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Republic of Korea
Territory controlled (dark green)
Territory claimed but uncontrolled (light green)
and largest city
|Official languages||Korean |
Korean Sign Language
|Ethnic groups||Predominantly Korean, no official statistics[a]|
|c. 7th century BC|
|1 March 1919|
|11 April 1919|
|15 August 1945|
|8 September 1945|
|15 August 1948|
|25 February 1988|
|17 September 1991|
|100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi) (107th)|
• Water (%)
|0.3 (301 km2 / 116 mi2)|
• 2019 estimate
|507/km2 (1,313.1/sq mi) (13th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
|$2.418 trillion (14th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|$1.626 trillion (12th)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2016)||▼ 35.7|
medium · 93rd
|HDI (2018)|| 0.906|
very high · 22nd
|Currency||Korean Republic won (₩) (KRW)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)|
|Mains electricity||220V–60 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||KR|
|North Korean name|
|North Korean name|
|Republic of Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Daehan Min(-)guk|
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 (Daehan Minguk) 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.
South Korea's history began with Dangunwanggeom's Gojoseon. Gojoseon was conquered by Han China. After Gojoseon collapsed, there were a lot of countries such as Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongyae and Samhan. But Baekje, Goguryeo and Silla were the strongest. So their period began, and it is called the Three Kingdoms Period. Goguryeo and Baekje were conquered by Silla and Dang China's allied forces, and Silla unified the three kingdoms. There was another country, Balhae. Balhae was founded by Dae Jo-Young. Later Silla and Balhae's period is called South and North Countries Period. A rebellion in Later Silla caused the birth of a new nation: Goryeo, which was founded by Wanggeon. Mongolia's invaded Goryeo. Near the end of the Goryeo period, there was a great general Lee Seong-Gye. The king of Goryeo directed him to occupy Yodong, but he opposed. However, Lee Seong-Gye went to Yodong to occupy it, but he returned to Goryeo and he revolted. His revolt succeeded, and he founded the country Joseon. Joseon's first king, Taejo, moved the capital to Hanyang (Seoul). Joseon's fourth king, Sejong, made the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. Joseon's twenty-second king, Jeongjo, built Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon. Joseon's twenty-sixth king, Gojong, changed the country's name to Daehanjeguk. When Daehanjaeguk's power weakened, Japan occupied it for 35 years until Japan's defeat in World War II in 1945. In 1950, there was a big war, the Korean War. As a result, Korea was split into two countries, North and South.
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 Sea of Japan(East Sea). South Korea is mainly mountainous, and there are many islands off the south coast. The capital city, Seoul, is quite close to the North Korean border. The largest island is Jeju Island and the highest mountain is Hallasan, on Jeju. The country is slightly smaller than Iceland and Virginia.
Politics and government
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 Moon Jae-in since 10 May 2017. The previous president, Park Geun-hye, was impeached for corruption.
Science and technology
South Korea is a very rich country and is known for a lot of technology. This includes the car-makers Hyundai and Kia. The well-known global brand Samsung, which makes mobile phones, semi-conductors and electric devices, is also South Korean.
South Korea has been affected by both continental culture and marine culture because it is located on a peninsula. Ancient South Korean culture has developed with the culture of Siberia, the northern part of Central Asia, the southern part of Southeast Asia and neighboring countries like China.
South Korea's customary and official language is Korean. Many linguists says that it is linked with Altaic languages. Hangul, the alphabet which is used to write Korean, was published by King Sejong the Great of Joseon in 1446. It is the only alphabet in the word whose creator, invention day and invention principle is known.
A customary South Korean regular meal is made up of rice, Korean soup, kimchi and other various dishes. Generally, Korean dishes are seasoned with sesame oil, soy bean paste, soy sauce, salt, ginger and chilli pepper paste. The most famous traditional food of Korea, kimchi, is eaten with nearly every meal. There are lots of popular South Korean typical foods such as bibimbap, tteokbokki, and bulgogi.
The most representative traditional music of Korea is Arirang and every region has its own folk song. Many South Korean singers are well known in world as K-pop is steadily developing. Famous K-pop artists include BTS, BLACKPINK, EXO, TWICE & NCT.
Hip hop artists such as Zico, Jvcki Wai, San E & Giriboy are also popular.
Cities and provinces
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.
- Seoul Special City (Seoul-teukbyeolsi; 서울특별시; 서울特別市)
- Note: 서울 (Seoul) itself has no corresponding Hanja.
- Busan Metropolitan City (Busan-gwangyeoksi; 부산광역시)
Special self-governing city
- Sejong special self-governing city (Sejong-teukbyeol-jachasi 세종특별자치시; 世宗特別自治市)
- Busan Metropolitan City (Busan-gwangyeoksi; 부산광역시; 釜山廣域市)
- Daegu Metropolitan City (Daegu-gwangyeoksi; 대구광역시; 大邱廣域市)
- Daejeon Metropolitan City (Daejeon-gwangyeoksi; 대전광역시; 大田廣域市)
- Gwangju Metropolitan City (Gwangju-gwangyeoksi; 광주광역시; 光州廣域市)
- Incheon Metropolitan City (Incheon-gwangyeoksi; 인천광역시; 仁川廣域市)
- Ulsan Metropolitan City (Ulsan-gwangyeoksi; 울산광역시; 蔚山廣域市)
- Gyeonggi Province (Gyeonggi-do; 경기도; 京畿道)
- Gangwon Province (Gangwon-do; 강원도; 江原道)
- North Chungcheong Province (Chungcheongbuk-do; 충청 북도; 忠清北道)
- South Chungcheong Province (Chungcheongnam-do; 충청 남도; 忠清南道)
- North Jeolla Province (Jeollabuk-do; 전라 북도; 全羅北道)
- South Jeolla Province (Jeollanam-do; 전라 남도; 全羅南道)
- North Gyeongsang Province (Gyeongsangbuk-do; 경상 북도; 慶尚北道)
- South Gyeongsang Province(Gyeongsangnam-do; 경상 남도; 慶尚南道)
- Jeju Province (Jeju-do; 제주도; 濟州道)
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