting an independent China and Korea, although it acknowledges Japan's 'special interest' in Korea
  • 1904-03-28 Japanese troops advance in Korea, defeat the Russians at Chengiu, and capture the town
  • 1905-01-26 Han Yong-woon [Bongwan, Manhae] (1879-1944) ordained a monk in Korea

Agreement of Interest

1905-07-29 US Secretary of War William Howard Taft makes secret agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Katsura agreeing to Japanese free rein in Korea in return for non-interference with the US in the Philippines

  • 1919-03-01 The March 1st, or Samil Movement, begins in Korea: it is a demonstration of resistance to Japanese occupation
  • 1945-08-08 USSR establishes a communist government in North Korea
  • 1946-02-05 The Chondoist Chongu Party is founded in North Korea
  • 1948-03-27 The Second Congress of the Workers' Party of North Korea is convened
  • 1948-05-01 North Korea proclaims itself Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Historic Event

1950-06-27 North Korean troops reach Seoul, UN asks members to aid South Korea, Harry Truman orders US Air Force & Navy into Korean conflict

  • 1950-06-28 North Korean forces capture Seoul, South Korea in opening phase of the Korean War
  • 1950-07-07 Korean War: UN Security Council establishes the United Nations Command to combat North Korean forces

Historic Event

1950-07-08 General Douglas MacArthur named commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea

  • 1950-07-08 Leroy Deans awarded first Order of Purple Heart in Korea
  • 1950-07-14 RE Wayne awarded 1st Distinguished Flying Cross in Korea
  • 1950-09-01 13 North Korean divisions open assault on UN lines
  • 1950-09-26 UN troops in Korean War recapture South Korean capital of Seoul
  • 1950-10-01 South Korean troops cross the 38th parallel into North Korea
  • 1950-10-07 US forces invade North Korea by crossing 38th parallel
  • 1950-10-19 UN forces enter Pyongyang, capital of North Korea
  • 1950-11-04 US troops vacate Pyongyang, North Korea
  • 1950-11-06 Chinese offensive halts at Chongchon River, North Korea
  • 1950-11-08 A US aircraft shoots down a North Korean jet in the Korean War, the first jet-to-jet dogfight in history
  • 1951-01-01 Massive Chinese/North Korean assault on UN-lines
  • 1951-01-17 China refuses ceases-fire in Korea
  • 1951-02-01 UN condemns People's Republic of China as aggressor in Korea
  • 1951-03-21 2,900,000 US soldiers in Korea
  • 1951-03-31 US tanks exceed 38° of latitude in Korea
  • 1951-04-11 US President Harry Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of command in Korea
  • 1951-05-18 US General Collins predicts use of atom bomb in Korea
  • 1952-10-08 Chinese offensive in Korea

Korean War Ends

1953-07-27 North Korea and the United Nations sign armistice to stop fighting and divide Korea at the 38th parallel

Sports History

1953-08-06 Future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams returns to Red Sox from military service in Korea; ends abbreviated season with .407 batting average

  • 1961-05-15 36 Unification church couples wed in Korea
  • 1962-10-08 North Korea reports 100% election turnout, miraculously 100% vote for the Workers' Party
  • 1963-07-24 124 Unification church couples wed in Korea
  • 1968-01-23 Spy ship USS Pueblo & 83-man crew seized in Sea of Japan by North Korea
  • 1968-02-25 430 Unification Church couples wed in Korea
  • 1968-12-23 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea
  • 1969-04-15 North Korea shoots at US airplane above Japanese sea
  • 1970-10-21 777 Unification church couples wed in Korea
  • 1972-08-28 North Korean shooter Ri Ho-jun wins the 50m rifle prone event at the Munich Olympics; his nation's first ever Olympic gold medal
  • 1972-12-27 New North Korean constitution comes into effect
  • 1972-12-28 Kim Il-song becomes president of North Korea
  • 1975-02-08 1800 Unification church couples wed in Korea

Murder of Interest

1976-08-18 Korean axe murder incident: 2 US soldiers tasked with cutting down a poplar tree blocking the view of UN observers are killed by North Koreans claiming it was planted by Kim Il-sung in the Korean Demilitarized Zone

  • 1977-03-18 US restricts citizens from visiting Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea & Cambodia
  • 1977-07-14 North Korea shoots down US helicopter, killing 3
  • 1982-10-14 6,000 Unification church couples wed in Korea
  • 1994-10-21 North Korea signs pact to end their nuclear projects
  • 1997-05-12 14 North Koreans defect to South Korea
  • 1998-08-31 North Korea reportedly launches Kwangmyongsong, its first satellite.

Summit of Interest

2000-06-13 South Korean President Kim Dae-jung meets leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit, in the northern capital of Pyongyang

Historic Event

2002-01-29 US President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address describes "regimes that sponsor terror" an "Axis of Evil", which includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea

  • 2002-06-29 Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.
  • 2004-04-22 Two fuel trains collide in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing up to 150 people.
  • 2004-05-24 North Korea bans mobile phones.
  • 2006-07-04 North Korea tests four short-range missiles, one medium-range missile, and a long-range Taepodong-2. The long-range Taepodong-2 reportedly fails in mid-air over the Sea of Japan/East Sea.
  • 2006-07-05 Emergency United Nations Security Council meeting at the U.N in New York City because of North Korean missile tests that day
  • 2006-07-05 North Korea tests at least two short-range Nodong-2 missiles, one SCUD missile and one long-range Taepodong-2 missile
  • 2006-10-09 North Korea conducts its first nuclear test, with an estimated yield of between 0.4-2 kilotons
  • 2007-01-17 Doomsday Clock set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea's 1st nuclear test
  • 2007-02-23 Japan launches its fourth spy satellite, stepping up its ability to monitor potential threats such as North Korea.
  • 2007-10-02 President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walks across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
  • 2009-04-05 North Korea launches its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket. The satellite passed over mainland Japan, which prompted an immediate reaction from the United Nations Security Council, as well as participating states of Six-party talks
  • 2009-05-25 North Korea conducts its second nuclear test while also conducting several missile tests
  • 2010-11-23 The Bombardment of Yeonpyeong occurs on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea. The North Korean artillery attack kills 2 civilians and 2 South Korean marines.
  • 2012-02-20 South Korea angers North Korea as it proceeds with live fire drills in disputed Korean sea borders
  • 2012-04-13 North Korean long range rocket testing ends in failure after the rocket broke up after launch

Appointment of Interest

2012-07-18 Kim Jong-un is officially appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea and given the rank of Marshal in the Korean People's Army

  • 2012-07-26 North Korea is hit by Tropical Storm Khanun, killing 88 people and leaving 60,000 people homeless
  • 2012-07-29 Tropical Storm Khanun kills 88 people and leaves 60,000 homeless in North Korea
  • 2012-09-03 Typhoon Bolaven kills 48 people in North Korea
  • 2013-02-12 North Korea allegedly conducts its third nuclear test, saying it was a nuclear device that could be weaponized
  • 2013-03-07 UN Security Council approves further North Korean sanctions for its nuclear testing
  • 2013-03-08 North Korea terminates all peace pacts with South Korea
  • 2013-03-11 North Korea cuts the phone line with South Korea, breaching the 1953 armistice
  • 2013-03-13 North Korea shreds the Korean Armistice agreement
  • 2013-03-29 UN regulation of international arms trade is blocked by North Korea, Iran, and Syria
  • 2013-03-30 North Korea declares it is at a state of war with South Korea
  • 2013-04-17 North Korea blocks a South Korean supply delegation from the Kaesong joint industrial zone
  • 2015-08-15 North Korea creates its own time zone -moving its clocks back half an hour to GMT+8.5
  • 2016-01-06 North Korea states that they have successfully conducted their fourth nuclear test, saying it was a hydrogen bomb in a claim disputed by most international experts
  • 2016-03-16 US college student Otto Warmbier is sentenced to 15 years hard labour for trying to steal a political poster, in Pyongyang, North Korea
  • 2016-09-09 North Korea conducts its fifth nuclear test at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, at the time its largest ever test at 10 kilotons but superseded by the 2017 test
  • 2017-02-12 North Korea conducts a solid fuel ballistic missile test from Banghyon air base
  • 2017-05-15 UN Security Council condemns North Korea missile test
  • 2017-07-04 North Korea tests first successful intercontinental ballistic missile into Sea of Japan
  • 2017-08-05 UN Security Council votes to impose sanctions on North Korea for its continued missile program
  • 2017-08-09 North Korea says it plans to fire rockets on US territory Guam in continuing escalation of tension between it and the US
  • 2017-08-28 North Korea launches missile that flies over Japan, the country's J-Alert warning system warns people to take cover
  • 2017-09-03 North Korea conducts its sixth and largest ever nuclear test, saying it had successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb
  • 2017-09-11 UN imposes new export sanctions on North Korea

United Nations Speech

2017-09-19 US President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations vowing to “totally destroy North Korea” if threatens the US

  • 2017-11-27 North Korean ghost ship washes up Akita prefecture beach, Japan with 8 skeletons on board, 4th boat in a month
  • 2017-12-22 UN Security Council votes 15 to 0 for additional sanctions on North Korea, including measures to slash the country's petrol imports by up to 90%
  • 2018-01-05 North Korea accepts South Korean invitation for high-level talks

Famous Birthdays

  • 1335-10-27 Taejo of Joseon [Yi Seong-gye], King of Joseon (1392-98), born in Hamhung, North Korea (d. 1408)

Syngman RheeSyngman Rhee (1875-1965)

1875-03-26 1st President of South Korea (1948-60), born in Haeju, North Korea

  • 1912-08-29 Sohn Kee-chung, Korean athlete and long-distance runner, born in Sinuiju, North Korea (d. 2002)
  • 1927-01-25 Seung Sahn, Korean zen teacher (Korean line), born in North Korea (d. 2004)
  • 1929-03-06 Ho Dam, North Korean secretary of State (1970-83)
  • 1931-11-03 Yon Hyong-muk, North Korean politician (d. 2005)
  • 1938-07-03 Shin Geum Dan, North Korean athlete (400m/800m disputed world records 1962), born in Riwon County, North Korea

Kim Jong-ilKim Jong-il (1942-2011)

1942-02-16 Supreme Leader of North Korea (1994-2011), born in Vyatskoye, Soviet Union [disputed birthplace and birth date, 1941]

  • 1946-12-01 Ho-Jun Li, North Korean shooter (Olympic gold 50m rifle 1972; DPR Korea first Olympic gold), born in North Korea
  • 1951-01-14 Gil Pak Jong, North Korean judoka (Olympic-1976)
  • 1966-07-13 Myong Hui Choe, North Korea, gymnast (Olympic-1980)
  • 1972-03-04 Pae Gil-Su, North Korean gymnast
  • 1975-02-17 Sung-Hee Park, Korean tennis star (1993 Futures-Seoul), born in Pusan, Korea

Kim Jong-unKim Jong-un (39 years old)

1983-01-08 Supreme Leader of North Korea (2011-), born in Pyongyang, North Korea

  • 1994-12-12 Otto Warmbier, American student detained in North Korea after stealing poster, born in Cincinnati, Ohio

Famous Deaths

  • 1983-12-16 Kusan Sunim, found Milae Sa temple/Bulsung Sa Zen in Korea, dies at 74
  • 2007-01-02 Paek Nam-sun, North Korean Foreign Affairs minister, dies at 77
  • 2010-11-06 Jo Myong-Rok, North Korean military official, dies at 82

Kim Jong-ilKim Jong-il (1942-2011)

2011-12-17 Supreme Leader of North Korea (1994-2011), dies of a suspected heart attack at 70