The Republic of Korea is a small country on the far eastern edge of Asia. Although it ranks 109th in the world in terms of land area, the country is a center of economic activity, culture, and arts. Korea was colonized by Japan in the early 20th century and later had to endure the Korean War (1950-53), but it has achieved amazing economic growth in a short period, dubbed "the Miracle on the Han River."

Today, Korea is an industrial nation standing tall on the world stage. Its semiconductor, automobile, shipbuilding, steel making, and IT industries are on the leading edge in global markets. It hosted the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup. More recently, Korean dramas, movies, and music are attracting many audiences in Asian countries and beyond, creating what is being called the "Korean Wave." Korea's new standing in the international community was highlighted in 2010 with the nation becoming the first Asian country to chair the G20 and host the G20 Seoul Summit.

General

  • Country Name
    • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Currency
    • won
  • Capital City
    • Seoul (9.8 million)
  • National Flag
    • Taegeukgi
  • Language
    • Korean (Writing system: Hangeul)
  • National Flower
    • Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon)

People

  • Population
    • 51.82 million (South Korea)
  • Median Age
    • 40.6
  • Religion
    • Buddhists (22.8%), Catholics (10.9%), Protestants (18.3%), Others (1.1%)

Government

  • Political System
    • Republic with a president elected to a single 5-year term by direct popular vote. Division of power among the executive, legislature (unicameral National Assembly), and judiciary branches
  • President
    • Moon Jae-in since 2017
  • Suffrage
    • Universal at 19 years of age
  • Elections
    • Presidential: every 5 years
      National Assembly: every 4 years
      Local Government: every 4 years

Economy

  • Gross Domestic Product
    • US$ 1,807 billion
  • Per Capita GNI
    • US$ 29,743
      GDP Growth Rate: 3.1%
  • Major Industrial Products
    • Semiconductors, automobiles, ships, consumer electronics, mobile telecommunications,
      equipment, steel, and chemicals.