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South Korea Profile
___ Korea (South Korea) - Hanguk
Taegeukgi the Flag of South Korea
With an area of 99,678 km² the country is about the size of Iceland, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
South Korea has a population of 50.8 million inhabitants (in 2016), largest city and capital is Seoul, Busan is South Korea's second city and a major port. Official language is Korean.
Republic of Korea | Taehan-min'guk (Daehan-minguk) - 대한민국
The Korean Peninsula extends southward from the northeastern part of the Asian continent. The country has a long history and proud tradition. Buddhism and Confucianism have influenced the nation's society and culture.
Koreans, like many other Asian peoples, are descendants of the Mongolian Tungus stock. They differ from the neighboring Japanese and Chinese, however, in that Koreans are a homogeneous ethnic group with their own language, culture, and customs.
Over the last several decades, South Korea has transformed herself from an agrarian society to an industrial leader on the world economic scene. Progress is being made in education, science and technology and social welfare.
In 2002 South Korea has co-hosted, the FIFA World Cup™ tournament.
After World War II, a republic was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula (in August 15, 1945) while a communist-style government was installed in the north.
The Korean War (1950-53) had US and other UN forces intervene to defend South Korea from North Korean attacks supported by the Chinese. An armistice was signed in 1953 splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to 13 times the level of North Korea.
In 1997, the nation suffered a severe financial crisis from which it continues to make a solid recovery. South Korea has also maintained its commitment to democratize its political processes.
In June 2000, a historic first south-north summit took place between the south's then President KIM Dae-jung and the north's leader KIM Chong-il. In December 2000, President KIM Dae-jung won the Noble Peace Prize for his lifelong commitment to democracy and human rights in Asia. He was the first Korean to win a Nobel Prize.
In-depth country profile of South Korea
More information on South Korea's political system, foreign policy, economy, science and technology, and more.
대한민국 - Taehan-min'guk
int'l long form: Republic of Korea
int'l short form: South Korea
note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Han'guk" to refer to their country.
ISO Country Code: kr
Actual Time: Mon-Feb-20 05:59
Local Time = UTC +9h
Country Calling Code: +82
Capital City: Seoul
The Municipality of Seoul (pop. 11 million).
Daejeon (Taejon, pop. 1.3 million),
Incheon (Inchon, pop. 2.4 million)
Gwangju (Kwangju, pop. 1.4 million)
Busan (Pusan, pop. 3.9 million)
Daegu (Taegu, pop. 2.5 million)
Type: Republic with powers shared between the president and the legislature.
Liberation: 15 August 1945 from Japanese rule.
Location: South Korea occupies the southern part of the Korean peninsula, the peninsula is surrounded by Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and East Sea (Sea of Japan).
Area: 99,678 km² (38 375 sq. mi.)
(entire Korean Peninsula including North Korea: 222 154 sq km) (85 774 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Partially forested mountain ranges separated by deep, narrow valleys; cultivated plains along the coasts, particularly in the west and south.
Highest mountains in S. Korea - Hallasan on Jeju Island, 1950 m.
Climate: Temperate, four distinct seasons, and heavier rainfall in the summer.
Population: 50.8 million (2016)
Population growth rate: 0.6%.
Ethnic groups: Korean; small Chinese minority.
Religions: Buddhism 46%, Protestantism 39%, Catholicism 13%, Confucianism 1%, Cheondogyo (the Religion of Heavenly Way) and others 1%
Language: Korean, spoken by 70 million people and 5 million overseas Koreans.
Writing system: Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, was invented by King Sejong the Great in 1443, consisting of 10 vowels and 14 consonants.
Literacy rate: 97.75% (2000 estimate), male: 99.1%, female: 96.4%
Natural resources: Limited coal, tungsten, iron ore, limestone, kaolinite, and graphite.
Agriculture products: Rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish.
Industries: Electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel.
Exports - commodities: semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers
Exports - partners: China 26%, US 13.3%, Hong Kong 5.8%, Vietnam 5.3%, Japan 4.9% (2015)
Imports - commodities: crude oil/petroleum products, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemical, textiles
Imports - partners: China 20.7%, Japan 10.5%, US 10.1%, Germany 4.8%, Saudi Arabia 4.5% (2015)
Currency: Won (KRW)
(Source: Korean National Statistical Office and others).
South Korea in numbers
South Korea key statistical data.
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of South KoreaSouth Korea is a presidential representative democratic republic, determined by the constitution. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly.
Head of state is the President, the president is also the chairman of the cabinet, the chief executive of the government, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. If the National Assembly votes against a presidential decision, it will be declared void immediately. Head of government is the Primeminister.
Chong Wa Dae (Blue House)
Official website of the President's office. In Korean and English.
Korea.net: Korean Government Homepage
Official English-language web site of the South Korean Government operated by the Korean Overseas Information Service (KOIS).
Prime Minister's Secretariat
Office for Government Policy Coordination Prime Minister's Secretariat.
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
The site provides a general introduction of the National Assembly and basic materials on Korea's legislative activities.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of diplomacy, external economic policy, overseas Korean nationals, international situation analysis and overseas promotional affairs.
Permanent Mission of The Republic of Korea to the UN
South Korea's representation to the United Nations.
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
South Korea's' Overseas Missions
Directory of Korean Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Missions in Korea
List of foreign Consulates, Embassies and Organizations in Korea.
Korea National Statistical Office - KOSTAT
KOSIS KOrean Statistical Information Service
KOSIS is the national statistical database, operated by Statistics Korea.
Map of South Korea
Political Map of South Korea.
Administrative Map of South Korea
Map showing South Korea and the surrounding countries with international borders, provincial boundaries,
provincial capitals, major cities, main roads, railroads and major airports.
Map of the Korean Peninsula
Government of The Republic of Korea. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2001.
Google Earth Korean Peninsula
Searchable map and satellite view of the Korean Peninsula.
Google Earth Seoul
Searchable map and satellite view of South Korea's capital city.
Google Earth Busan
Searchable map and satellite view of South Korea's second largest city.
Map of East Asia
Political Map of East Asia.
Map of Asia
Political Map of Asia.
Image: Alexandre Chambon
Daily News in English about Korea.
JoongAng Daily (in Korean)
National and international news (English edition).
In-depth news and information.
The Korea Times Online News.
Yonhap News Agency
Korean News Agency.
National and international news by Korean Broadcasting System.
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Arts & Culture
Korea Arts & Culture Education Service (KACES)
Public agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Korean Culture and Arts Foundation
Korean culture and arts (in Korean)
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Established to show the public the desirable direction into which Korean art and its culture should go forward. The main museum in Gwacheon (south of Seoul) has three branches, in Deoksugung, Seoul and Cheongju.
Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA)
Art museum in the old Korean Supreme Court building, operated by Seoul City Council.
National Museum of Korea
A sanctuary of 5.000 years of Korean art and culture.
A must-see comical performance integrating uniquely Korean traditional drumbeats made with kitchen equipments.
The word meokbang comes from the Korean words meokneun, meaning "eat", and bangsong, meaning "to send". It is a fashion from South Korea where people consume huge quantities of food while being watched live by viewers from around the world. You can watch meokbang and other online performances on afreeca.tv, an
online TV with P2P video streaming service. Users can upload their own videos as well as live video streams.
Korea Football Association
Official Site of the Korean Football Association.
Korea Hapkido Federation
Hapkido is a traditional Korean self-defense martial art.
Korean Taekwondo Association
Taekwondo a martial art which has been developed over about 20 centuries in Korea is today a modern, international sport.
A center of Taekwondo history and world-class Taekwondo.
Business & Economy
The Bank of Korea
The Central Bank of South Korea is based in Seoul, it is the sole issuer of the South Korean Won.
Korea Exchange - KSE
The Korea Stock Exchange opened its market March 1956 with twelve listed companies, it is the sole securities exchange operator in South Korea.
The largest bank in South Korea.
Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The KCCI is the oldest and largest business organization in Korea.
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
KOTRA is connecting worldwide buyers with Korean suppliers.
Korean marketplace online.
South Korean Brands
The South Korean conglomerate (Chaebol) includes Hyundai Automotive Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.
South Korea's second-largest car manufacturer.
LG (short for „Lucky GoldStar“)
A Korean Global Business Group.
The multinational company is by far the largest conglomerate (Chaebol) in South Korea, it is headquartered in Seoul.
DaeWoo Korean was a manufacturer of cars and electronic, it was dismantled by the Korean government in 1999. Daewoo was the second largest conglomerate in Korea after the Hyundai Group.
A multinational steel-making company headquartered in Pohang, a port city at the Sea of Japan (East Sea) in Gyeongsangbuk-do province..
South Korean manufacturer of tires for passenger cars and trucks, it is the 7th largest tire company in the world.
South Korea's largest retailer and first discount store, with 160 stores across the country.
Lotte Department Store
The Korean retail company is headquartered in Seoul, established in 1979.
Doosan is a corporate holding company with multiple business areas, from electro-materials to fashion, to information and communication. The company is headquartered in Jung-gu, Seoul.
Korea's second largest carrier, headquartered in Seoul with hubs at Seoul-Incheon and Seoul-Gimpo Airports.
Korea's national airline.
Incheon Airport (IATA code: ICN)
Seoul-Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea, located 49 km (30.5 mi) on the island of Yeongjongdo.
Gimpo International Airport (IATA code: GMP)
Gimpo Airport was formerly South Korea's most important international airport before being replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001.
Korea Railroad Corporation is the national railroad operator in South Korea headquartered in Daejeon. It operates intercity, freight trains, and Korea's high speed rail lines throughout the country.
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Destination South Korea - Travel and Tour Guides
Regions from north to south:
Chungcheongnam-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do,
Jeollabuk-do, Gyeongsangnam-do, Jeollanam-do, and the island Jeju-do.
City destinations: Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Gyeongju, Gangneung, Chuncheon, Jeonju, Suwon, Andong
Official Korea Travel Site by Korea National Tourism Organization.
Korea.net - Korean Overseas Information Service (KOIS)
Extensive information on all things Korean.
Life in Korea
Korean portal with guides to the country's culture.
The Municipality of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.
VisitSeoul.net : Seoul Culture & Tourism
The official cityguide by Seoul Metropolitan Government Tourism Division.
Busan, the major port is the second largest city in South Korea after the capital Seoul, located at the southeast end of the Korean peninsula on the shores of the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
Daegu or Taegu, is Korea's fourth largest city, located in Gyeongsangbuk-do province.
Daejeon or Taejon, South Korea's fifth-largest is located in the center of South Korea in Hoseo region.
Gwangju or Kwangju, the sixth largest city in South Korea is located in the south west of the Korean peninsula in the center of the agricultural Jeolla region.
Incheon Metropolitan City, located in northwestern South Korea is home to Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN), the largest airport in South Korea.
Private university in the South Korean capital Seoul. The institution was founded in 1905, partly by imperial funds, as the first modern college of the country with the name Boseong College.
Flagship Korean National Universities
The Korean Flagship Universities are designated as the provincial centers of higher learning. The Korean government created flagship National Universities for each province between 1946 and 1968.
Seoul National University (SNU)
Major teaching and research university, founded in 1946; ... designed to provide students with a sound understanding of humankind and the world...
Pusan University (PNU)
The university in Korea's second largest city Busan was established in 1946.
...a cradle for the creative technical experts who will lead the advancement of the machinery industry...
Jeju National University
Jeju University has several professional graduate colleges including a Department of Beauty and Cosmetology, the university is located in Jeju City, Jeju province, it was founded in 1952.
Kangwon National University (KNU)
Regional flagship educational institution in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do province.
Kyungpook National University (KNU)
University in Daegu Metropolitan City, it has four campuses in Gyeongbuk province.
Chonbuk National University (CBNU)
A national research university in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do province (North Jeolla).
Chonnam National University
One of the five major national universities of South Korea, located in Gwangju, Jeonnam province.
Chungbuk National University (CBNU)
A major university in North Chungcheong Province, located in Cheongju, the province capital.
Chungnam National University (CNU)
A national university for liberal arts, agricultural sciences and engineering sciences in Daejeon in Hoseo region.
Gyeongsang National University (GNU)
A national university with degree courses in arts, social science, natural science, engineering, agriculture and life science, management, veterinary, education, nursing, and medicine. GNU is located in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province.
The National Library of Korea
The Korean National Library is located in Seoul, founded in 1945. The library has over 10 million volumes, including over 1.2 million foreign-language books and some of the national treasures of South Korea.
Seoul based EcopeaceAsia is specializing in eco-peace making and nature conservation for a sustainable Asia.
Global Green Growth Institute
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is an international organization dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies, the organization is headquartered in Seoul.
Korea Federation for Environmental Movement/ Friends of the Earth Korea
Non-profit organization in South Korea for the conservation of nature and life.
National Parks of Korea
Official site of the Korea National Park Service with extensive information on South Korea's National Park System.
National Institute of Korean History
NIKH's mission is to governmental the nation's historical heritage, founded in 1946.
The T'angun Legend
The national foundation myth - The short version.
Dangun Wanggeom or Tangun was the legendary founder of Gojoseon, the first ever Korean kingdom.
Korean Myths and Tales: Tangun, The Father of Our Nation
The long version.
History of Korea
Wikipedia entry about Korea's History.
Open Directory Project: South Korea
Additional Information on South Korea
BBC Country Profile: South Korea
Wikipedia: South Korea
The World Factbook -- Korea
Other Countries in East Asia:
China (PRC) | Japan | Mongolia | North Korea | South Korea | Taiwan (ROC)
Special Administrative Regions of China: Hong Kong | Macau | Tibet
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