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US and other UN forces intervened on South Korea's side, while the Soviet Union and China supported the North.
An armistice was signed in 1953 splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone, with no significant territorial gains made by either side.
Today, South Korea has been recognized as an industrialized, developed economy with some of the world's leading high technology corporations such as Samsung and LG.
The downsides of South Korea's economical growth, however, included heavy censorship, authoritarian governments (i.e, the 2nd Republic led by former military leader Park Chung-Hee, which would last from 1962 to Park's murder in 1979) and multiple human rights violations (illegal detentions, torture, straight-up murder, etc., like the infamous Gwangju Massacre from 1980) Demands for greater freedom of press and human rights fomented to nationwide demonstrations that led to democratic elections in 1987, just prior to the South Korean capital of Seoul hosting the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.
Legend has it that Korea began with the founding of Gojoseon (also called Ancient Chosun) by the legendary Dangun in 2333 BC.
Archaeological and contemporaneous written records of Gojoseon as a kingdom date back to around 7th-4th century BC, functioning as a loose confederacy of smaller polities.
But a peace treaty has never been signed, and the two Koreas remain technically at war with each other to this day.
Despite initially being economically outdone by its northern rival, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth starting in the 1960s under the leadership of former military general President Park Chung Hee.
Despite numerous armed rebellions, assassinations and intellectual and cultural resistance, suppression and a cultural assimilation policy that included forcing Koreans to take Japanese names and forbidding them to speak the Korean language allowed Japan to maintain colonial control.One highlight of the Goryeo dynasty was that in 1234 the world's first metal movable type was invented by a Korean named Choe Yun-ui (200 years before Gutenberg's printing press).Goryeo was replaced by the Joseon (also romanized Chosun) dynasty, after a coup by one of its generals.South Korea (한국, 韓國 Hanguk), officially the Republic of Korea (대한민국, 大韓民國 Daehan Minguk) is a country in East Asia.
South Korea occupies the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea to the north, China across the sea to the west and Japan a short ferry ride to the southeast.
The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1910, being one of the longest actively ruling dynasties in world history.