With the on-again/off again summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to perhaps take place in just a few days, we thought it a good time to study up on the Korean Peninsula's tragic history. Here we go...

• The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia and borders south-east China. It extends out some 1,100 kilometres out from the mainland. Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity with a territory roughly coinciding with that of the peninsula.

Korean Peninsula

The Korean Peninsula. IMAGE: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

• The peninsula was an independent kingdom for much of its history, ruled by two great dynasties - the Goryeo Dynasty, which ruled from 918-1392 and the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled from 1392 to 1910.

• In 1910, the Korean Peninsula was formally annexed by the Empire of Japan (it had been a protectorate of Japan since 1905). This remained so until the end of World War II when, after Japan was defeated, Korea was divided into Soviet and US zones of occupation.

• In 1948, an election was held in US zone which led to the formation of the Republic of Korea under President Syngman Rhee. The USSR, meanwhile, set up a rival government in the North with Kim Il-sung declared the first Supreme Leader.

• The Korean War, described as a "police action" thanks to war never being officially declared by involved parties, began in 1950 when forces from the North invaded the South. The three year war involved forces from the US, China, the USSR, the UK, Australia, Turkey and a host of other nations. More than 1.2 million people killed.

• The war ended with the signing of an armistice on 27th July, 1953. Under the agreement, a Demilitarized Zone was created to separate the North and South. But no peace treaty was ever signed meaning the two Koreas - North and South - are still technically at war. In April this year, however, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, grandson of Kim Il-sung, and agreed to sign a treaty to formally end the war.

• Now one of Asia's most affluent nations, the population of South Korea is estimated at 51 million. The capital and largest city, Seoul, has a population of just under 10 million. It has a democratic-based government led by a President and Prime Minister.

• The population of North Korea, one of the world's most secretive nations, is estimated at 25 million. Its capital and largest city, Pyongyang, is home to 3.2 million people. It is a totalitarian state led by the Supreme Leader.

• The median age in South Korea, as of 2017, was estimated at 41.8. In North Korea, it was 34. While more than 82 per cent of South Koreans live in urban areas, in North Korea, the figure drops to 61.2 per cent.

• While South Korea has a thriving Christian community representing just under a third of the population and including the largest Pentecostal church in the world, in North Korea Christianity is prohibited and Christians - estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands - suffer intense persecution including imprisonment in labour camps, torture and death.

Sources: CIA World Fact Book, UN, Pew Research Center, Open Doors