38th parallel north

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38th parallel north
Hangul삼팔선
Hanja三八線
Revised RomanizationSampalseon
McCune–ReischauerSamp'alsŏn
 
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Line across the Earth
38°
38th parallel north
38th parallel north
Hangul삼팔선
Hanja三八線
Revised RomanizationSampalseon
McCune–ReischauerSamp'alsŏn

The 38th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean. The 38th parallel north has been especially important in the recent history of Korea.

At this latitude the sun is visible for 14 hours, 48 minutes during the summer solstice and 9 hours, 32 minutes during the winter solstice.[1]

Around the world[edit]

Starting at the Prime Meridian heading eastwards, the 38th parallel north passes through:

Co-ordinatesCountry, territory or seaNotes
38°0′N 0°0′E / 38.000°N 0.000°E / 38.000; 0.000 (Prime Meridian)Mediterranean SeaPassing just north of the island of Marettimo,  Italy (at 37°59′43″N 12°1′47″E / 37.99528°N 12.02972°E / 37.99528; 12.02972 (Marettimo))
38°0′N 12°19′E / 38.000°N 12.317°E / 38.000; 12.317 (Italy) ItalyIslands of Levanzo and Sicily
38°0′N 15°25′E / 38.000°N 15.417°E / 38.000; 15.417 (Mediterranean Sea)Mediterranean SeaStrait of Messina
38°0′N 15°38′E / 38.000°N 15.633°E / 38.000; 15.633 (Italy) ItalyPassing through Reggio di Calabria (southern suburbs)
38°0′N 16°8′E / 38.000°N 16.133°E / 38.000; 16.133 (Mediterranean Sea)Mediterranean SeaIonian Sea - passing between the islands of Kefalonia (at 38°4′N 20°43′E / 38.067°N 20.717°E / 38.067; 20.717 (Kefalonia)) and Zakynthos (at 37°56′N 20°42′E / 37.933°N 20.700°E / 37.933; 20.700 (Zakynthos)),  Greece
38°0′N 21°16′E / 38.000°N 21.267°E / 38.000; 21.267 (Greece) GreecePassing through Athens (northern suburbs)
38°0′N 24°2′E / 38.000°N 24.033°E / 38.000; 24.033 (Aegean Sea)Aegean Sea
38°0′N 24°14′E / 38.000°N 24.233°E / 38.000; 24.233 (Greece) GreeceIslands of Petalioi and Euboea
38°0′N 24°34′E / 38.000°N 24.567°E / 38.000; 24.567 (Aegean Sea)Aegean SeaPassing just north of the island of Andros (at 37°59′57″N 24°47′23″E / 37.99917°N 24.78972°E / 37.99917; 24.78972 (Andros)),  Greece
38°0′N 27°7′E / 38.000°N 27.117°E / 38.000; 27.117 (Turkey) Turkey
38°0′N 44°17′E / 38.000°N 44.283°E / 38.000; 44.283 (Iran) Iran
38°0′N 48°55′E / 38.000°N 48.917°E / 38.000; 48.917 (Caspian Sea)Caspian Sea
38°0′N 53°49′E / 38.000°N 53.817°E / 38.000; 53.817 (Turkmenistan) Turkmenistan
38°0′N 55°17′E / 38.000°N 55.283°E / 38.000; 55.283 (Iran) Iran
38°0′N 57°22′E / 38.000°N 57.367°E / 38.000; 57.367 (Turkmenistan) TurkmenistanPassing just north of Ashgabat
38°0′N 66°38′E / 38.000°N 66.633°E / 38.000; 66.633 (Uzbekistan) Uzbekistan
38°0′N 68°17′E / 38.000°N 68.283°E / 38.000; 68.283 (Tajikistan) Tajikistan
38°0′N 70°19′E / 38.000°N 70.317°E / 38.000; 70.317 (Afghanistan) Afghanistan
38°0′N 71°16′E / 38.000°N 71.267°E / 38.000; 71.267 (Tajikistan) Tajikistan
38°0′N 74°54′E / 38.000°N 74.900°E / 38.000; 74.900 (China) People's Republic of ChinaXinjiang
Qinghai
Gansu
Inner Mongolia
Ningxia
Inner Mongolia
Shaanxi − for around 5 km
Inner Mongolia − for around 14 km
Shaanxi
Shanxi — passing just north of Taiyuan
Hebei — passing just south of Shijiazhuang
Shandong
38°0′N 118°58′E / 38.000°N 118.967°E / 38.000; 118.967 (Yellow Sea)Yellow SeaPassing just north of Baengnyeong Island (at 37°59′N 124°41′E / 37.983°N 124.683°E / 37.983; 124.683 (Baengnyeong)),  South Korea
38°0′N 125°7′E / 38.000°N 125.117°E / 38.000; 125.117 (North Korea) North KoreaOngjin PeninsulaHwanghaenam-do
38°0′N 125°35′E / 38.000°N 125.583°E / 38.000; 125.583 (Yellow Sea)Yellow SeaOngjin Bay
38°0′N 125°46′E / 38.000°N 125.767°E / 38.000; 125.767 (North Korea) North KoreaHwanghaenam-do
Hwanghaebuk-do
38°0′N 126°49′E / 38.000°N 126.817°E / 38.000; 126.817 (South Korea) South KoreaGyeonggi-do
Gangwon-do
38°0′N 128°44′E / 38.000°N 128.733°E / 38.000; 128.733 (Sea of Japan)Sea of Japan
38°0′N 138°14′E / 38.000°N 138.233°E / 38.000; 138.233 (Japan) JapanIsland of Sado:
Niigata Prefecture
38°0′N 138°33′E / 38.000°N 138.550°E / 38.000; 138.550 (Sea of Japan)Sea of Japan
38°0′N 139°14′E / 38.000°N 139.233°E / 38.000; 139.233 (Japan) JapanIsland of Honshū:
— Niigata Prefecture
Yamagata Prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture
38°0′N 140°55′E / 38.000°N 140.917°E / 38.000; 140.917 (Pacific Ocean)Pacific Ocean
38°0′N 123°1′W / 38.000°N 123.017°W / 38.000; -123.017 (United States) United StatesCalifornia
Nevada
Utah
Colorado
Kansas
Missouri
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
West Virginia
Virginia
38°0′N 76°28′W / 38.000°N 76.467°W / 38.000; -76.467 (Chesapeake Bay)Chesapeake Bay
38°0′N 75°53′W / 38.000°N 75.883°W / 38.000; -75.883 (United States) United StatesMaryland
Virginia
38°0′N 75°16′W / 38.000°N 75.267°W / 38.000; -75.267 (Pacific Ocean)Atlantic OceanPassing between Pico (at 38°23′N 28°14′W / 38.383°N 28.233°W / 38.383; -28.233 (Pico)) and São Miguel (at 37°55′N 25°47′W / 37.917°N 25.783°W / 37.917; -25.783 (São Miguel)) islands, Azores,  Portugal
38°0′N 8°51′W / 38.000°N 8.850°W / 38.000; -8.850 (Portugal) PortugalSetúbal District
Beja District - passing just south of Beja
38°0′N 7°12′W / 38.000°N 7.200°W / 38.000; -7.200 (Spain) SpainAndalusia
Extremadura
Andalusia
Region of Murcia - passing just north of Murcia
Valencian Community
38°0′N 0°39′W / 38.000°N 0.650°W / 38.000; -0.650 (Mediterranean Sea)Mediterranean Sea

Korea[edit]

The land on the left side of the boundary in this picture belongs to South Korea while on the right side it belongs to North Korea

When Japan surrendered in August 1945, the 38th parallel was established as the boundary between Soviet and American occupation zones. This parallel divides the Korean peninsula roughly in the middle. In 1948, this parallel became the boundary between the newly created countries of North Korea and South Korea. On 25 June 1950, after a series of cross-border raids and gunfire from both the Northern and the Southern sides, the North Korean Army crossed the parallel and invaded South Korea. This sparked a United Nations resolution against the aggression and the Korean War, with United Nations troops (mostly Americans) helping to defend South Korea.[2]

After the Armistice ended the Korean War in 1953, a demarcation line was established through the middle of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. This boundary line crosses the 38th parallel, from the southwest to the northeast, and it now serves as the Military Demarcation Line between South Korea and North Korea.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php
  2. ^ Nash, Gary B., The American People (6th edition), Pearson Longman (New York), 2008.

Further reading[edit]