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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 10:12 January 12, 2021

Jan. 13

1903 -- A group of more than 100 Koreans lands in Honolulu, Hawaii, after traveling across the Pacific Ocean on the S.S. Gaelic, marking the first wave of Korean emigration to the United States.

1969 -- Samsung Electric Industries Co., now Samsung Electronics Co., is founded in the city of Daegu and begins manufacturing electronic appliances, such as TVs, calculators, refrigerators, air conditioners and washers. Samsung Electronics eventually became South Korea's largest company and the world's leading computer memory chipmaker.

2000 -- Park Tae-joon takes office as South Korea's 32nd prime minister. The founder and honorary chairman of the steelmaking giant POSCO died of lung complications at the age of 84 in December 2011.

2006 -- South Korea agrees with the United States to resume imports of American beef without bones. The agreement lifts a U.S. beef import ban put in place in December 2003, when an outbreak of mad cow disease was reported in the U.S.

2007 -- Nine South Koreans kidnapped by Nigerian insurgents are released and officially handed over to South Korean authorities in the African country. The nine employees of South Korean builder Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. were abducted a week earlier when a group of unidentified insurgents stormed their sleeping quarters at a gas pipeline construction site in the southern state of Bayelsa.

2009 -- North Korea releases a Japanese drug smuggling suspect after five years in captivity in what appears to be a move to preserve relations with Japan. Yoshiaki Sawada, a former department director of Enterprise Co., Ltd, of Japan was arrested in North Korea in October 2003.

2012 -- South Korea's state election watchdog decides to allow candidates to use Twitter and other social networking sites for their election campaigns year-round. The decision by the National Election Commission (NEC) came after the Constitutional Court ruled that using such online and mobile media to reach out to voters "fits into the election law that seeks fair opportunity, transparency and low-cost campaigns."

2018 -- South Korea agrees to hold working-level talks with North Korea over the latter's plan to send an art troupe to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, held from Feb. 9-Feb. 25, the same year. The talks, held two days later at Panmunjeom, led to a series of exchanges between the divided Koreas, which were eventually followed by the historic first summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27.

2020 -- South Korea's National Assembly passes a revision to the criminal procedure act that includes a provision allowing police to close probes without prosecution approval. The legislative move resulted from President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledges to reform the prosecution service and set up an independent body to probe corruption by high-ranking public officials.
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