June 25 marks the fifty-fifth anniversary of the eruption of war in Korea. That war ended in 1953 in a hostile truce between the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the democratic Republic of Korea (South Korea). There's been improvement in relations between the two countries within the last five years, but North Korea grabbed headlines early this year when it declared itself a nuclear power.
"Once unified, Korea has been divided for more than five decades -- first by the victors of World War II, then by a three-year war that left a scar known as the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, across the peninsula at the 38th parallel." This comprehensive CNN Special includes features on both South and North Korea, a look back at the Korean War and fabulous educational interactive features. My favorite is the click-and-drag Geography Game. Can you correctly arrange Korea's neighbors on a map?
Created as companion site to the Australian text book "Inside King Sejong's Gate," Korea for Kids offers three interactive activities. The Counting Quiz ("Test your knowledge of Korean numbers 1-10"), the Word Quiz ("Test your knowledge of some Korean words" and (my favorite) the Virtual Journey. "If we traveled by plane from Australia it would take about ten hours to reach South Korea or the Republic of Korea (its official name). So don't be impatient if the computer seems slow. It's still much quicker than taking the actual flight! Just imagine that we've been watching an in-flight movie and eating three airline meals."
I chose this Online News Hour site because it not only presents the current North Korean nuclear situation, but also provides the history leading up to it. Best clicks are found in the Additional Features menu on the right-hand side: an interactive map, Historical Overview, The Demilitarized Zone, Relations with U.S., and Nuclear Program. For news written specifically for kids (along with lesson plans for teachers) mouse over to NewsHourExtra for "World Meets to Assess Spread of Nuclear Weapons").
Today South Korea is as modern as the U.S., Europe or Japan. "But Korea has retained a unique identity through its own traditional culture, its language, and its wonderful cuisine." Visit this PBS site for the sumptuous photos and to sample Korean history, geography, religion, food and culture. My favorite section is Culture, which explains the influence of Confucius, and looks at the role of Korean women.
"Korea is a beautiful county with a history of over 5,000 years. It is hard as an American to comprehend a culture that has lasted that long when our history as a country only goes back a few hundred years." This reference site (created by the Granite School District of Salt Lake City) is a great introduction to South Korea, and a good starting place for researching school reports. The site is divided into sections on History, Geography, Religion, Economics, Seoul "Modern Capital of Korea" and Kyongju "Ancient Silla Kingdom Capital."
June 25 marks the fifty-fifth anniversary of the eruption of war in Korea. That war ended in 1953 in a hostile truce between the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the democratic Republic of Korea (South Korea). There's been improvement in relations between the two countries within the last five years, but North Korea grabbed headlines early this year when it declared itself a nuclear power.\n