A leading industrial and commercial center, Busan's manufactures include ships, vehicles and vehicle parts, iron, steel, electronics, textiles, plywood, chemicals, ceramics, paper, tires and other rubber products, frozen seafood, and fishing nets. There are also important ship-repair facilities, railroad shops, and several thermal and hydroelectric power stations. Fishing and agriculture are carried on chiefly for local consumption. Nearby hot springs and coastal beaches have made Busan a popular resort city.
The city became a major port under the Chinese Empire. It was invaded in 1592 by the Japanese, who had long maintained a trading post there; however, the Japanese forces were recalled in 1598. In 1876 the Koreans were compelled to sign a treaty opening Busan to Japanese trade and immigration. In 1883 the port was opened to general foreign commerce. During the Korean War it was (Aug–Sept., 1950) the site of a United Nations beachhead (see Incheon). Refugees from the war more than doubled Busan's population. The city is the seat of a number of universities and colleges; landmarks include the Beomeo Temple.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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