Korea (Korean: 한국 or 조선) is a civilization and formerly unified nation currently divided into two states. Located on the Korean Peninsula, it borders China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait.
Korea was united until 1948; at that time it was split into South Korea and North Korea. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a capitalist, democratic and developed country, with memberships in the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a single-party communist country founded by Kim Il-sung and currently led by his son Kim Jong-il.
Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest the origins of the Korean people were in Altaic language-speaking migrants from south-central Siberia, who populated ancient Korea in successive waves from the Neolithic age to the Bronze Age. The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("Hanja" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Korea later passed on a modified version of these cultural advances to Japan.