Korea is one of the most beautiful, fascinating, endlessly interesting countries in the world, and at the same time, a tragic one from the historic point of view. Its name originated from an old kingdom Koryo. Nowadays, the name "Korea" is not used by Koreans themselves. As a result of the national division since the armistice agreement in the Korean war (1950-1953) was signed, two separate states has emerged on the Korean peninsula, based on different political, social and economic systems. Different but having much in common. 

In the North, people call their own state Choson, and in the South, the name of the country is totally different, and it sounds like Hangook, called so by an old family name Han. Three clans of Han family lived on the southern part of the peninsula in the ancient times, giving the modern name to the Republic of Korea.

As for Choson, so was called the first Korean state, which later was given the name Old Choson or Kochoson. The name Choson is actually Chinese, as it had been used in old chronicles and was written with two Chinese hieroglyphs:  "morning" and 鮮 "freshness". That is why Korea is also widely known as "The Land of the Morning Calm". 

It is not clear how the Korean ancestors used to call their land in their own language because at that time they hadn't have a national writing system based on phonetics. Instead, they used Chinese characters for writing and borrowed many words, including the name of their own country. Some historians believe that the name Choson is a calque for the ancient Korean name Asadal which meant "morning land" or the place where morning comes first. 

Most of the Korean territory is covered with mountains. Some are famous for its beauty, including Kumgang, Myohyang, Chilbo and Sorak Mountains. The most sacred mountain Baekdu (Paektu) is divided by a borderline between North Korea and China. Island Jeju known as Quelpart in the past now represent the only island province on the peninsula. Jeju is famous for its volcano crater Hallasan, honeymoon hotels and sweetest tangerines. To learn about Korea in details follow the directory of this site.  

This site is created by an old journalist and expert in Korean affairs Ivan Zakharchenko to share his experience and knowledge with those who is interested in Korea. The content is based on personal observations of the author, as well as the information from the press, books and talks with people in Korea and from abroad. The site is under development and is supposed to be updated with new information. The accent is made not on what makes the two separated parts of Korea different, but what they have in common and what makes them one nation. Hope it will be useful and interesting.