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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 December 15, 2020

Dec. 16

1947 -- North Korea implements its first currency reforms in an effort to strengthen its economic system, separate from that of the Soviet Union, and to prevent the inflow of the South Korean currency.

The country had used four kinds of bills issued by the Soviet military command since it regained its sovereignty from Japan in 1945. North Korea has conducted four currency modifications, most recently in 1992, when a picture of the house where the nation's founder Kim Il-sung was born and various natural scenes were added to the back of new bills.

1977 -- The National Assembly passes a bill confirming the country's territorial sea border that stretches 12 nautical miles.

1982 -- The government allows Kim Dae-jung, then an opposition leader who was sentenced to death on sedition charges, to travel to the United States for medical treatment.

1987 -- Roh Tae-woo, a candidate of the ruling Democratic Justice Party, wins the 13th presidential election.

1994 -- The National Assembly ratifies a bill on South Korea's bid to accede to the World Trade Organization.

1996 -- A high court sentences former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo to life imprisonment and 17 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in a 1979 coup that installed Chun in power in 1980. Chun served as president until February 1988 before being succeeded by Roh, who served in office for five years. The two former generals were later released following a special presidential pardon.

1997 -- South Korea removes the daily fluctuation band of dollar-won transactions, paving the way for further liberalization of foreign exchange deals.

2010 -- The Seoul High Court upholds a lower court's ruling for disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, on charges of getting state funds based on fabricated research results and violating bioethics laws.

Hwang, a former veterinary professor at Seoul National University, had claimed major breakthroughs in stem cell research in 2005 in a paper he and his colleagues published in the journal Science, saying they had created the world's first cloned human embryos.

He and his team, however, were later found to have fabricated research results, and Hwang was indicted on multiple charges, including fraud and embezzlement.

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