Today in Korean history (Aug. 11)
Aug 11, 2017
•661 -- China's Tang Dynasty (618-907) launches another series of attacks against Pyongyang, the capital of the kingdom of Goguryeo, established in 37 B.C., and incorporating territory of what is now North Korea and northeastern China.
Tang forces, under the leadership of Su Dingfang, besieged Goguryeo's capital in the winter of that year. While previous attempts to destroy Goguryeo failed at the border, food and strategic assistance from the southern kingdom of Silla allowed Tang forces to reach the capital city.
Known as the Three Kingdoms period, the Korean Peninsula during this era was divided into Goguryeo in the north, Silla in the southeast and Baekje in the southwest.
In an effort to unify the peninsula and to aggrandize its territory, Silla formed an alliance with the Tang Dynasty, destroying Goguryeo and bringing an end to its 770-year history.
Goguryeo's cultural legacy was later adopted by the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392), which succeeded Silla as the peninsula's ruler and took its name from the ancient kingdom.
•1903 -- The Joseon Dynasty signs a trade agreement with Denmark.
•1980 -- Legendary swimmer Cho Oh-ryun, who won four gold medals in the Asian Games in the 1970s, swims across the strait between the South Korean port city of Busan and the Japanese island of Tsushima.
•1992 -- The nation's first satellite, Wooribyeol I, blasts off from French Guiana, opening Korea's space age. The satellite was used to conduct scientific experiments, such as taking photographs of the Earth's surface and broadcasting a Korean program.
•2014 -- South Korea offers to hold high-level talks with North Korea on Aug. 19 to discuss the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and other issues of "mutual concern."
•2016 -- Prosecutors summon head of the South Korean unit of German carmaker Volkswagen on charges of getting involved in the fabrication of reports on noise level, fuel efficiency and emissions results to obtain approval from the local authorities. The move came about a weak after the environment ministry banned sales and revoked certifications of 80 vehicle models of the carmaker and also slapped it with fines of 17.8 billion won (US$16 million).