Today in Korean history (April 20)
Apr 20, 2017
•1906 -- The Korean Empire, as the country was called in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, starts construction of its first paved road, called "sinjangno" (newly built road), over the 30 kilometers between Jeonju and Gunsan, South Jeolla Province. The new road replaced twisting rural byways.
•1907 -- The Korean government secretly sends a delegation to the Hague Conference of nations to declare the illegitimacy of its 1905 treaty with Japan that deprived Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty. The treaty was promoted by Japan as a voluntary agreement between the two countries to unite their diplomatic leaderships. The three Korean emissaries were initially prevented from entering the meeting place because of objections from Japanese and British delegations. They later made a speech at the meeting with the help of a Dutch newspaper but failed to draw much attention.
Lee Jun, one of the emissaries, later committed suicide by disembowelment in an appeal to the international society to pay attention to Korea's situation.
•1949 -- John J. Muccio, the first U.S. ambassador to South Korea, takes office in Seoul.
•1962 -- South Korea opens diplomatic relations with Burkina Faso.
•1965 -- South Korea opens diplomatic relations with Venezuela.
•1978 -- A Korean Air passenger flight is forced by the Soviet Union's air force to land on a frozen lake in Murmansk, near the Arctic Circle, after deviating from its flight path. Two people were killed and 13 injured in the emergency landing.
•1981 -- The National Assembly holds its first ceremony to celebrate the day of the physically challenged.
•1985 -- Seoul's fourth subway line starts operations.
•1997 -- Hwang Jang-yop, a former aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, arrives in Seoul from the Philippines. He had defected from North Korea earlier in the year and stayed in Beijing before coming to Seoul.
•2009 -- A Seoul court acquits a controversial online South Korean pundit known by his Internet alias "Minerva." He was indicted on charges of spreading misleading information on the country's monetary policy.
•2011 -- South Korea's government and ruling Grand National Party agree to launch a presidential body to coordinate different nuclear agencies to prepare nuclear energy policies and handle emergency situations.
•2012 -- President Lee Myung-bak urges North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to give up the collective farm system and privatize state-owned agricultural land to help enrich the North and its residents.