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Today in Korean history

All News 14:00 June 22, 2020

June 23

1965 -- The government exchanges an agreement with the United States in which Seoul pledges to send a combat division to Vietnam. The agreement was concluded after Winthrop Brown, then the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, requested the South Korean troop deployment in Vietnam in return for a yearlong military provision and a US$150 million loan for South Korea. The envoy said his government would shoulder all of the expenses for South Korean operations in the Vietnam War. The agreement, also called the "Brown Memorandum," paved the way for 312,000 Korean troops to go to Vietnam, where 5,000 of them died.

1973 -- President Park Chung-hee, previously an army general, announces a new unification policy. The June 23 announcement called for the nation to industrialize first and then seek reunification with communist North Korea. It also proposed that Pyongyang join the United Nations separately, which then North Korean leader Kim Il-sung denounced as an attempt to "consolidate" the division of the Korean peninsula.

2003 -- Michelle Wie, 13, a Korean-American living in Hawaii, wins the Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, becoming the youngest person ever to win a USGA (United States Golf Association) tournament.

2004 -- Kim Sun-il, a South Korean man taken hostage in Iraq, is found dead west of Baghdad. Arab satellite network Al Jazeera reported the previous day that Kim was executed by an armed insurgent group that kidnapped him weeks earlier. The insurgents demanded the South Korean government pull out its troops stationed in Iraq and withdraw its plan to send more. Kim, 33, an employee of a South Korean firm supplying food to the U.S. military, was found decapitated.

2005 -- South Korea agrees to allow North Korean commercial vessels to pass through the waters separating the peninsula with the South's southern island province of Jeju at the end of the 15th inter-Korean Cabinet-level talks in Seoul.

2007 -- The United States and North Korea agree to work together to reopen the stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear program in early July, as well as hold a foreign ministerial meeting at the start of August.

2008 -- South Korea decides to suspend its visa waiver agreement with Bangladesh in July after considering that most visitors who come under the program become illegal residents.

2009 -- A Seoul hospital removes a life support system for a 77-year-old woman who had been in a coma since February 2008, complying with a ruling by the country's highest court in favor of the patient's right to "die with dignity."

2009 -- The new 50,000 won banknote, worth about US$40, is released into circulation across the nation. It was the first issuance of new paper currency since 1973, when the 10,000 won note was introduced.

2011 -- A Seoul court orders compensation for the families of two young Samsung Electronics Co. employees who died of leukemia, recognizing for the first time a link between the illness and working on a computer chip-making line.

2013 -- Historic sites in North Korea's ancient city of Kaesong are added to the world heritage list of UNESCO during the 37th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

2018 -- Former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil, one of South Korea's most influential politicians in the 1980s and 1990s, dies at the age of 92.
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