7 Things Might Not Know About Korea's History

By Koreaboo

There are tons of historical dramas out there that outline parts of the history of Korea, but did you know these facts about Korean history?

  • The name 'Korea' dates back to 918 AD

    Korea was an English translation of 'Goryeo', the ruling dynasty in 918 AD. Goryeo, in turn, was named by Taejo Wang Geon, who succeeded Goguryeo.

  • Heated floors were invented in Korea

    Called ondol, these heated floors were powered by a firebox under stone floors, and even had chimneys for exhaust. And we all thought this was some miraculous modern luxury.

  • Korea was annexed by Japan

    Korea was an annex of Japan from 1910-45, the end of WWII. That's when the Soviet Union took over what's now North Korea & the US took over what's now South Korea, leading to the Korean War.

  • The Korean language was written in Chinese

    In 1443, Sejong the great commissioned a simplified, phonetic writing system to help with literacy in Korea, resulting in the alphabet we all know and love today.

  • The Korean War is still ongoing

    While there hasn't been fighting for decades, the combatants have never signed a peace treaty, only an armistice agreement, which North Korea ended in 2013.

  • Gwanggaeto was, literally, ironic

    A young king who ruled Korea in 391 CE, Gwanggaeto designated himself Supreme King Yeongnak (which means "Eternal Peace"), then immediately went to war, eventually conquering and uniting Korea.

  • Movable type printing was invented in Korea

    The Korean printing press typed first in ceramic, then metal, and was invented in 1234. The first book printed in this manner was also in 1234, long before Gutenburg's press in 1450.