SOUTH KOREA

Date of establishment: August 15, 1948

Brief history:

  • 1948: Proclamation of the Republic of Korea: On August 15, 1948, the Republic of Korea was proclaimed with Seoul as its capital. Syngman Rhee was elected the first president.
  • 1950-1953: Korean War: In 1950, the Korean War broke out when North Korea attacked South Korea. The conflict lasted until 1953, when an armistice was signed. The countries remained divided into north and south.
  • 1960: Protests and change of government: A wave of mass protests forced President Rhee to resign. A period of political instability and changes in government followed.
  • 1961: Coup and government of Park Chung-Hee: General Park Chung-Hee staged a military coup and took over the government. His rule was later marked by modernization and economic growth.
  • 1970-80: Rapid Economic Growth: South Korea experienced a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, leading to its position as one of the most advanced economies in the world.
  • 1987: Democratization: After mass protests, elections were held and the country was democratized. This period was characterized by elections and changes in political leadership.
  • 1990-2000: Progressive consolidation of democracy: South Korea consolidated democracy and became a major player on the international stage. The country was also affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
  • 21st century: South Korea continued to prosper and became a center of technological and economic advancement. The country has been affected by regional conflicts and mutual tensions with North Korea.
  • Today: South Korea remains a strong and modern economy with a high standard of living. The country is also dealing with regional security challenges and seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict with North Korea.

 

International abbreviation: ROK

 

Currency: South Korean won (KRW)

The South Korean won is divided into smaller units called jeon. Nominally, the won is divided into 100 jeons, but in practice, jeons are not used much, and it is more common to work with whole won. South Korea’s currency is stable and the country has a high level of economic development.

 

Internet domain: .kr

 

Dialing code: +82

 

Time zone: GMT +9

 

Geography:

South Korea borders North Korea to the northwest, the Sea of Japan to the east, the Korea Strait to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west.

It is a mountainous country, with the Taebeck Mountains in its central part and the Sobaek Mountains in the eastern part of the country.

Rivers are an important element of the landscape. The main rivers are the Han, Nakdong, Geum, and Nakdong, which have their sources in the mountains and flow into the Sea of Japan or the Yellow Sea. It includes many islands. The largest of these is Jeju Island, which is located on the southwest coast. The island has beautiful natural scenery and is a popular destination for tourists.

 

Highest peak: Hala-San 1 949 meters (6 394 feet) above sea level.

Hallasan is a volcanic mountain. The mountain is part of Hallasan National Park on Jeju Island, which is a popular destination for hikers and climbers.

 

Climate:

Spring is a mild and pleasant season with warm temperatures. May is a particularly beautiful month when flowers and trees begin to bloom. Spring is ideal for tourists because of its pleasant weather. Summer is hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). It can be humid and muggy at this time. Summer is also a rainy season, which can cause flooding and traffic problems.

Autumn is another favorite season for tourists due to the pleasant temperatures and the beautiful color changes of the leaves.

Winter is cold and dry with temperatures often dropping below freezing. In the lowlands, temperatures can drop below -10°C (14°F), while it can be much colder in the highlands.

South Korea is affected by monsoon winds, which can cause rain and thunderstorms in the summer.

 

Fauna and flora:

South Korea has a small population of Siberian tigers that live in protected areas in the mountains in the northeast of the country.

Another rare species is the Amur ibex, which is found in the mountainous northeastern part.

The Korean bear lives in the mountains of northeastern South Korea and is also an endangered species.

The country is home to many species of birds, including owls, cormorants, herons, and birds of prey.

With its coastline on the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, South Korea has a rich ecosystem of marine life.

It has extensive forests that cover parts of the mountains. Tree species include oaks, pines, cedars, and spruce.

Chrysanthemums are popular flowers and play an important role in Korean culture. Every year there is a chrysanthemum festival in Seoul where these flowers are exhibited.

It is also known for its orchids that grow in natural forest areas. Towns and villages often have beautiful flower gardens that are an important part of the local landscape.

 

Agriculture:

Rice is traditionally a staple of the Korean diet. The country produces various types of rice, both for its own consumption and for export.

It produces a variety of vegetables, such as onions, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, as well as fruits, including apples, pears, and peaches.

Livestock farming, including cattle and pigs, is common agricultural sector. Meat is an important part of the Korean diet, including the popular dish called “bulgogi” (marinated and grilled meat). The production of dairy products such as milk, yogurts, and cheeses is also a significant part of agriculture.

With its coastline on the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, fisheries play an important role in South Korea’s food supply.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

South Korea has several coal mines, but the country’s coal production has declined significantly over the years. The country is becoming increasingly dependent on coal imports.

Limestone quarrying is also an important industry. It operates several nuclear power plants. Uranium ore, which is needed for nuclear power, is also imported.

The country has a significant processing and manufacturing industry that uses raw materials and semi-finished products imported from abroad. These processing and manufacturing industries are important pillars of the country’s economy.

 

Industry:

South Korea is home to several major car manufacturers, including Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. These automakers produce passenger cars, trucks, and electric vehicles, and are internationally recognized for their quality and innovation.

It is one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers. Companies such as Samsung, LG, and SK Hynix manufacture a wide range of electronic products, including smartphones, televisions, memory chips, and other devices.

South Korea is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders. It has large shipyards that build marine vessels, including container ships, oil tankers, and ocean cruisers.

A large-scale petrochemicals industry is engaged in the production of chemical products and plastics.

The country is also focusing on developing the aerospace industry, including aircraft manufacturing and space technology.

It has a developed manufacturing industry that includes the production of steel, auto parts, electronic components, and other industrial goods.

 

Services and other sectors of the economy: tourism, the IT sector, maritime, road and air transport, science and research, telecommunications, and banking

 

Natural and historical attractions: Seoul, Seoraksan National Park, Jeju Island, and Busan

Tourists have the opportunity to experience traditional Korean culture, including wearing hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), participating in traditional dances and theater performances, and tasting Korean cuisine such as kimchi and bulgogi.

South Korea offers beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, beaches, and national parks. National parks such as Seoraksan, Jirisan, and Hallasan are popular spots for tourists who enjoy hiking and walking in nature. The country has a rich history that visitors can explore by visiting historical sites such as ancient palaces and temples.

It includes several beautiful islands, such as Jeju, which is a popular tourist destination with gorgeous beaches, volcanic craters, and mountainous landscapes.

It is also known for its technology and innovation. The city of Incheon hosts a futuristic international airport, and the country has a number of modern museums and exhibitions related to science and technology.

 

Waterparks in South Korea:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The president is the head of state and the highest executive. They are elected for a five-year term through direct universal suffrage. The president has broad powers including leadership of the government, foreign policy and the appointment of members of the government.

The government is the executive body of state power and consists of prime ministers and ministers. Ministers are appointed by the president and approved by parliament.

It has an independent judicial system that includes the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and other courts. The judiciary is separate from the executive and legislative branches and is tasked with administering justice.

South Korea has an extensive local government system that includes provinces, cities, and districts. These bodies have powers in areas such as local government, education, and public services.

 

Capital city: Seoul

It is located in the northwestern part of the country and is its political, economic, cultural, and transport center.

The city of Seoul has more than 2,000 years of history, having been the capital of the Korean Peninsula in various historical periods. The city has a number of historical monuments such as royal palaces and temples that reflect Korea’s rich history.

 

Area: 98 480 km2 (38 023 square miles)

 

Population: 52 000 000 (2022)

The majority of the population is Korean, and the country is known for its ethnic homogeneity. However, there is also a small population of foreigners and migrant workers.

There is a diversity of religious beliefs in the country, with Buddhism and Christianity being the largest religious groups.

The official language is Korean. However, English is also taught in schools and is widely used in areas such as business and tourism.

The population is highly literate and there is an emphasis on education. The country is known for its demanding education system and high academic standards.

South Korea has a relatively high quality of life, with a well-developed health system and infrastructure. Residents have access to modern technologies and services.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 16

 

  1. Haeinsa (1995) – Haeinsa Monastery, also known as the “mirror of the sea” monastery, is an important Buddhist monastery in South Korea, known for its beautiful wooden structures and Buddhist relics.
  2. Jongmyo Shrine (1995) – Jongmyo Shrine is a historic religious complex in South Korea dedicated to Confucian teachings and the worship of Confucius.
  3. Sokkuram and Bulguksa Monastery (1995) – A cave Buddhist temple with an impressive Buddha statue in South Korea, and Bulguksa Monastery is associated with this shrine.
  4. Changdeokgung Palace Complex (1997) – A historic royal palace in Seoul that is notable for its architecture and historical significance.
  5. Hwaseong Fortress (1997) – A historic fortress built in the 18th century, known for its architectural beauty and defense systems.
  6. Dolmens at Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa (2000) – Megalithic tombs that are historically significant to the area.
  7. Gyeongju Historic Area (2000) – Gyeongju is a historical city that was the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom.
  8. Jeju Volcanic Island (2007) – A volcanic island known for its beautiful nature and geological diversity.
  9. Joseon Dynasty Royal Tombs (2009) – These tombs are the tombs of Korean monarchs from the Joseon Dynasty.
  10. Hahoe and Yangdong Historic Korean Villages (2010) – These villages preserve traditional Korean architecture and culture.
  11. Namhansanseong (2014) – A historic mountain fortress in South Korea.
  12. Historical territories of the Kingdom of Paekche (2015) – This area includes historical monuments associated with the Kingdom of Paekche.
  13. Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (2018) – Buddhist Monasteries.
  14. Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies (2019) – Seowon are traditional Korean academies that served to educate and worship Confucius.
  15. Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats (2021) – This area includes the tidal flats, which are a unique ecosystem in South Korea.
  16. Gaya Tumuli (2023) – Ancient tombs associated with the Kingdom of Gaya, a historical area known for its funerary architecture and archaeological significance.

 

National parks: 22

 

  1. Bukhansan National Park
  2. Byeonsan-bando National Park
  3. Chiaksan National Park
  4. Dadohaehaesang National Park
  5. Deogyusan National Park
  6. Gayasan National Park
  7. Gyeongju National Park
  8. Gyeryongsan National Park
  9. Hallasan National Park
  10. Hallyeohaesang National Park
  11. Jirisan National Park
  12. Juwangsan National Park
  13. Naejangsan National Park
  14. Odaesan National Park
  15. Seoraksan National Park
  16. Sobaeksan National Park
  17. Songnisan National Park
  18. Taeanhaean National Park
  19. Wolchulsan National Park
  20. Woraksan National Park
  21. Mudeungsan National Park
  22. Taebaeksan National Park