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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 February 15, 2020

Feb. 16

1942 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is born. He took power after his father Kim Il-sung, founder of the communist country, died in 1994.

1945 -- Poet Yoon Dong-ju dies in a prison in Japan at the age of 29. Born in Manchuria, northeastern China, he studied in Pyongyang and Seoul before moving to Japan for further education. Japanese police arrested him as a "thought criminal" pursuing an anti-government drive. Serving his two-year jail term in a Fukuoka prison, Yoon died from harsh treatment and was buried at a churchyard in his home in Manchuria. He wrote many touching poems mirroring a young man's struggle to keep awake in the dark times of Japanese colonization over Korea, which was posthumously published in Seoul in 1948 in the poetry book, "Sky, Wind, Star and Poems."

1950 -- South Korea's first president, Rhee Syng-man, visits Japan on an invitation from U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.

1958 -- A South Korean airplane heading from Busan to Seoul is hijacked to North Korea.

2004 -- South Korea's National Assembly ratifies the South Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

2007 -- South Korea finalizes a plan to purchase 20 "next-generation" fighter jets within the next several years, at a cost of around 2.3 trillion won (US$2.4 billion), according to defense ministry sources.

2009 -- Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, South Korea's first Roman Catholic cardinal and an active supporter of the underprivileged, dies at the age of 86.

2010 -- South Korea's Mo Tae-bum pulls off a stunning victory in the 500 meter speed skating event in his Olympic debut, earning the country its first ever gold medal in the speed skating event.

2012 -- In an unexpected move, South Korean Ambassador to the United States Han Duck-soo offers to step down after serving for three years.

2016 -- A senior Chinese official says China is opposed to the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea and hopes the allies will act prudently on the matter.

2018 -- South Korea's Yun Sung-bin wins the gold medal in the men's skeleton event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
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