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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 December 22, 2020

Dec. 23

1963 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic ties with Ethiopia. The African country was among 16 countries that sent forces under the United Nations banner to fight in the 1950-53 Korean War. The country forges diplomatic relations with North Korea 12 years later.

1972 -- President Park Chung-hee is re-elected to another four-year term by his hand-picked electoral college. A few months earlier, Park, a former Army general who seized power in the 1961 coup, had declared martial law and adopted the "yushin" (revitalizing reform) constitution, which critics said was intended to perpetuate his dictatorial rule. Park is assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979.

1999 -- U.S.-based investment fund Newbridge Capital acquires a controlling stake in Korea First Bank, which was weighed down by non-performing loans in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian financial meltdown. Newbridge's takeover of Korea First Bank heralds a flurry of sales of insolvent firms to foreign investors.

2004 -- South Korea reports an outbreak of a mild strain of avian influenza at a duck farm in the southwestern part of the country. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says DNA tests find that ducks at the farm in Gwangju, about 330 kilometers south of Seoul, are infected with the low-pathogenic H5N2 virus.

2005 -- An internal panel of Seoul National University says that stem cell expert Hwang Woo-suk fabricated the results of his research, calling it "damaging to the foundation of science."

2015 -- The Constitutional Court rejects a petition by the family of a Korean victim of Japan's wartime forced labor seeking an adjudication on the constitutionality of the 1965 treaty signed between Seoul and Tokyo to settle all reparation issues during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

The highest court ruled that the constitutionality of the bilateral agreement would not impact the separate legal case the petitioner was involved in, and therefore the petition lacked grounds for review by the court.

2017 -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously passes toughened sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, including further restrictions on its imports of oil, condemning the North's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 9 of the same year.

2019 -- South Korea brings in its first RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk advanced high-altitude unmanned aircraft in a move expected to boost the country's surveillance capabilities against North Korea. Under a 2011 deal with the United States, the country bought four units.

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