Following Japan’s defeat in 1945 the Soviet Union and United States agreed to split the post-war control of the Korean peninsula between themselves. On August 10, 1945 two young U.S. military officers drew up a line demarcating the U.S. and Soviet occupation zones at the 38th parallel. The divide should have been temporary, a mere footnote in Korea’s long history, but the emergence of the Cold War made this a seminal event. Seeking to ensure the maintenance of their respective influences in Korea, the U.S. and USSR installed leaders sympathetic to their own cause, while mistrust on both sides prevented cooperation on elections that were supposed to choose a leader for the entire peninsula. The United States handed control over the southern half of the peninsula to Syngman Rhee, while the Soviet Union gave Kim Il-sung power over the north. In 1948, both sides claimed to be the legitimate government and representative of the entire Korean people.
August 15, 1948
Syngman Rhee declares the formation of the Republic of Korea in Seoul, claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea..
September 8, 1948
Kim Il-sung declares the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Pyongyang, also claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea.
Kimhae City is the ancient region of the Gaya Kingdom. It is located west of Busan City in South Korea.
Gaya kingdom began in 42 A.D. when King Sooro was born near present day Kimhae. According to tradition six eggs were dropped from heaven and were to become six kings. The area named Goo Ji Bong in Kimhae City is the birthplace of King Sooro. The story says that this area is where the 500 year history of the Gaya Kingdom was born. It is also the birthplace of Goo Ji Ga, the poetry from that time era in Korea’s literary traditions. King Sooro is named as the father of all the Kims of Kimhae City.
Plaque in Kimhae describing Goo Ji Bong area as the birthplace of King Sooru. He founded the Karak nation and became the father of all the Kims originating from Kimhae.
As I mentioned in my post on the Shilla Dynasty, Shilla Dynasty overtook Gaya Kingdom in 562 AD.
Map of Gaya from Wikipedia site
The Kimhae Museum has an excellent display of many artifacts and history of Gaya. The people of Gaya Kingdom were well known for their iron working skill. They traded their iron works with Japan and other East Asian countries. The video shown below gives a very interesting summary of Gaya’s history.
Some artifacts from Kimhae Museum:
All photos from Wikipedia
This iron helmet illustrates the skill of iron-working and importance of iron from the Nakdong River valley.
Horn-shaped cup from Gaya that may illustrate connection of Persian culture through the Silk Road to Korea.
Photos from our visit to the Queen of King Sooro’s tomb and Kimhae Museum.
These photos were taken with a crappy digital camera in 2004 when we had an especially cool fall, which made the trees turn deeper colors. The photos are from Jung-li, Masan City, South Korea. We arrived here October 31 2001 and stayed until May 2005. We so enjoyed our time teaching in Masan.
Koreans love these fall grasses
Korean feather reed grass
red maples outside our apartment
the river in fall
I walked along this river everyday. It was so peaceful. Jung-li is a suburb of Masan and is a very small community land wise. I could easily walk the whole town in a couple hours.
Yesterday Busan had the heaviest downpour I’ve ever seen here. Several thunderstorms converged over the south end of the peninsula. Four people lost their lives in Busan and there was a lot of property damage in Masan and Changwon to name a few places. Seoul has been pounded this month as well. Good old el Nino coupled with la Nino are the culprits of this unusual weather I guess. I’ve never seen such a wet August in Busan. Rainy season never ended! Here are some pictures outside of our apartment:
across Suyong River during heavy downpour – can’t see much
rain let up a bit after
from ABC online news – South Korea flooding
Here’s a copy of the article written with this photo:
Record rainfall, landslides and flooding have killed more than 50 people in South Korea.
Nearly half a metre of rain fell in the capital of Seoul in less than three days, turning main roads into rivers of churning, muddy water.
At least 16 people died in landslides in the south of the city, while a raging river left 18 dead near the capital.
More than 30 bridges and roads in and around Seoul were also closed by the deluge.
Tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers have started a massive clean-up effort after the wild weather, with about 40,000 troops joining thousands of police in the clean-up.
While growing up in North Korea, Joo Yang would listen to foreign broadcasts on an illegal radio with her family. They listened to broadcasts from Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Far East Broadcasting Company, and South Korean news channels for 10 years while preparing to defect despite the danger of being caught and sent to a prison camp. This was just the first of her many access points to foreign media.
When the rest of her family escaped in 2007 and 2008, Joo Yang had to stay behind. “I tried to defect once in 2009 but failed, but my father sent me money, so I went to another town and bribed the officials so I could attend college and stay safe. At that time, my family smuggled a package to me from South Korea. They sent a Toshiba laptop, MP3 and MP4 players, and an electronic dictionary. All of my university friends had MP3 and MP4 players, but we could only use them in secrecy, hidden from the teachers and security officials, under our blankets at night,” she said.
Joo Yang successfully escaped in 2010. She now interns part-time at LiNK’s office in South Korea and participates on the popular South Korean television program “Now on My Way to Meet You,” which aims to bridge the gap between North and South Koreans.
Watch her video to learn more about her life, as well as how she used foreign media and what effect it had on her.
We live in Mangmi dong, Suyong-gu, Busan City, South Korea. Our apartment is situated on the Suyong River and when we look south out the window we can see the Pacific Ocean. Recently a new apartment complex is being built near ours. It’s called the Centum River SK View Apartments. A viewing center is set up across from our apartment and we took a few pictures to give you a look at the newest apartments being built in Korea.
Centum River SK View
laundry off Master bedroom
walk in closet
artificial outside view
Mo in the living room
model of Centum River SK View
Now for a review of the places we’ve lived since being here. First stop was Chung-li, Masan, South Korea:
Me on Money Island
Sunrise on Geoje Island January 1, 2002
hiking near our apartment
Our little TV
kitchen looking at living room and bedroom
Us on the roof balcony at our friends in Changwon
Then we had a stint in Busan, Korea in 2003. We attended a Korean course and stayed in the Romance Motel. We lived here for 4 months. Yikes! No cooking facilities. Actually the people who owned this motel became like our older brother and sister (Oh Ba, Noona). We had another 7 months stint here in 2006 and 2 months in 2010.
In 2005 we moved to Jang yu in Kimhae City. Here’s some pictures from there:
Last but not least is where we’re living now. We lived here for a year in 2007 and then returned in 2010.
Looks a bit different now. There has been a lot of changes around the neighbourhood with the addition of Costco a block away and Centum City across the river. Our home is a little more lived in now too:
There’s a little walk through our apartments in Korea.