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Korea History Trivia Quizzes

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6 Korea History quizzes and 65 Korea History trivia questions.
  Tales of the Royal Library 2   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Royal Library of Alexandria is one of the most famous in the history of the world. Did you know, however, that a dynastic kingdom in Korea also established a Royal Library? Come and learn about the Kyujanggak!
Average, 10 Qns, ponycargirl, Aug 15 17
ponycargirl editor
Aug 15 17
242 plays
  The Korean Demilitarized Zone    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz starts with a few questions on Korean history to help lay the foundation of why the DMZ was created in the first place. It then goes into specifics about the DMZ itself.
Average, 10 Qns, BigTriviaDawg, Jan 07 20
BigTriviaDawg gold member
Jan 07 20
173 plays
  Seoul - A History   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Seoul is the capital of and largest city in South Korea. Seen as a rising city both economically and culturally, Seoul is steadily moving up on the list of the world's richest, most populous and most visited cities in the world.
Average, 10 Qns, Joepetz, Dec 30 14
Joepetz gold member
384 plays
  Korean History: From 1876 Onwards    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz covers the history of modern Korea, with more focus on the ROK than the DPRK and no questions on the Korean War of 1950-53 (which is already honored with several quizzes in the "War History" category).
Tough, 10 Qns, Guiguzi, May 19 14
324 plays
  Korean History: Antiquity to 1875    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Korea has a long history and deserves some quizzes that are more representative. Here is the first of two.
Average, 10 Qns, Guiguzi, Feb 21 12
373 plays
  Korea, a Nation Divided    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
This quiz is based upon the excellent article in the July 2003 issue of the "National Geographic". All answers can be found in the article, but no cheating, please!
Difficult, 15 Qns, doomed, Dec 03 14
992 plays
trivia question Quick Question
In 2004, which South Korean city did the government propose moving the capital to in order to slow the growth and crowdedness of Seoul?

From Quiz "Seoul - A History"

Related Topics
  Korea [Geography] (14 quizzes)

  Korean War [History] (8 quizzes)

  Korean Music [Music] (6 quizzes)

  Mixed Korea [General] (4 quizzes)

  Korean Language [World] (9 quizzes)

  Korean Foods [Hobbies] (6 quizzes)

Korea History Trivia Questions

1. Until the end of the 19th century, the Joseon Korean dynasty had resisted contact with the outside world, in particular, the West. As a result, which nickname did western writers give the Korean people?

From Quiz
The Korean Demilitarized Zone

Answer: Hermit Kingdom

In 1882 William Elliot Griffis first used the term "The Hermit Nation" to describe Korea. The Joseon dynasty was in control of the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1897, and their resistance to the outside world led to the Korean dynasty being called the Hermit Kingdom. Eventually, a client kingdom was established with the Qing Dynasty in China where China provided protection and Korea provided tribute, but the Korean king still had some autonomy to run his own country. However, as the Qing started to weaken towards the end of the 19th century, and the Japanese started to gain more power in the area, the Korean peninsula became more of a region of tension between Japan and China. The internal repressiveness of the Joseon Dynasty also caused further unrest with the Korean people resulting in a peasant uprising.

2. During which Korean dynasty was the Kyujanggak, or Royal Library, built in 1776?

From Quiz Tales of the Royal Library 2

Answer: Joseon Dynasty

Ruling Korea for over five hundred years, the Joseon Dynasty was founded by Yi Seonggye in 1392. Known as the "hermit kingdom" due to isolationist policies formulated after the invasions by both the Japanese (1592-98) and the Manchus from China (1636), the Joseon Dynasty brought Korea to an age of advancement in culture, science, and technology. In 1897 the kingdom was renamed the Korean Empire, however, much of what is thought to be modern Korean culture originated with the Joseon Dynasty.

3. In 1876, Meiji Japan forced the Korean government to sign the Treaty of ______.

From Quiz Korean History: From 1876 Onwards

Answer: Kanghwa

Kanghwa is an island near Inchon. Having been treated to a strong dose of gunboat diplomacy by Commodore Perry a quarter century earlier, Japan now turned around and applied the same treatment to Korea by imposing a classic "unequal treaty" at gunpoint.

4. In 108 BC, Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty incorporated much of the Korean peninsula into the Chinese empire. What was the main administrative center that the Chinese established in Korea?

From Quiz Korean History: Antiquity to 1875

Answer: Lelang commandery

Lelang was the most important and longest lasting of the four Han commanderies established by Emperor Wu. The location of its headquarters is now part of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Lelang remained a center of Chinese influence in the Korean peninsula until it was annexed by Koguryo in the fourth century AD.

5. How long is the truce line that bisects the Korean peninsula, or in other words the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

From Quiz Korea, a Nation Divided

Answer: 148 miles

The DMZ runs from Ch'ogu in the East to Panmunjom in the West. The Panmunjom section is 'policed' by both North and South Korea and stand no more than 50 metres away from each other.

6. The Changdeokgung Palace was chosen to be the location for the Kyujanggak, or Royal Library. In which city, still important in South Korea today, was the palace located?

From Quiz Tales of the Royal Library 2

Answer: Seoul

Interestingly, the Changdeokgung Palace was burned to the ground twice - in 1592 and 1636; it was rebuilt and continued to be, however, one of the favorite residences of the rulers, who made every attempt to rebuild the structure according to the original plans. It contained government areas, such as official meeting rooms and offices for government officials, as well as private areas for the royal family. Today is occupies 110 acres in the city of Seoul, and is named Historical Site No. 122.

7. Seoul was officially founded in 18B.C. when the Baekje Kingdom began building one of its capitals in the area that is today called Seoul. What was the Baekje capital called at this time?

From Quiz Seoul - A History

Answer: Wiryeseong

Remnants of Wiryeseong can be found in and around Seoul. However, they are located on the South of the Han River while most of the other ancient Korean artifacts and locations are on the north. The Baekje lost control of Seoul as well as all of Korea in 392 to the Goguryeo and they lost the city to the Silla in 551. The Silla then renamed Wiryeseong as Hanyang.

8. The controversial late 19th-century Korean statesman Kim Ok-kyun is best described as ...?

From Quiz Korean History: From 1876 Onwards

Answer: a Japanese-backed reformer

Kim and other reformers attempted a coup d'etat in 1884, assassinating several conservative ministers and seizing the king. Their action was thwarted by Chinese troops who rescued the king after clashing with Japanese legation guards. Kim fled to exile in Japan, and was later killed by a fellow Korean during a visit to China in 1894.

9. What was the date of the armistice agreement that ended the three year Korean conflict?

From Quiz Korea, a Nation Divided

Answer: July 27th 1953

After driving the Japanese out of Korea at the end of the Second World War, the Americans and Russians created a division along the 38th parellel. A suprise attack on the South with the blessing of the Soviets came from the North on June 25th 1950 with tanks pushing to impose communist rule.

10. For which Korean art form was the Kyujanggak, or Royal Library, named?

From Quiz Tales of the Royal Library 2

Answer: Calligraphy

All of the choices listed are traditional forms of Korean art. However, the Kyujanggak was named for the works of calligraphy that were stored there, called the the "kyujang", or the "writings of Kyu". Kyu was a god taken from Chinese mythology, who was the god of examinations and also was the servant of the god of literature, Wen Chang. Eventually the term was associated with the writings of the king, who was believed to have been divinely inspired.

11. What is the English translation of Hanseong, the name Seoul took when it became the Korean capital in 1394?

From Quiz Seoul - A History

Answer: Fortress City on the Han

During the Joseon Period in the 1300s, Seoul was a walled city because tigers would often enter the city and roam around the streets. Today, most of the wall is gone but remnants of it are still in existence, mainly the gates which can be found around several downtown districts.

12. Who was the last monarch of Korea?

From Quiz Korean History: From 1876 Onwards

Answer: Sunjong

King Sunjong, also known as the Emperor Yunghui, lived from 1874 to 1926. He took the throne when the Japanese forced his father, King Kojong, to abdicate in 1907, and he was himself deposed by the Japanese when they annexed Korea in 1910.

13. Where was the medieval state of Parhae (or Balhae) located?

From Quiz Korean History: Antiquity to 1875

Answer: Manchuria and Northern Korea

Parhae (or Balhae) was founded by a former Koguryo general in 698. It survived until 926, when it was conquered by the Khitan and incorporated into their Liao state.

14. What was the estimated number of soldiers killed by the end of the Korean conflict?

From Quiz Korea, a Nation Divided

Answer: 900,000

Sources suggest a massive 900,000 soldiers from all sides died in combat in one form or another. The fighting came from the US led forces in South Korea who fought the North Korean forces backed by China. It became a war attrition and had become a standstill when the armistice was declared.

15. Seoul saw its first glimmer of becoming a major world city when Korea ceased its isolationism in the 19th century. With which foreign world power did Seoul benefit from the most?

From Quiz Seoul - A History

Answer: United States

The United States quickly became Korea's top trading partner. U.S. companies also jointly owned several Korean electric and water companies, helping Seoul to become the first city in the Orient to have electricity and running water.

16. When did the Chinese join the conflict?

From Quiz Korea, a Nation Divided

Answer: October 1950

The unexpected decision of China to enter the war early in October turned the tide of the war. The Northern units, consisting of Sino-Korean troops, sent the UN forces retreating again. On December 6, the Communist forces re-took Pyongyang. And by the end of December, they recrossed the parallel and re-took Seoul.

17. On the 27th of July 1953, the Korean War had a cease-fire with the signing of which document which also established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)?

From Quiz The Korean Demilitarized Zone

Answer: Korean Armistice Agreement

The Korean Armistice Agreement was between the United Nations Command, the Korean People's Army for North Korea and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. The Armistice was a cease-fire to allow the sides to draft a peace treaty that was supposed to be drafted soon after the Armistice was signed. However, a peace treaty still has not been reached and North and South Korea are still technically at war. Also, South Korea's president Rhee never signed the Armistice because he would not accept Korea as being divided. Rhee wanted to completely unify the peninsula behind himself but would be unable to do so without the support of the UN forces. Kim Il-Sung also did not want to sign an armistice, as he also wanted complete control of Korea. Il-Sung finally signed the Armistice as the Chinese and Soviets wanted the fighting to cease. Another provision in the Armistice was allowing the swapping of prisoners of war.

18. What was one of the original purposes of the Kyujanggak, or Royal Library, in Korea?

From Quiz Tales of the Royal Library 2

Answer: Preserve royal genealogies

The Kyujanggak, as a royal library, was built to house not only the writings of the dynasty, but also as a way to preserve the royal genealogy. In fact, there were so many artifacts to house in the Royal Library, that just six years later, the Outer Kyujanggak Library, which was called the Oegyujanggak, was built on Ganghwa-do Island in an ancient royal palace to take care of the overflow of materials. When the kingdom was renamed the Korean Empire in 1897, kings from the Joseon Dynasty continued to rule until 1910, when the kingdom was annexed by Japan. There are still, however, descendants of the dynasty living today. As can be imagined, a genealogy of people over such a long period of time is very lengthy!

19. In the early 1900s, Japan annexed the Korean peninsula and made it part of the Japanese Empire. What did the Japanese name Seoul while the city was under their control?

From Quiz Seoul - A History

Answer: Keijo

Keijo was run like other major Japanese cities of time, containing two wards and expanding outwards as it gobbled up smaller cities and towns. Korea remained under Japanese control until it was liberated in the aftermath of World War II.

20. Who was the founder of Korea's last royal dynasty?

From Quiz Korean History: Antiquity to 1875

Answer: Yi Song-gye

Yi Song-gye (1335-1408) was a Koryo general who seized power and established the Choson kingdom (Yi dynasty) in 1392. His descendants ruled Korea for more than 500 years.

21. How many times did the city of Seoul switch hands between North Korea and South Korea during the Korean War?

From Quiz Seoul - A History

Answer: Four times

Seoul nearly straddles the present-day border between the North and South and since it is an important city, its control was fought over incessantly. Once the war ended, over half of the city was destroyed, half of its people homeless and its population exploded with millions of refugees from the North.

22. What is the uniquely North Korean ideology developed by Kim Il-sung?

From Quiz Korean History: From 1876 Onwards

Answer: Juche & Chuch'e & Chuche

Juche is flavored with very strong ethnocentrism and traditional familial values enlisted in the service of the state. It's also very hard to define. Korea expert Bruce Cumings has this to say: "The more one seeks to understand Juche, the more the meaning recedes. It is a state of mind, not an idea, and one that is unavailable to the non-North Korean. It is the opaque core of what one could call North Korean national solipsism." (Cumings, "The Two Koreas," p. 56).

23. What was the greatest contribution to Korean culture made by King Sejong?

From Quiz Korean History: Antiquity to 1875

Answer: The Korean alphabet

King Sejong was born in 1397 and ruled Korea from 1418 until his death in 1450. He was an East Asian version of the "complete Renaissance man" and is credited with a great variety of reforms and inventions. By far the most important of these is the Korean phonetic alphabet (Hanggul). Before the fifteenth century, literate Koreans wrote in classical Chinese just as Chinese scholars did. King Sejong is also credited with the invention of metallic, movable type, but woodblock printing had originated in China centuries earlier and was already well known throughout East Asia.

24. What event took place on July 10th 1951 that started a two year long process to peace?

From Quiz Korea, a Nation Divided

Answer: Truce talks

Truce talks started but the battles carried on, many battles raged and famous scenes such as Bunker Hill and Bloody Ridge where tens of thousands of troops were killed or wounded took place.

25. In 1968 the "Bridge of No Return" within the Korean Demilitarized Zone was used for the last time for its main purpose. What function did the bridge serve?

From Quiz The Korean Demilitarized Zone

Answer: Prisoners of war used it to cross back home

The "Bridge of No Return" was set up by the Armistice agreement as a way for prisoners of war to decide if they wanted to stay on their captured side or cross the bridge back to their native side. The "No Return" part was due to the fact that once the prisoner of war crossed the bridge, they were never allowed to cross back over if they later changed their minds. The last POW crossed the bridge in 1968. A remarkable conflict happened in August of 1976 on the bridge when two American soldiers went to cut down a few branches that obscured their view. However, since their gardening caused them to cross the line they were shot and killed by the North Koreans. This is known as the Korean axe murder incident which launched Operation Paul Bunyan by the US forces where the whole offending tree was chopped down.

26. ROK President Park Chung-hee was assassinated on October 26, 1979. Who was responsible?

From Quiz Korean History: From 1876 Onwards

Answer: His own spy chief

Park and his bodyguard were dining with Kim Chae-gyu, director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, at a KCIA safe house in Seoul. An altercation broke out, and Kim shot and killed Park after putting his first bullet into the bodyguard.

27. What secret weapon did the Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin use to inflict repeated defeats on Japanese invaders in the 1590s?

From Quiz Korean History: Antiquity to 1875

Answer: turtle ship & turtle ships & turtle boat & turtle boats

These warships bristled with cannon and were roofed over. They thoroughly outclassed the vessels the "dwarf bandits" could deploy against them. Whether or not they were the world's first ironclad warships is still a matter of debate.

28. North Korea and South Korea both have a village inside the demilitarized zone within sight distance of each other. What is one thing unusual about Kijong-dong, the North Korean village?

From Quiz The Korean Demilitarized Zone

Answer: It has electric lights

While there are citizens who actually live in the South Korean village of Daeseong-dong within sight of North Korea, no one appears to live in the North Korean counterpart Kijong-dong. This makes the electric lights bizarre, as very few places in North Korea have electric lights outside of the capital city of Pyongyang. So lighting up a fake city is both creepy and odd indeed. When observed with a telephoto lens, it can be seen that there is actually no glass within the windows!

29. The collection at the the Kyujanggak, or Royal Library, housed the "Annals", or "True Record" of the ruling family. What is the Korean word for annals?

From Quiz Tales of the Royal Library 2

Answer: Sillok

Known as the "Annals of the Joseon Dynasty", or The True Record of the Joseon Dynasty", the annals are also called "sillok". The "sillok" is very significant, as it is believed to be the longest continued account of one ruling dynasty in the history of the world! Today the "Annals of the Joseon Dynasty" is considered to be the 151st national treasure of Korea. By the way, the "won" is South Korean currency, "kimchi" is a staple Korean food dish, and the "hanbok" is a traditional style of Korean clothing.

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