South Korea

Coordinates: 36°N 128°E / 36°N 128°E / 36; 128

Republic of Korea
대한민국 (Korean)
Daehan Minguk  (RR)
Anthem: 
애국가
Aegukga
"The Patriotic Song"
National seal
Seal of South Korea.svg
Territory controlled by the Republic of Korea in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled in light green
Territory controlled by the Republic of Korea in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled in light green
Capital
and largest city
Seoul
37°33′N 126°58′E / 37.550°N 126.967°E / 37.550; 126.967
Official languagesKorean (Pyojuneo)
Korean Sign Language[1]
Official scriptHangul
Ethnic groups
(2019)[2]
Religion
(2015)[3][4]
Demonym(s)
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Yoon Suk-yeol
Han Duck-soo
Kim Jin-pyo
Kim Myeong-soo
Yoo Nam-seok
LegislatureNational Assembly
Establishment history
• Gojoseon
2333 BCE (mythological)
57 BCE
668
918
17 July 1392
12 October 1897
22 August 1910
1 March 1919
11 April 1919
15 August 1945
• US administration of Korea south of the 38th parallel
8 September 1945
15 August 1948
25 February 1988
• Admitted to the UN
17 September 1991
Area
• Total
100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi) (107th)
• Water (%)
0.3 (301 km2 / 116 mi2)
Population
• 2021 estimate
Decrease 51,744,876[5] (27th)
• Density
507/km2 (1,313.1/sq mi) (13th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.735 trillion[6] (14th)
• Per capita
Increase $53,051[6] (28th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.804 trillion[6] (12th)
• Per capita
Increase $34,994[6] (32nd)
Gini (2018)Positive decrease 34.5[7]
medium
HDI (2021)Increase 0.925[8]
very high · 19th
CurrencyKorean Republic won (₩) (KRW)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)
Date format
  • yyyy년 m월 d일
  • yyyy. m. d. (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+82
ISO 3166 codeKR
Internet TLD

South Korea,[b] officially the Republic of Korea (ROK),[c] is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. South Korea claims to be the sole legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. It has a population of 51.75 million, of which roughly half live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth largest metropolis in the world. Other major cities include Incheon, Busan, and Daegu.

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The succeeding Korean Empire (1897–1910) was annexed in 1910 into the Empire of Japan. Japanese rule ended following the former's surrender in World War II, after which Korea was divided into two zones; a northern zone occupied by the Soviet Union and a southern zone occupied by the United States. After negotiations on reunification failed, the latter became the Republic of Korea in August 1948 while the former became the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea the following month.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive American-led United Nations intervention in support of the South, while China intervened to support the North, with Soviet assistance. After the war's end in 1953, the country entered into a military alliance with the U.S., and its devastated economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. Despite lacking natural resources, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers based on international trade and economic globalization, integrating itself within the world economy with export-oriented industrialization; currently being one of the largest exporting nations in the world, along with having one of the largest foreign-exchange reserves in the world.[9] The June Democratic Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now considered among the most advanced democracies in Asia, with the highest level of press freedom on the continent.[10]

South Korea is a highly developed country and is ranked as the fifth-highest country on the Human Development Index (HDI) in the Asia and Oceania region. South Korea has the third-highest life expectancy in the world. In recent years, the country has been facing an aging population and the lowest fertility rate in the world. Its economy ranks as the world's twelfth-largest by nominal GDP. Its citizens enjoy one of the world's fastest Internet connection speeds and the densest high-speed railway network. The country is the world's ninth-largest exporter and ninth-largest importer. Its armed forces is ranked as one of the world's strongest militaries and is the world's second-largest standing army by military and paramilitary personnel. Since the 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its globally influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas (K-dramas) and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean wave.[11][12][13] It is a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, the G20, the IPEF, and the Paris Club.

  1. ^ [시행 2016.8.4.] [법률 제13978호, 2016.2.3., 제정] [Enforcement 2016.8.4. Law No. 13978, enacted on February 3, 2016] (in Korean). 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Foreign population in Korea tops 2.5 million". koreatimes. 24 February 2020.
  3. ^ Kim, Han-soo; Shon, Jin-seok (20 December 2016). 신자 수, 개신교 1위… "종교 없다" 56%. Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference ABC-CLIO was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Global, K. E. D. "S.Korea to report first-ever population drop in 2021". KED Global. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database April 2022". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  7. ^ Inequality – Income inequality – OECD Data. OECD. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  9. ^ Service (KOCIS), Korean Culture and Information. "The Korean Economy – the Miracle on the Hangang River : Korea.net : The official website of the Republic of Korea". www.korea.net. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  10. ^ "2021 World Press Freedom Index". RSF. 11 January 2022.
  11. ^ Lara Farrar. "'Korean Wave' of pop culture sweeps across Asia". CNN.
  12. ^ Kim, Harry (2 February 2016). "Surfing the Korean Wave: How K-pop is taking over the world | The McGill Tribune". The McGill Tribune. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  13. ^ Nguyen Hoai Phuong, Duong. Korean Wave as Cultural Imperialism: A study of K-pop Reception in Vietnam (PDF) (Thesis). Leiden University.


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