The Introduction explains that the aim of this VSI is to introduce Korea’s history by focusing on several historical questions: what does it mean to be Korean? How did the various peoples of the Korean peninsula become a single nation? How did this nation evolve, in a single lifetime, into today’s sharply contrasting societies? And how does Korea fit into the larger narrative of world history? The geographical setting of the Korean peninsula is also described. Although it is small and mountainous, Korea has been able to support large populations. Today fifty million people live in South Korea and twenty-five million in North Korea.