South Korea

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

Republic of Korea
대한민국 (Korean)
Daehan Minguk (RR)
Motto: 홍익인간 (de facto)
Hongik Ingan
"To broadly benefit the human world"[1]
Anthem: 애국가
"The Patriotic Song"
National seal
Seal of South Korea.svg
Dark green: Territory controlled by the Republic of Korea Lighter green: Territory claimed but not controlled by the Republic of Korea
Dark green: Territory controlled by the Republic of Korea
Lighter green: Territory claimed but not controlled by the Republic of Korea
and largest city
37°33′N 126°58′E / 37.550°N 126.967°E / 37.550; 126.967
Official languagesKorean (Pyojuneo)
Korean Sign Language[2]
Official scriptHangul
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
• President
Moon Jae-in
Kim Boo-kyum
Park Byeong-seug
Kim Myeong-soo
Yoo Nam-seok
LegislatureNational Assembly
Establishment history
c. 7th century BCE
1 March 1919
11 April 1919
• Surrender of Japan
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
• Total
100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi) (107th)
• Water (%)
0.3 (301 km2 / 116 mi2)
• 2019 estimate
Neutral increase 51,709,098[6] (27th)
• Density
507/km2 (1,313.1/sq mi) (13th)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.436 trillion[7] (14th)
• Per capita
Increase $47,027[7] (28th)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.806 trillion[7] (10th)
• Per capita
Increase $34,866[7] (28th)
Gini (2018)Positive decrease 34.5[8]
HDI (2019)Increase 0.916[9]
very high · 23rd
CurrencyKorean Republic won (₩) (KRW)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)
Date format
  • yyyy년 m월 d일
  • yyyy. m. d. (CE)
Mains electricity220 V–60 Hz
Driving sideright
Calling code+82
ISO 3166 codeKR
Internet TLD
Republic of Korea
South Korea with Hanja.svg
"Republic of Korea" in Hangul (top) and Hanja (bottom) scripts.
South Korean name
South Korea
South Korean name
North Korean name
South Korean name
North Korean name

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 (East Sea). About 25 million people, around half of the country's population of 51 million, live in the Seoul Capital Area.

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 was annexed in 1910 into the Empire of Japan. Japanese rule in Korea 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 North Korea.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive United States-led U.N. 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's economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. The June 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.[10] However, political scandals have been problems in recent years; both living former South Korean presidents have been sentenced to prison for various crimes ranging from abuse of authority to bribery and embezzlement, with one still serving his sentence.[13]

South Korea is a developed country and is ranked as the seventh-highest country on the Human Development Index (HDI) in the Asia and Oceania region. Its economy ranks as the world's tenth-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 fifth-largest exporter and eighth-largest importer. South Korea was in 2017 the world's 7th largest emitter of carbon emissions and the 5th largest emitter per capita. Since the 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its globally influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean Wave.[14][15][16][17][18] It is a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, the G20, and the Paris Club.

  1. ^ "A New Way of Seeing Country Social Responsibility" (PDF). Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences: 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  2. ^ [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.
  3. ^ "Foreign population in Korea tops 2.5 million". koreatimes. 24 February 2020.
  4. ^ Kim, Han-soo; Shon, Jin-seok (20 December 2016). 신자 수, 개신교 1위… "종교 없다" 56%. Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference ABC-CLIO was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Kosis 100대 지표.
  7. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2020". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  8. ^ Inequality – Income inequality – OECD Data. OECD. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Human Development Report 2020" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  10. ^ "2021 World Press Freedom Index". RSF. 11 January 2022.
  11. ^ "South Korea's troubling history of jailing ex-presidents". AEI. 9 October 2018.
  12. ^ "South Korea ex-leader jailed for 15 years". BBC News. 5 October 2018.
  13. ^ [11][12]
  14. ^ Yong Jin, Dal (2011). "Hallyu 2.0: The New Korean Wave in the Creative Industry". International Institute Journal. 2 (1).
  15. ^ CNN, Lara Farrar for. "'Korean Wave' of pop culture sweeps across Asia".
  16. ^ "The Global Impact of South Korean Popular Culture: Hallyu Unbound ed. by Valentina Marinescu". ResearchGate.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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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