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June 25 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the eruption of war in Korea. That war ended in 1956 in a very hostile truce between sworn enemies. Yet it not just this significant anniversary that is putting Korea in today’s headlines. This month North Korea (a Communist dictatorship) and South Korea (a capitalist democracy) are scheduled to sit down to talk about their future. Will Korea be re-united? Learn more the countries in today’s headlines in these five Korea sites.
CNN: Korea at Fifty
“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?
Korea for Kids
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”
This brightly colored site, designed for all ages, is my pick of the day. Korea Kidsight covers Korean culture, including Traditional Houses, Korean Folk Tales, Traditional Costumes, Food and Holidays. All pages are well-written and beautifully illustrated, so it is very difficult to choose the very best clicks. But don’t miss the tale of The Sun and the Moon (“Once upon a time, there was a brother and a sister who lived with their mother in an isolated house deep in the mountains.”) and the games.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
“Begun in the shadow of World War II, waged in a faraway land, and concluded not with the enemy’s surrender but with a negotiated armistice, the Korean War gave most Americans little to remember and much to forget. But for the 1.5 million U.S. men and women who served there and the families and friends of those who did not return, the Korean War could never be The Forgotten War.”
“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.”