South Korea

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Republic of Korea
Flag Emblem
Motto: 홍익인간; 弘益人間
Benefit broadly the human world (unofficial)
Anthem: Aegukga (애국가; 愛國歌)
("The Patriotic Song")
and largest city
37°35′N 127°0′E / 37.583°N 127°E / 37.583; 127
Official languages Korean
Official scripts Hangul
Ethnic groups Korean (99.99%)[1]
Demonym South Korean, Korean
Government Presidential republic
 -  President Park Geunhye
 -  Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn
 -  Speaker Park Hee-tae
Legislature National Assembly
 -  National Foundation Day October 3, 2333 BCE 
 -  Independence declared March 1, 1919 
 -  Provisional Government April 13, 1919 
 -  Liberation August 15, 1945 
 -  Constitution July 17, 1948 
 -  Government proclaimed August 15, 1948 
 -  Total 100,210 km2 (109th)
38,691 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 0.3
 -  2010 estimate 48,875,000[2] (24th)
 -  Density 491/km2 (21st)
1,271/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $1.556 trillion[3] (12th)
 -  Per capita $31,753[3] (26th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $1.163 trillion[3] (15th)
 -  Per capita $23,749[3] (32nd)
Gini (2007) 31.3[4]
HDI (2011) Increase 0.897[5]
very high · 15th
Currency South Korean won (₩) (KRW)
Time zone Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+9)
Date format yyyy년 mm월 dd일
yyyy/mm/dd (CE)
Drives on the right
Calling code 82
Internet TLD .kr, .한국
1. Mobile phone system CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA and WiBro
2. Domestic power supply 220V/60 Hz, CEE 7/7 sockets

South Korea is a country in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, in the north east region of Asia. The capital city is Seoul. The official name of South Korea is the Republic of Korea in English, 대한민국 (Daehanminguk) in Korean writing (Hangeul), and 大韓民國 in Chinese characters (Hanja). About half of the country's people live in its capital city, Seoul, or near the city in the metropolitan area. Korea's Seoul metropolitan area is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. In fact, some sources say it is the second most populous after Tokyo, Japan.[6]

Politics and government[change | change source]

South Korea is a democracy, meaning that people can vote for their government. The President of South Korea is elected to a five-year term, and cannot stand in a Presidential Election for a second time. The current President is Park Geunhye, the first female President of South Korea, and is in this position since February 25, 2013, when she succeeded Lee Myung-bak.

Sciences and technologies[change | change source]

South Korea is a very rich country and is known for a lot of technology. This includes the car-maker Hyundai, which is a South Korean company. Also, the well-known global brand Samsung, which makes mobile phones, semi-conductors and electric devices, is a South Korean company.

Geography[change | change source]

South Korea is in East Asia, bordering North Korea, and is surrounded by water on three sides, as it makes up the southern part of the Korean peninsula. It is separated from Japan, by the Pacific Ocean's East Sea. Central South Korea is mainly mountainous, and there are many islands off the south coast. The capital city, Seoul, is fairly close to the North Korean border.

Education[change | change source]

South Korea was the first country to provide high-speed internet access to every primary, junior, and high school.

Cities and provinces[change | change source]

South Korea has 1 special city (Teukbyeolsi; 특별시; 特別市), 1 special self-governing city (Teukbyeol-Jachisi; 특별자치시; 特別自治市) 6 metropolitan cities (Gwangyeoksi; 광역시; 廣域市), and 9 provinces (do; 도; 道). The names below are given in English, Revised Romanization, Hangeul, and Hanja.

Special city[change | change source]

  • Seoul Special City (Seoul-teukbyeolsi; 서울특별시; 서울特別市)
    • Note: 서울 (Seoul) itself has no corresponding Hanja.

Special self-governing city[change | change source]

  • Sejong special self-governing city (Sejong-teukbyeol-jachasi 세종특별자치시; 世宗特別自治市)

Metropolitan cities[change | change source]

Provinces[change | change source]

Culture and religion[change | change source]

In South Korea, 19.7% of people are Protestant, 6.6% are Catholic, 23.2% are Buddhist, 49.3% have no religion, and 1.3% either are a part of other religions or have beliefs that are unknown.[7]

Notes and references[change | change source]

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Breen, Michael (2004). The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies, St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312326092.
  • Cumings, Bruce (1997). Korea's place in the sun, New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-31681-5.
  • Hart, Dennis (2003). From Tradition to Consumption: Constructing a Capitalist Culture in South Korea. ISBN 89-88095-44-8.
  • Hawley, Samuel (2005). The Imjin War. Japan's Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China, The Royal Asiatic Society. ISBN 89-954424-2-5.
  • KOIS (2003). Handbook of Korea, 11 edition, Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-212-8.
  • Nahm, Andrew C. (1996). Korea: A history of the Korean people, 2 edition, Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-070-2.
  • Yang, Sung Chul (1999). The North and South Korean political systems: A comparative analysis, Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-105-9.
  • Yonhap News Agency (2004). Korea Annual 2004. ISBN 89-7433-070-9.