Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula. It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement to serve as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea; the demilitarized zone is a border barrier that divides the Korean Peninsula in half. It was created by agreement between North Korea, the People's Republic of China and the United Nations Command in 1953; the DMZ is 250 kilometres long, about 4 kilometres wide. Within the DMZ is a meeting point between the two nations in the small Joint Security Area near the western end of the zone, where negotiations take place. There have been various incidents in and around the DMZ, with military and civilian casualties on both sides; the Korean Demilitarized Zone intersects but does not follow the 38th parallel north, the border before the Korean War. It crosses the parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it; the DMZ is 250 kilometres long 4 km wide.
Though the zone separating both sides is demilitarized, the border beyond that strip is one of the most militarized borders in the world. The Northern Limit Line, or NLL, is the disputed maritime demarcation line between North and South Korea in the Yellow Sea, not agreed in the armistice; the coastline and islands on both sides of the NLL are heavily militarized. The 38th parallel north—which divides the Korean Peninsula in half—was the original boundary between the United States and Soviet Union's brief administration areas of Korea at the end of World War II. Upon the creation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in 1948, it became a de facto international border and one of the most tense fronts in the Cold War. Both the North and the South remained dependent on their sponsor states from 1948 to the outbreak of the Korean War; that conflict, which claimed over three million lives and divided the Korean Peninsula along ideological lines, commenced on 25 June 1950, with a full-front DPRK invasion across the 38th parallel, ended in 1953 after international intervention pushed the front of the war back to near the 38th parallel.
In the Armistice Agreement of 27 July 1953, the DMZ was created as each side agreed to move their troops back 2,000 m from the front line, creating a buffer zone 4 km wide. The Military Demarcation Line goes through the center of the DMZ and indicates where the front was when the agreement was signed. Owing to this theoretical stalemate, genuine hostility between the North and the South, large numbers of troops are stationed along both sides of the line, each side guarding against potential aggression from the other side 65 years after its establishment; the armistice agreement explains how many military personnel and what kind of weapons are allowed in the DMZ. Soldiers from both sides may patrol inside the DMZ, but they may not cross the MDL; however armed ROK soldiers patrol under the aegis of military police, have memorized each line of the armistice. Sporadic outbreaks of violence have killed over 500 South Korean soldiers, 50 US soldiers and 250 soldiers from DPRK along the DMZ between 1953 and 1999.
Daeseong-dong and Kijŏng-dong are the only settlements allowed by the armistice committee to remain within the boundaries of the DMZ. Residents of Tae Sung Dong are governed and protected by the United Nations Command and are required to spend at least 240 nights per year in the village to maintain their residency. In 2008, the village had a population of 218 people; the villagers of Tae Sung Dong are direct descendants of people who owned the land before the 1950–53 Korean War. To continue to deter North Korean incursion, in 2014 the United States government exempted the Korean DMZ from its pledge to eliminate anti-personnel landmines. On 1 October 2018, however, a 20-day process began to remove landmines from both sides of the DMZ. Inside the DMZ, near the western coast of the peninsula, Panmunjom is the home of the Joint Security Area, it was the only connection between North and South Korea but that changed on 17 May 2007, when a Korail train went through the DMZ to the North on the new Donghae Bukbu Line built on the east coast of Korea.
However, the resurrection of this line was short-lived, as it closed again in July 2008 following an incident in which a South Korean tourist was shot and killed. There are several buildings on both the north and the south side of the Military Demarcation Line, there have been some built on top of it; the JSA is the location where all negotiations since 1953 have been held, including statements of Korean solidarity, which have amounted to little except a slight decline of tensions. The MDL goes through the conference rooms and down the middle of the conference tables where the North Koreans and the United Nations Command meet face to face. Within the JSA are a number of buildings for joint meetings called Conference Rooms; these are used for direct talks between the Korean War parties to the armistice. Facing the Conference Row buildings are the North Korean Panmungak and the South Korean Freedom House. In 1994, North Korea enlarged Panmungak by adding a third floor. In 1998, South Korea built a new Freedom House for its Red Cross staff and to host reunions of families separated by the Korean War.
The new building incorporated the old Freedom House Pagoda within its design. Since 1
Korean Armistice Agreement
The Korean Armistice Agreement is the armistice which brought about a complete cessation of hostilities of the Korean War. It was signed by U. S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison, Jr. representing the United Nations Command, North Korean General Nam Il representing the Korean People's Army, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. The armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, was designed to "ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved."During the 1954 Geneva Conference in Switzerland, Chinese Premier and foreign minister Zhou Enlai suggested that a peace treaty should be implemented on the Korean peninsula. However, the US secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, did not accommodate this attempt to achieve such a treaty. A final peace settlement has never been achieved; the signed armistice established the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the de facto new border between the two nations, put into force a cease-fire, finalized repatriation of prisoners of war.
The DMZ runs close to the 38th parallel and has separated North and South Korea since the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953. South Korea never signed the Armistice Agreement due to President Syngman Rhee's refusal to accept the division of Korea. China normalized relations and signed a peace treaty with South Korea in 1992. In 1994, China withdrew from the Military Armistice Commission leaving North Korea and the UN Command as the only participants in the armistice agreement. By mid-December 1950, the United States was discussing terms for an agreement to end the Korean War; the desired agreement would end the fighting, provide assurances against its resumption, protect the future security of UNC forces. The United States asked for a military armistice commission of mixed membership that would supervise all agreements. Both sides would need to agree to "cease the introduction into Korea of any reinforcing air, ground or naval units or personnel... and to refrain from increasing the level of war equipment and material existing in Korea."
The U. S. wished to create a demilitarized zone that would be 20 miles wide. The proposed agreement would address the issue of prisoners of war which the U. S. believed. While talk of a possible armistice agreement was circulating, in late May and early June 1951, the President of the Republic of Korea Syngman Rhee opposed peace talks, he believed the ROK should continue to expand its army in order to march all the way to the Yalu River and unify the nation. The UNC did not endorse Rhee's position. Without UNC support and the South Korean government attempted to mobilize the public to resist any halt in the fighting short of the Yalu River. Other ROK officials supported Rhee's ambitions and the National Assembly of South Korea unanimously passed a resolution endorsing a continued fight for an "independent and unified country." At the end of June, the Assembly decided to support armistice talks, although President Rhee continued to oppose them. Like Syngman Rhee, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung sought complete unification.
The North Korean side was slow to support armistice talks and only on 27 June 1951 – seventeen days after armistice talks had begun – did it change its slogan of "drive the enemy into the sea" to "drive the enemy to the 38th parallel." North Korea was pressured to support armistice talks by its allies the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union, whose support was vital to enabling North Korea to continue fighting. Talks concerning an armistice started 10 July 1951, in Kaesŏng, a North Korean city in North Hwanghae Province near the South Korean border; the two primary negotiators were Chief of Army Staff General Nam Il, a North Korean deputy premier, United States Vice Admiral Charles Turner Joy. After a period of two weeks, on 26 June 1951, a five-part agenda was agreed upon and this guided talks until the signing of the armistice on 27 July 1953; the items to be discussed were: Adoption of an agenda. Fixing a military demarcation line between the two sides so as to establish a demilitarized zone as a basic condition for the cessation of hostilities in Korea.
Concrete arrangements for realization of a ceasefire and armistice in Korea, including the composition and functions of a supervisory organization for carrying out the terms of a truce and armistice. Arrangements relating to prisoners of war. Recommendations to the governments of the countries concerned on both sides. After the agenda was decided, talks proceeded slowly. There were lengthy intervals between meetings; the longest gap between discussions started on 23 August 1951, when North Korea and its allies claimed that the conference site in Kaesŏng had been bombed. North Korea requested the UNC conduct an immediate investigation, which concluded there was evidence a UNC aircraft had attacked the conference site; the evidence, appeared to be manufactured. The Communists subsequently refused to permit an investigation during daylight hours. Armistice talks did not start again until 25 October 1951; the U. S. would not allow further discussion to take place in Kaesŏng. Panmunjom, a nearby village in Kyŏnggi Province, close to both North and South Korea, was chosen as the new location for deliberations.
This was conditional on responsibility for protection of the village being shared by both powers. A major, problematic negotiation point was prisoner of war repatriation; the Communists held the UNC held 150,000 POWs. The PVA, KPA, UNC could not agree on a system of repatriation because many PVA and KPA soldiers refused to be repatriated to the north, unacceptable to the Chinese and North Ko
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
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In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
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North Korea the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south.
An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War. The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire. North Korea describes itself as a "self-reliant" socialist state, formally holds elections, though said elections have been described by outside observers as sham elections. Outside observers generally view North Korea as a Stalinist totalitarian dictatorship noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family; the Workers' Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution in 1972; the means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education and food production are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, the population continues to suffer malnutrition.
North Korea follows "military-first" policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active and paramilitary personnel, or 37% of its population, its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the United States and India. It possesses nuclear weapons; the UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that, "The gravity and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world". The North Korean regime denies most allegations, accusing international organizations of fabricating human rights abuses as part of a smear campaign with the covert intention of undermining the state, although they admit that there are human rights issues relating to living conditions which the regime is attempting to correct. In addition to being a member of the United Nations since 1991, the sovereign state is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, G77 and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
The name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name; the 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, thus inherited its name, pronounced by visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel. After the division of the country into North and South Korea, the two sides used different terms to refer to Korea: Chosun or Joseon in North Korea, Hanguk in South Korea. In 1948, North Korea adopted Democratic People's Republic of Korea as its new legal name. In the wider world, because the government controls the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, it is called North Korea to distinguish it from South Korea, called the Republic of Korea in English. Both governments consider themselves to be the legitimate government of the whole of Korea. For this reason, the people do not consider themselves as'North Koreans' but as Koreans in the same divided country as their compatriots in the South and foreign visitors are discouraged from using the former term.
After the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, Korea was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945. Japan tried to suppress Korean traditions and culture and ran the economy for its own benefit. Korean resistance groups known as Dongnipgun operated along the Sino-Korean border, fighting guerrilla warfare against Japanese forces; some of them took part in parts of South East Asia. One of the guerrilla leaders was the communist Kim Il-sung, who became the first leader of North Korea. At the end of World War II in 1945, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two zones along the 38th parallel, with the northern half of the peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union and the southern half by the United States; the drawing of the division was assigned to two American officers, diplomat Dean Rusk and Army officer Charles Bone
Détente is the easing of strained relations in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term originates in the time of the Triple Entente and Entente Cordiale in reference to an easing of tensions between England and France who, subsequent to being commingled polities under Norman rule, were warring rivals for the better part of a millennium but pursuant to a policy of détente became enduring allies. In the context of the Cold War, the lessening of tensions between the East and West, along with domestic reform in the Soviet Union, worked together to achieve the end of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union altogether; the term is most used in reference to a period of general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. It began in 1969, as a core element of the foreign policy of U. S. president Richard Nixon, in an effort to avoid the collision of nuclear risks. The Nixon administration promoted greater dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summit meetings and negotiations over arms control and other bilateral agreements.
Détente was known in Russian as разрядка. The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as the Helsinki Accords. Another treaty, SALT II, was never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace. After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington D. C. and Moscow, enabling leaders of both countries to interact with each other in a time of urgency, reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U. S./USSR détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work of the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the U. S; the Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets. Détente ended after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which led to the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980, based in large part on an anti-détente campaign, marked the close of détente and a return to Cold War tensions. In his first press conference, President Reagan said "Détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its aims." Following this, relations turned sour with the unrest in Poland, end of the SALT II negotiations, the NATO exercise in 1983 that brought the superpowers on the brink of nuclear war. The most obvious manifestation of détente was the series of summits held between the leaders of the two superpowers and the treaties that resulted from these meetings. In the early 1960s, before détente, the Partial Test Ban Treaty had been signed on 5 August 1963. In the decade, the Outer Space Treaty, in January 1967, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, July 1968, were two of the first building blocks of détente; these early treaties were signed all over the globe. The most important treaties were not developed until the Nixon Administration came into office in 1969.
The Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact sent an offer to the West, urging them to hold a summit on "security and cooperation in Europe". The West agreed and talks began towards actual limits in the nuclear capabilities of the two superpowers; this led to the signing of the SALT I treaty in 1972. This treaty limited each power's nuclear arsenals, though it was rendered out-of-date as a result of the development of MIRVs. In the same year that SALT I was signed, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty were concluded. Talks on SALT II began in 1972. Brezhnev however at the start of the period in his speeches to the Politburo, was intent on using the period of relaxed tensions to prepare for Soviet expansion in the 1980s. In 1975, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe met and produced the Helsinki Accords, a wide-ranging series of agreements on economic and human rights issues; the CSCE was initiated by the USSR. Among other issues, one of the most prevalent and discussed after the conference was that of human rights violations in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Constitution directly violated the Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations, this issue became a prominent point of separation between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Carter administration had been supporting human rights groups inside the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev accused the administration of interference in other countries' internal affairs; this prompted intense discussion of whether or not other nations may interfere if basic human rights are being violated, such as freedom of speech and religion. The basic disagreement in the philosophies of a democracy and a single-party was in a state that did not allow for reconciliation of this issue. Furthermore, the Soviets proceeded to defend their internal policies on human rights by attacking American support of countries like South Africa and Chile, which were known to violate many of the same human rights issues. In July of the same year, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project became the first international space mission, wherein three American astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts docked their spacecraft and conducted joint experiments.
This mission had been preceded by five years of political negotiation and technical co-operati
James D. Thurman
James David Thurman is a retired United States Army general who served as the Commander of United Nations Command, R. O. K.-U. S. Combined Forces Command, U. S. Forces Korea from July 14, 2011 until October 2, 2013, he served as the 18th Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces Command from June 3, 2010 to July 8, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, he was the former commanding general of United States V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany from January 19, 2007 to August 8, 2007. Thurman is a native of Marietta, Oklahoma, he received a Bachelor of Arts in History from East Central University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University. Thurman received a Regular Army Commission from the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1975. Thurman began his career in the 4th Infantry Division serving as Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Motor Officer for 6th Battalion, 32d Armor, he has commanded at all levels from Company to Division. After attending the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course, he commanded the Aero-Scout Platoon and became the Operations Officer, A Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
From 1981-1982, he attended the Armor Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Upon completion, Thurman attended the AH-64 Aviator Qualification Course, United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, he served as Executive Officer, 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. During 1989-1991, Thurman served as Executive Officer for 1st Battalion, 32d Armor, 1st Cavalry Division and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia. Thurman’s previous assignments include Commander of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Thurman left Kuwait to become the Director, Army Aviation Task Force, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3, United States Army in Washington, D. C. where he remained until his arrival at Fort Hood as the 4th Infantry commanding general. Promotion to GeneralOn October 2, 2006, Thurman was nominated for promotion by President George W. Bush for appointment to the rank of Lieutenant General, his receipt of promotion and his third star was January 19, 2007.
On December 19, 2006, Thurman took over assignment in Heidelberg, Germany as the commanding general of V Corps along with the U. S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, he returned from the Iraq War with the 4th Infantry Division in November 2006 after a second tour. Retirement was held at a total of 38 years of service; this article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.vcorps.army.mil/leaders/Biography-ThurmanJamesD_2007-04.pdf". "Lieutenant General James D. Thurman - V Corps Commanding General". April 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-03. Media related to James D. Thurman at Wikimedia Commons
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge