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Today in Korean history

All News 14:00 February 07, 2020

Feb. 8

1919 -- A group of Korean students in Japan denounces the Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula and holds a ceremony at the YMCA building in Tokyo to declare Korea's independence. Korea was occupied as a colony by Japan from 1910 to 1945.

1944 -- Japanese colonial authorities in Korea begin conscripting Korean laborers for work in mines and factories overseas.

1961 -- South Korea and the United States sign an economic cooperation pact.

1985 -- Opposition leader Kim Dae-jung returns to South Korea after spending 27 months in the United States, purportedly to receive health treatment.

Kim later served as president from 1998-2003. In 2000, he held the first-ever inter-Korean summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and won the Novel Peace Prize for his efforts to reconcile with North Korea and facilitate democracy in South Korea. He died in August 2009 at age 85 following a prolonged battle with pneumonia.

1987 -- North Korean defector Kim Man-chul and his family arrive in South Korea after fleeing the communist country.

1990 -- As many as 120 Korean workers who were sent to Russia's Sakhalin Island during the Japanese colonial period return home for the first time in 50 years.

2005 -- The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan agree to work closely with the United States to jump-start the stalled six-party talks aimed at ending the North Korean nuclear weapons development standoff.

2018 -- A North Korean art troupe performs in South Korea for the first time in 16 years, in a rare occasion arranged amid a peace mood between the divided Koreas to celebrate Seoul's hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the namesake city on the eastern coast.

The 140-member strong Samjiyon Orchestra led by Hyon Song-wol, head of the all-female Moranbong Band, held the concert before hundreds of South Koreans in the sub-host city of Gangneung. The art troupe also performed in Seoul three days later.

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