Korea is a region in East Asia consisting of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea has been divided since 1948 between two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Korea is bordered by Russia to the northeast, China to the northwest, neighbours Japan to the east via the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Goguryeo and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium, Silla defeated and conquered Baekje and Goguryeo, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north. Unified Silla collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium, Goguryeo was resurrected as Goryeo, which defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as a single sovereign state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo.

Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple incursions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century weakened the nation, which agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin that ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, Goryeo fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in July 17, 1392; the first 200 years of the Joseon era were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, the country was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by it until the end of World War II in August 1945.

In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U. S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence; the Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea, South Korea. Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty; this status contributes to the high tensions. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region. "Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.

Korea was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo, of the Chinese 高麗. This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo, which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time. Korea's introduction to the West resulted from trade and contact with merchants from Arabic lands, with some records dating back as far as the 9th century. Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, known as Goryeo beginning in the 5th century; the original name was a combination of the adjective go with the name of a local Yemaek tribe, whose original name is thought to have been either *Guru or *Gauri. With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and grew in popularity; the name Korea is now used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk; the name references Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula.

Although written in Hanja as 韓, 幹, or 刊, this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a phonetic transcription of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great" in reference to leaders. It has been tentatively linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Central Asia. In North Korea, Japan and Vietnam, Korea as a whole is referred to as 조선, 朝鮮, 朝鲜/朝鮮, Triều Tiên lit. " Morning Calm"). "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier Kojoseon, who ruled northern Korea from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 BCE by China's Han Empire. This

Murray McLean (ambassador)

Alistair Murray McLean is Chair of the Australian Government's Australia Japan Foundation, is a former Non Resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute. Prior to this, McLean was a senior career officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade until 29 February 2012, he joined the Department as the Department of External Affairs in 1970 and has had wide experience on Asian issues. Fluent in Modern Standard Chinese his previous postings and placements include: Australian High Commissioner to Singapore. Mr McLean arrived in Tokyo on 24 November 2004 to take up his appointment as Australia's Ambassador to Japan, which ran until August 2011, his placements within the Department included: Deputy Secretary. In 1991, McLean was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his services to international relations as Australian Consul General in Shanghai. In 2013, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In 2014, the Japanese Government honoured McLean with the award of Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, its highest award for foreigners, in recognition of his distinguished achievements in international relations.

McLean is a B. A. graduate from the University of Melbourne in 1969, studied Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. He completed his secondary schooling at Benalla High School and Geelong College, where he was Head Prefect in 1965. Born in 1947, he is married with two adult children and his interests include golf, classical music and Asian arts and antiquities

The Linus Pauling Quartet

The Linus Pauling Quartet is a psychedelic rock group which specializes in a specific subgenre known as "Texas Psych", but dabbles in garage rock, stoner rock, punk rock, heavy metal at various points throughout their discography. The LP4 was formed in 1994 by veterans of various local groups from the Houston and Clear Lake areas of Texas. Born of the same musical cauldron that birthed such renowned Texas Psych favorites as The Mike Gunn, Dry Nod, Schlong Weasel, bands which included members of Charalambides and Dunlavy, the LP4 got off the ground when guitarist Ramon Medina and bassist Stephen Finley recruited drummer Larry Liska and singer/guitarist Clinton Heider and the quartet began writing and recording songs for their first album, Immortal Chinese Classics Music, released in 1995 on their own Worship Guitars label; the album earned considerable attention beyond their native Houston, garnering notable reviews in several music magazines such as Q Music, Factsheet Five, Alternative Press, Crohinga Well, Ptolemaic Terrascope, featured "The Linus Theme" and "Hamburger Girl", two songs which came to define the band's early years, which the LP4 revisited many times throughout their career.

The band's notice by Ptolemaic Terrascope was helpful, as the LP4 were invited to contribute a track to the magazine's inaugural benefit compilation double-CD Succour. An all-night practice space recording session yielded not only their contribution "Dartania", chosen as the lead-off track on the benefit album, but a batch of other tracks split evenly between improvisations and structured songs, which were released by German label September Gurls in 1997 as a self-titled limited edition vinyl album. Armed with a recording contract with September Gurls, in 1996 the band added analog synthesizer player Flip Osman and saxophonist/guitarist/singer Charlie Horshack, swelling their ranks and expanding their sonic palette, this lineup released Killing You With Rock in 1998; the following year, they were featured on a split 7" vinyl single with Italian band Kryptasthesie, contributing a rare live version of their song "Jason Bill", a tribute to the erstwhile Charalambides guitarist. The year 2000 was an active year for the Linus Pauling Quartet: they were invited to Seattle, Washington, to play at the fourth Terrastock psychedelic music festival alongside such musical luminaries as Bardo Pond, Moe Tucker, Ghost.

It was during this time that Flip Osman left Houston and the band added keyboardist and photo-theremin player Carol Sandin to the group, though both members were present at the band's appearance at Terrastock IV. The LP4 contributed a notable version of Syd Barrett's song "Vegetable Man" to The Vegetable Man Project, a compilation of wildly disparate covers of that song released by Italian label Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati in 2002. In 2003 the band released their final offering on the September Gurls label: C6H8O6, a massive slab of psych-rock showing the full range of the band's abilities, including MC5-esque garage rock, a psychedelic depiction of airplanes falling out of the sky, songs about bongs, a song about eating Mexican food with Satan, a lush psych-rock cover of Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors"; the band appeared at showcases at Austin's South by Southwest festival in 2004, 2005, 2008. Otherwise, the next few years were outwardly quiet for the LP4, but they were hard at work recording a large cache of material which would go on to comprise much of their subsequent two albums, continuing to compose more material for future releases, intermittently taking breaks to play shows in their native Houston.

All Things Are Light, self-released in conjunction with Camera Obscura on purple vinyl and made up of some of the band's heaviest music to date, garnered a considerable number of positive reviews upon its release in December 2007. On the heels of this release, the band was again invited to perform at Terrastock in June 2008, this time in Louisville, resulting in one of their most memorable shows, playing alongside such notable psychedelic groups as MV & EE, Robert Schneider's Thee American Revolution, Damon & Naomi, Kawabata Makoto. 2010 saw the band release a 7" vinyl split single with Austin sister-band ST 37. Only months the band released Horns of Ammon, an album of songs recorded with Carol Sandin dating back to 2003-2005, released on Homeskool Records. Though the album was an "odds and sods" release, documenting a set of more melodic and textural music than appeared on the other "official" albums contemporaneously released, it received positive reviews; the band released their next and eighth official studio album, entitled Bag of Hammers, in September 2012.

A heavier sounding release than the material presented on Horns of Ammon, it included one of the first examples of the band employing a guest vocalist as the lead singer on the song "Rust", sung by Hearts of Animals vocalist Mlee Marie. It was at this point.