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Today in Korean history

North Korea 14:00 May 25, 2023

May 26

1898 -- Korea opens three ports to foreign trade. People and goods from overseas begin to stream into the country through Masan, Gunsan and Hamheung.

1952 -- Around 50 opposition lawmakers are arrested by military police after they refused to support President Rhee Syng-man's proposal to introduce a referendum for a presidential election. Rhee saw little chance of reelection by the parliament, two-thirds of which was controlled by independents.

1961 -- The United Nations takes back operational control of South Korea's military following a coup led by Park Chung-hee. The country had regained control of its military from the U.N. after the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

1978 -- Construction of a large petrochemical complex is completed in Yeocheon, 316 kilometers south of Seoul.

1992 -- Kim Dae-jung, then co-chairman of the opposition Millennium Democratic Party, is named the party's candidate for the presidential election in December of that year. Kim lost to ruling party candidate Kim Young-sam but won the next election in 1997.

1995 -- North Korea publicly acknowledges its chronic food shortages and asks Japan for rice aid.

1999 -- A South Korean-made satellite, KITSAT-3, is successfully launched into orbit from the Sriharikota Range in Madras, India.

2002 -- Veteran director Im Kwon-taek wins the Best Director award at the Cannes International Film Festival for "Chihwaseon," the story of an eminent Korean painter in the late 19th century. Im became the first Korean to win the prize.

2004 -- General-grade officers of the two Koreas hold talks on measures aimed at avoiding accidental naval clashes along the disputed western maritime border.

2008 -- High-level government officials from South Korea and over 20 resource-rich Arab countries pledge to increase cooperation in energy and other areas amid rising global oil prices.

2009 -- South Korea decides to fully participate in the U.S.-led campaign aimed at curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and related materials.

2014 -- South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agree to strengthen cooperation in curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Wang was in Seoul for a two-day visit to discuss the North's nuclear problem and the timing of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to South Korea.

2015 -- Cheil Industries Inc. and Samsung C&T Corp. -- two key affiliates of South Korea's top conglomerate, Samsung Group -- announce they are planning to merge by the end of August, the latest in a series of business portfolio reshuffles to speed up the group's leadership change.

2018 -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hold a surprise second summit, announced after the fact by Moon's office. It was seen as a move to convince Kim to hold his scheduled summit talks with U.S. President Donald Trump over denuclearization, after Trump called it off, citing what he said was the North's open hostility toward the United States.

The two-hour meeting took place at Tongil-gak on the North Korean side of the truce village Panmunjom. Pyongyang announced the next day its leader would go to Singapore to meet Trump and that the two Koreas would have another round of high-level talks ahead of the Kim-Trump summit.

2019 -- South Korean director Bong Joon-ho wins the highest honor at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival for his black comedy movie "Parasite." Bong became the first South Korean director to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Another director, Park Chan-wook, was awarded the Grand Prix, the second-highest prize at the festival, for his thriller "Old Boy" in 2004.

2022 -- The Supreme Court finalizes a 1 1/2-year prison term for Seungri, the disgraced former member of K-pop boy band BIGBANG, on prostitution mediation, overseas gambling and other charges.

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