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First Contact

Doing Business in South Korea

BRIEF HISTORY The modern history of Korea is divided into three distinct periods: the Silla (668-935), Koryo (935-1392), and Yi (1392-1910) dynasties. In 1910, Japan annexed Korea and suppressed the teaching of its culture and language to the extent that several generations grew up more familiar with Japanese than with Korean customs.

With the Japanese defeat in World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union jointly established temporary administrative trusteeship over Korea. The thirty-eighth parallel served as the demarcation line – with the United States administering the southern part while the Soviet Union supervised the north. The two sectors were supposed to hold a combined national elections but due to Soviet resistance, a pro-Western government subsequently formed in the south.

The Republic of Korea, or South Korea, was established in 1948 as a democratic republic. In June 1949, the military troops of the United States withdrew which resulted in the invasion of North Korean forces of South Korea in 1950. This war lasted three years and ended with an agreement to implement armistice. It is interesting to note that the United States nor South Korea signed the agreement.

The South Korean constitution of 1987 provides for three separate and independent branches of government the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.





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