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Today in Korean history

Politics 14:00 August 23, 2019

Aug. 24

1945 -- A Japanese ship on its way to Korea's southern port of Busan from Japan, carrying 3,725 Koreans, explodes. The Ukishima-Maru was returning Koreans who had been forced to leave home and work in Japan during the 1910-45 colonial era. The incident happened a little more than a week after Japan announced it would give up any rights to Korea following its defeat in World War II.

More than 500 people died in the explosion, which survivors said was caused by a bomb. A statement from the Japanese government claimed the ship sank when it accidentally hit a mine. South and North Korean civic groups demand that the Japanese government take responsibility for the incident, saying it was premeditated.

1973 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic ties with Finland.

1976 -- The Ministry of Education begins to authorize government-designated textbooks in junior high schools.

1985 -- A Chinese light bomber makes an emergency landing in Iri, or present-day Iksan, North Jeolla Province.

1992 -- South Korea severs diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establishes relations with China.

2001 -- Shim Je-ryoon, former head of the Daegu High Public Prosecutors Office, is reinstated after a Supreme Court ruling. He was deprived of his post in 1999 after openly demanding the resignation of the prosecutor general at that time.

2003 -- At the Daegu Summer Universiade, North Korean reporters clash with a group of protesters demanding Pyongyang improve its human rights record. Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor noted for his efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the North, is pushed to the ground and taken to a nearby hospital. A North Korean reporter suffered a finger injury and had his shirt ripped during the confrontation.

2005 -- The sixth inter-Korean Red Cross talks open for a three-day run at Mount Kumkang, a tourist resort on the North's east coast. The two sides agreed to hold more reunions of separated families via a high-tech video connection but failed to narrow differences on the issue of confirming the fate of South Korean prisoners of war and civilians abducted by Pyongyang after the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

2011 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il holds rare talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an eastern Siberia city to discuss how to revive long-stalled talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

2016 -- North Korea test-fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile in waters off its east coast.

2018 -- A Seoul appellate court increases the sentence for former President Park Geun-hye by one year in a massive corruption case that led to her removal from office. The Seoul High Court sentenced Park, 66, to 25 years in prison and ordered her to pay a 20 billion-won fine.

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