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Korea is below Russia, to the west of Japan, and to the east of China. It has been heavily influenced by Chinese & Japanese culture, especially during its Japanese occupation.
Its during this time that the more widely known Korean martial arts were forcefully eradicated by the Japanese government, and the Japanese martial arts system was put in place.
During its occupation, Korean citizens were forced to take Japanese surnames and were forbidden from keeping any relics of Korea's past.
After Japan's defeat in World War II, the USSR & the United States expressed interest in the disarming the Japanese troops in that region. The USSR disarmed the Japanese troops stationed in the Northern part of the peninsula, and the US took the southern part. Due to differences in ideology between the USSR & the US, two different sets of governments was established. Korea was divided into 2 distinct countries on the 38th parallel, thus North Korea and South Korea was born.
With no more restrictions placed on Korean arts by their occupiers, Korea began to re-establish what they had lost. Taekwondo & Hapkido eventually became the countries national sport, but their ranking systems and initial move sets were heavily influenced by Japanese Karate & Judo. Eventually these martial arts established their own identity upon the world.
Several years later, South Korea was invaded by North Korean forces resulting in a bloody & long war. With millions of civilians being slaughtered, and the South Korean government loosing ground each day as the two armies fought, the United States decided to help the south. With the aide of the US forces, South Korea was close to overtaking the entire Korean Peninsula.
With the North Korean/USSR troops loosing ground, China knew that loosing a major communist territory to democracy would not bode well for communism on a global scale, so China decided to act.
Chinese troops poured into the country and quickly pushed back the North K/American coalition troops back towards the originally established border on the 38th parallel.
The two massive armies fought to a brutal stand still with massive losses to borth sides, until eventually it was decided to sign a ceasefire agreement. Tension on the 38th parrellel still runs high as North & South Korean, and US troops are still stationed there ensuring no one makes a hostile move.