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Their spoken language, Korean, is a Uralic language with similarities to Japanese, Mongolian, Hungarian, and Finnish.In its 5,000-year history, Korea has suffered over 900 invasions from outside peoples.

Still, the country was left in tatters from the war.

Korea suffered more attacks in 16, this time at the hands of the Manchus, who later conquered China.

Known to its people as Choson (Land of Morning Calm), Korea occupies a mountainous peninsula in eastern Asia.

Stretching southward from Manchuria and Siberia for close to 600 miles (966 kilometers), it extends down to the Korea Strait.

This struggle eventually led to the fall of Koryo in 1392, when General Yi Song-Gye revolted against the king and founded the Yi dynasty.

In control until the early twentieth century, it proved to be Korea's longest reigning dynasty and one of the most enduring regimes in history.

China lies to Korea's west, separated from the peninsula by the Yellow Sea.

Japan lies to its east on the other side of the Sea of Japan.

Together they are racially and linguistically homogeneous.

They are the ethnic descendants of a Tungusic branch of the Ural-Altaic family.

The most advanced of these, Old Choson, was located in the basin of the Liao and Taedong rivers, where Pyongyang is situated today.

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