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Today in Korean history

All News 14:00 February 19, 2020

Feb. 20

1920 -- The Korean Aviation School opens in Willows, California. Established by a group of Korean independence activists, the school produced pilots who fought against the Japanese colonial regime that ruled the country from 1910 to 1945.

1963 -- Students from the nation's first ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) class are commissioned as second lieutenants. The class consisted of 1,769 students.

1965 -- The Treaty on Basic Relations Between the Republic of Korea and Japan is initialed, establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. The pact also nullified all agreements made before 1910, when Korea became a Japanese colony. Many Koreans opposed the pact because it did not contain an apology from Japan for its colonial occupation.

1996 -- South Korea and Japan announce an agreement to establish a 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, a fishing quota in each other's EEZs and a restriction on the number of vessels allowed to operate in those areas.

2002 -- South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and his American counterpart George W. Bush visit Dorasan Station, the northernmost train stop in the country, located near the border with North Korea. The visit, intended to show the two nation's strong alliance and urge the North to move toward reform and openness, took place right after talks between the two leaders.

2003 -- A North Korean fighter enters South Korean airspace over the West Sea and retreats a few minutes later after being intercepted by southern fighters. A transport plane from the North had briefly entered southern airspace two decades earlier in 1983.

2005 -- The South Korean foreign ministry calls in China's ambassador to express regret over Beijing's repatriation to North Korea of a former South Korean soldier taken prisoner during the 1950-53 Korean War.

2006 -- Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung decides to postpone his planned trip to North Korea until after local elections in late May, apparently as a result of claims from the main opposition party that he is trying to influence the elections.

2009 -- Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, South Korea's first Roman Catholic cardinal and a tireless champion of democracy and human rights during Korea's oppressive military dictatorships, is buried at a Catholic cemetery.
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