Korea is a peninsula in East Asia. The first unitary Korean state was the Joseon Kingdom founded in 1388 and which lasted until 1897. It was a very isolated state and modern Japan took advantage of this situation by occupying it during the First Sino-Japanese War. As a result the Korean Empire was founded in 1897, but lasted only until Japan fully annexed Korea in 1910. The Japanese stayed until their defeat in WW2 in 1945.