SEOUL — October 31 marks a day replete with pivotal events in South Korean history, ranging from the establishment of diplomatic relations with other countries to key technological advancements and cultural milestones.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Korea's first modern newspaper, the Hanseong Sunbo, began publication. The day also witnessed South Korea formalizing diplomatic ties with Brazil in 1959 and with Australia in 1961.
In 1966, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson paid a visit to South Korea, cementing the relationship between the two nations. Technological strides were also made on this date; Samsung Electronics developed the world's first 1-gigabit DRAM chip in 1996.
In terms of cultural heritage, on October 31, 2001, South Korea commenced repair work on its oldest and largest existing stone pagoda at Mireuk Temple in the southwestern provincial city of Iksan. Notably, the pagoda was dismantled for the first time in 1,400 years for the repair work.
Turning to matters of global security, North Korea agreed on this day in 2006 to return to the long-stalled six-party talks on its nuclear program, just three weeks after detonating its first nuclear weapon. The six-party talks, also involving South Korea, the United States, China, Japan, and Russia, resumed in November after a yearlong hiatus.
On the international stage, South Korea was reelected as a member of the United Nations' Economic and Social Council on this day in 2013, a council that oversees the majority of the international organization's financial resources. Lastly, South Korea received the Olympic flame for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games at a handover ceremony in Athens on October 31, 2017.