BSG

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea is a presidential republic consisting of sixteen administrative divisions and is a developed country with a very high standard of living. It is Asia's fourth largest economy and the world's 15th (nominal) or 12th (purchasing power parity) largest economy.[10] The economy is export-driven, with production focusing on electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. South Korea is a member of the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. It is also a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit.

ITEM CONTENTS
Motto 솉씡씤媛: 凉섊썗雅븅뼋 Benefit all mankind (unofficial)
Anthem Aegukga (븷援媛: 꽋쐦閭) "The Patriotic Song"
Capital Seoul 37째35콾 127째0콳
Language Korean
Population 2010 estimate 48,875,000
Currency South Korean won (궔) (KRW)
GDP(PPP) Total $1.459 trillionPer capita $29,835
Rank in World Trade(2010) Rank 9. US$ 891billion
Time zone Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+9)

*Source of Wikipedia & WTO

Korea is situated on the Korean Peninsula, which spans 1,100 kilometers north to south. The Korean Peninsula lies on the northeastern section of the Asian continent, where Korean waters are joined by the western-most parts of the Pacific. The peninsula shares its northern border with China and Russia. To the east is the East Sea, beyond which neighboring Japan lies. To the west is the Yellow Sea. In addition to the mainland, Korea includes some 3,200 islands.

Korea encompasses a total of 223,098 square kilometers almost the same size as the United Kingdom or Ghana. Some 45 percent of this area, or 99,678 square kilometers, is considered cultivable area, excluding reclaimed land areas. Mountainous terrain accounts for some two-thirds of the territory like Portugal, Hungary or Ireland.

The Taebaeksan Mountain Range runs the full length of the east coast, where the lashing waves of the East Sea have carved out sheer cliffs and rocky islets. The western and southern slopes are rather gentle, forming plains and many offshore islands honeycombed with inlets.

The peninsula features so many scenic mountains and rivers that Koreans have often likened their country to a beautifully embroidered brocade. The highest peak is on Mt. Baekdusan in North Korea along the northern border facing China. It rises 2,744 meters above sea level and is an extinct volcano with a large crater lake named Cheonji. The mountain is regarded as an especially important symbol of the Korean spirit and is mentioned in Korea's national anthem.

Considering its territorial size, Korea has a relatively large number of rivers and streams. These waterways played crucial roles in shaping the lifestyle of Koreans and in the nation's industrialization. The two longest rivers in North Korea are the Amnokgang River (Yalu, 790 kilometers) and the Dumangang River (Tumen, 521 kilometers). These rivers originate from Mt. Baekdusan and flow to the west and the east, respectively. They form the peninsula's northern border.

As of the end of 2007, South Korea's total population was estimated to be 48,456,369 with a density of 498 people per square kilometer. The population of North Korea was estimated to be 23,200,238.

Korea saw its population grow by an annual rate of 3 percent during the 1960s, but growth slowed to 2 percent over the next decade. In 2005, the rate stood at 0.21 percent and is expected to further decline to 0.02 percent by 2020.

In the 1960s, Korea's population distribution formed a pyramid, with a high birth rate and relatively short life expectancy. However, age-group distribution is now shaped more like a bell because of the low birth rate and extended life expectancy. Those aged 15 and younger will make up a decreasing portion of the total, while senior citizens (65 and older) will account for some 15.7 percent of the total by the year 2020.

In the 19th century, Korea remained a "Hermit Kingdom," adamantly opposed to Western demands for diplomatic and trade relations. Over time, a few Asian and European countries with imperialistic ambitions competed with each other for influence over the Korean Peninsula. Japan, after winning wars against China and Russia, forcibly annexed Korea and instituted colonial rule in 1910.

Colonial rule stimulated the patriotism of Koreans. Korean intellectuals were infuriated by Japan's official assimilation policy, which even banned Korean-language education in Korean schools. On March 1, 1919, a peaceful demonstration calling for independence spread nationwide. The Japanese authorities ruthlessly repressed the demonstrators and their supporters, slaughtering thousands.

Although it failed, the March 1 Independence Movement created strong bonds of national identity and patriotism among Koreans. The movement led to the establishment of a Provisional Government in Shanghai, China, as well as an organized armed struggle against the Japanese colonists in Manchuria. The Independence Movement is still commemorated among Koreans every March 1, which is designated a national holiday.

During the colonial period, Japan's economic exploitation of Korea continued. The lives of Koreans deteriorated under colonial rule until the end of World War II in 1945.

Koreans rejoiced at Japan's World War II defeat. However, their joy was short-lived. Liberation did not instantly bring about the independence for which the Koreans had fought so fiercely. Rather, it resulted in a country divided by ideological differences caused by the emerging Cold War. Korean efforts to establish an independent government were frustrated as U.S. forces occupied the southern half of the peninsula and Soviet troops took control of the north.

In November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that called for general elections in Korea under the supervision of a UN Commission.

However, the Soviet Union refused to comply with the resolution and denied the UN Commission access to the northern half of Korea. The UN General Assembly then adopted another resolution calling for elections in areas accessible to its commission.

The first elections in Korea were carried out on May 10, 1948, in the areas south of the 38th parallel. This parallel came to divide the Korean Peninsula into South and North.

Syngman Rhee was elected the first President of the Republic of Korea in 1948. Meanwhile, north of the 38th parallel, a communist regime was set up under the leadership of Kim Il-sung.
On June 25, 1950, North Korea launched an unprovoked full-scale invasion of the South, triggering a three-year war which drew in U.S., Chinese and other foreign forces. The entire peninsula was devastated by the conflict. A cease-fire was signed in July 1953.

Korea's growth-oriented, export-led economic development since the 1960s was so remarkable that it earned the expression "the Miracle on the Hangang River" in the 1970s. Subsequently, Seoul successfully hosted the 24th Olympics in 1988 and Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup soccer finals with Japan. Through these occasions, Korea has demonstrated to the world its rich cultural heritage and love of art, as well as modern technologies. In the 1950s, Korea ranked among the poorest countries. Today, its economy is around the 13th largest in the world, and the nation is determined to become even more of a global economic leader throughout the new millennium.

The Republic of Korea has steadily followed the path to mature democracy and market economy. Even though the legacies of the Cold War still linger on this peninsula, Korea today is poised to make a new economic take-off. The Koreas are also working toward a durable structure of peace on the peninsula and promoting common prosperity for South and North Korea through peace, reconciliation and cooperation.