Korea. Lonely Planet Guide (published in June 2004).
2333 BC: first mention of Gojoseon (in Korean, the 'The Land of the Morning Calm') in Chinese chronicles.
From 57 BC to 668 AD: the so-called 'Three Kingdoms' period, Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. Starting in 668, the country became progressively unified, under the aegis of the kingdom of Silla.
918: foundation of the Goryeo dynasty, which would give its name to Korea. It lasted until 1392, when it was succeeded by the Joseon dynasty. Theoretically independent, the kingdom actually remained in the Chinese sphere of influence for nearly a millennium.
1592: first invasion of Korea by Japan (repelled by General Yi Sun-chin, a national hero).
1636: Manchu invasion.
18th century: eruption of the Christian doctrine in Korea.
1905: at the end of the Russo-Japanese war, under a treaty, Korea becomes a Japanese protectorate.
29 August 1910: annexation of Korea by Japan. For 35 years, the country was literally wiped off the map.
1945: military defeat of Japan. The country resurges but is divided into two rival states (the North, under Marxist Russia, and the South, under American rule) partitioned along the 38th parallel.
25 June 1950: North Korean troops cross the 38th parallel. The start of the Korean War, where East and West fight on Korean soil.
27 July 1953: the armistice is signed. However, the status quo doesn't change, with the peninsula divided into two entities on either side of the 38th parallel.
8 July 1994: the death of President Kim Il Sung. Kim Jong-il succeeds him.
17 December 2011: Kim Jong-il dies. His eldest son, Kim Jong-un and less than 30 years of age, succeeds him.