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South Korea

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Republic of Korea
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 Jung Hong-won
 -  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 in Korean writing (Hangeul), and 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

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

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, well-known global brand Samsung for mobile phone, semi-conductor and electric devices is a South Korean company.


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.


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

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.

Special city

  • Seoul Special City (Seoul-teukbyeolsi; 서울특별시; 서울特別市)
    • Note: 서울 (Seoul) itself has no corresponding Hanja. The city has been known in the Chinese language as 漢城 (read as Hancheng in Chinese, Hanseong in Korean). As 漢城 is a former name of the city, the City Government announced on January 18, 2005 that the Chinese name of the city shall be Shou'er (首爾), which is a close transliteration of Seoul, but 首爾 does not correspond to 서울 (Seoul) in Korean. Chinese people have not widely accepted the name 首爾.

Special self-governing city

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

Metropolitan cities


Culture and religion

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

Further reading

  • 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.

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