South Korea

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"Republic of Korea" redirects here. South Korea_sentence_0

For the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, see North Korea. South Korea_sentence_1

For other uses, see Korea (disambiguation). South Korea_sentence_2

"Daehanminguk" redirects here. South Korea_sentence_3

For the government in exile that used the same name, see Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. South Korea_sentence_4

South Korea_table_infobox_0

Republic of KoreaSouth Korea_header_cell_0_0_0

and largest citySouth Korea_header_cell_0_1_0

SeoulSouth Korea_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesSouth Korea_header_cell_0_2_0 Korean (Pyojun-eo)

Korean Sign LanguageSouth Korea_cell_0_2_1

Official scriptSouth Korea_header_cell_0_3_0 KoreanSouth Korea_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groupsSouth Korea_header_cell_0_4_0 Predominantly Korean, no official statisticsSouth Korea_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2015)South Korea_header_cell_0_5_0 South Korea_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)South Korea_header_cell_0_6_0 South Korea_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentSouth Korea_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary presidential

constitutional republicSouth Korea_cell_0_7_1

PresidentSouth Korea_header_cell_0_8_0 Moon Jae-inSouth Korea_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterSouth Korea_header_cell_0_9_0 Chung Sye-kyunSouth Korea_cell_0_9_1
Speaker of the National AssemblySouth Korea_header_cell_0_10_0 Park Byeong-seugSouth Korea_cell_0_10_1
Chief JusticeSouth Korea_header_cell_0_11_0 Kim Myeong-sooSouth Korea_cell_0_11_1
President of the Constitutional CourtSouth Korea_header_cell_0_12_0 Yoo Nam-seokSouth Korea_cell_0_12_1
LegislatureSouth Korea_header_cell_0_13_0 National AssemblySouth Korea_cell_0_13_1
Establishment historySouth Korea_header_cell_0_14_0
First KingdomSouth Korea_header_cell_0_15_0 c. 7th century BCESouth Korea_cell_0_15_1
Declaration of IndependenceSouth Korea_header_cell_0_16_0 1 March 1919South Korea_cell_0_16_1
Provisional GovernmentSouth Korea_header_cell_0_17_0 11 April 1919South Korea_cell_0_17_1
Independence from JapanSouth Korea_header_cell_0_18_0 15 August 1945South Korea_cell_0_18_1
US administration of Korea south of the 38th parallelSouth Korea_header_cell_0_19_0 8 September 1945South Korea_cell_0_19_1
ROK establishedSouth Korea_header_cell_0_20_0 15 August 1948South Korea_cell_0_20_1
Current constitutionSouth Korea_header_cell_0_21_0 25 February 1988South Korea_cell_0_21_1
Admitted to the UNSouth Korea_header_cell_0_22_0 17 September 1991South Korea_cell_0_22_1
Area South Korea_header_cell_0_23_0
TotalSouth Korea_header_cell_0_24_0 100,363 km (38,750 sq mi) (107th)South Korea_cell_0_24_1
Water (%)South Korea_header_cell_0_25_0 0.3 (301 km / 116 mi)South Korea_cell_0_25_1
PopulationSouth Korea_header_cell_0_26_0
2019 estimateSouth Korea_header_cell_0_27_0 51,709,098 (27th)South Korea_cell_0_27_1
DensitySouth Korea_header_cell_0_28_0 507/km (1,313.1/sq mi) (13th)South Korea_cell_0_28_1
GDP (PPP)South Korea_header_cell_0_29_0 2020 estimateSouth Korea_cell_0_29_1
TotalSouth Korea_header_cell_0_30_0 $2.293 trillion (14th)South Korea_cell_0_30_1
Per capitaSouth Korea_header_cell_0_31_0 $44,292 (24th)South Korea_cell_0_31_1
GDP (nominal)South Korea_header_cell_0_32_0 2020 estimateSouth Korea_cell_0_32_1
TotalSouth Korea_header_cell_0_33_0 $1.586 trillion (10th)South Korea_cell_0_33_1
Per capitaSouth Korea_header_cell_0_34_0 $30,644 (26th)South Korea_cell_0_34_1
Gini (2016)South Korea_header_cell_0_35_0 35.7

medium · 93rdSouth Korea_cell_0_35_1

HDI (2018)South Korea_header_cell_0_36_0 0.906

very high · 22ndSouth Korea_cell_0_36_1

CurrencySouth Korea_header_cell_0_37_0 Korean Republic won (₩) (KRW)South Korea_cell_0_37_1
Time zoneSouth Korea_header_cell_0_38_0 UTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)South Korea_cell_0_38_1
Date formatSouth Korea_header_cell_0_39_0 South Korea_cell_0_39_1
Mains electricitySouth Korea_header_cell_0_40_0 220V–60 HzSouth Korea_cell_0_40_1
Driving sideSouth Korea_header_cell_0_41_0 rightSouth Korea_cell_0_41_1
Calling codeSouth Korea_header_cell_0_42_0 +82South Korea_cell_0_42_1
ISO 3166 codeSouth Korea_header_cell_0_43_0 KRSouth Korea_cell_0_43_1
Internet TLDSouth Korea_header_cell_0_44_0 South Korea_cell_0_44_1

South Korea_table_infobox_1

South Korean nameSouth Korea_header_cell_1_0_0
HangulSouth Korea_header_cell_1_1_0 South Korea_cell_1_1_1
HanjaSouth Korea_header_cell_1_2_0 South Korea_cell_1_2_1
TranscriptionsRevised RomanizationDaehan Min(-)gukMcCune–ReischauerTaehan Min’gukSouth Korea_cell_1_3_0
TranscriptionsSouth Korea_header_cell_1_4_0
Revised RomanizationSouth Korea_header_cell_1_5_0 Daehan Min(-)gukSouth Korea_cell_1_5_1
McCune–ReischauerSouth Korea_header_cell_1_6_0 Taehan Min’gukSouth Korea_cell_1_6_1

South Korea_table_infobox_2

South Korean nameSouth Korea_header_cell_2_0_0
HangulSouth Korea_header_cell_2_1_0 South Korea_cell_2_1_1
HanjaSouth Korea_header_cell_2_2_0 South Korea_cell_2_2_1
TranscriptionsRevised RomanizationNamhanMcCune–ReischauerNamhanSouth Korea_cell_2_3_0
TranscriptionsSouth Korea_header_cell_2_4_0
Revised RomanizationSouth Korea_header_cell_2_5_0 NamhanSouth Korea_cell_2_5_1
McCune–ReischauerSouth Korea_header_cell_2_6_0 NamhanSouth Korea_cell_2_6_1
North Korean nameSouth Korea_header_cell_2_7_0
Chosŏn'gŭlSouth Korea_header_cell_2_8_0 South Korea_cell_2_8_1
HanchaSouth Korea_header_cell_2_9_0 South Korea_cell_2_9_1
TranscriptionsRevised RomanizationNamjoseonMcCune–ReischauerNamchosŏnSouth Korea_cell_2_10_0
TranscriptionsSouth Korea_header_cell_2_11_0
Revised RomanizationSouth Korea_header_cell_2_12_0 NamjoseonSouth Korea_cell_2_12_1
McCune–ReischauerSouth Korea_header_cell_2_13_0 NamchosŏnSouth Korea_cell_2_13_1

South Korea_table_infobox_3

South Korean nameSouth Korea_header_cell_3_0_0
HangulSouth Korea_header_cell_3_1_0 South Korea_cell_3_1_1
HanjaSouth Korea_header_cell_3_2_0 South Korea_cell_3_2_1
TranscriptionsRevised RomanizationHan(-)gukMcCune–ReischauerHan’gukSouth Korea_cell_3_3_0
TranscriptionsSouth Korea_header_cell_3_4_0
Revised RomanizationSouth Korea_header_cell_3_5_0 Han(-)gukSouth Korea_cell_3_5_1
McCune–ReischauerSouth Korea_header_cell_3_6_0 Han’gukSouth Korea_cell_3_6_1
North Korean nameSouth Korea_header_cell_3_7_0
Chosŏn'gŭlSouth Korea_header_cell_3_8_0 South Korea_cell_3_8_1
HanchaSouth Korea_header_cell_3_9_0 South Korea_cell_3_9_1
TranscriptionsRevised RomanizationJoseonMcCune–ReischauerChosŏnSouth Korea_cell_3_10_0
TranscriptionsSouth Korea_header_cell_3_11_0
Revised RomanizationSouth Korea_header_cell_3_12_0 JoseonSouth Korea_cell_3_12_1
McCune–ReischauerSouth Korea_header_cell_3_13_0 ChosŏnSouth Korea_cell_3_13_1

South Korea (Korean: /, RR: Hanguk; literally /, RR: Namhan, or /, MR: Namchosŏn in North Korean usage), officially the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: /, RR: Daehan Minguk), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and sharing a land border with North Korea. South Korea_sentence_5

25 million people, around half of the country's population of more than 51 million people, live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the world. South Korea_sentence_6

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. South Korea_sentence_7

Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. South Korea_sentence_8

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). South Korea_sentence_9

The succeeding Korean Empire was annexed into the Empire of Japan in 1910. South Korea_sentence_10

After World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S.-administered zones, with the latter becoming the Republic of Korea in August 1948. South Korea_sentence_11

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War and after its 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. South Korea_sentence_12

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. South Korea_sentence_13

However, corruption and political scandals remains a serious problem, with half of all living former South Korean presidents currently in prison for various crimes ranging from abuse of authority, bribery and embezzlement. South Korea_sentence_14

South Korea is a highly developed country, ranking as the third-highest country on the Human Development Index in Asia. South Korea_sentence_15

It is a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, the G20 and the Paris Club. South Korea_sentence_16

Its economy ranks as the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP. South Korea_sentence_17

Its citizens enjoy one of the world's fastest Internet connection speeds. South Korea_sentence_18

The country is the world's fifth-largest exporter and eighth-largest importer. South Korea_sentence_19

South Korea was in 2017 the world's 7th largest emitter of carbon emissions and the 5th largest emitter per capita. South Korea_sentence_20

Since the 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean Wave. South Korea_sentence_21

Etymology South Korea_section_0

See also: Names of Korea South Korea_sentence_22

The name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. South Korea_sentence_23

The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo, which was considered a great power of East Asia during its time, in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name. South Korea_sentence_24

The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, and thus inherited its name, which was pronounced by the visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". South Korea_sentence_25

The modern name of Koreia, appears in the first Portuguese maps of 1568 by João vaz Dourado as Conrai and later in the late 16th century and early 17th century as Korea (Corea) in the maps of Teixeira Albernaz of 1630. South Korea_sentence_26

The kingdom of Goryeo was first known to the westerners still by the hand of Afonso de Albuquerque when the conquest of Malacca in 1511 describing the peoples who traded with this part of the worldknown by the Portuguese as the Gores. South Korea_sentence_27

Despite the coexistence of the spellings Corea and Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically. South Korea_sentence_28

After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted. South Korea_sentence_29

The new official name has its origin in the ancient kingdom of Gojoseon (2333 BCE). South Korea_sentence_30

In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk (Korean Empire). South Korea_sentence_31

The name Daehan (Great Han) derives from Samhan (Three Han), referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula. South Korea_sentence_32

However, the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. South Korea_sentence_33

Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. South Korea_sentence_34

There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (대한민국 임시정부/大韓民國臨時政府). South Korea_sentence_35

Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea (대한민국/大韓民國, IPA: ˈtɛ̝ːɦa̠nminɡuk̚, lit. South Korea_sentence_36

'Great Korean People's State'; listen) was adopted as the legal English name for the new country. South Korea_sentence_37

However, it is not a direct translation of the Korean name. South Korea_sentence_38

As a result, the Korean name "Daehan Minguk" is sometimes used by South Koreans as a metonym to refer to the Korean ethnicity (or "race") as a whole, rather than just the South Korean state. South Korea_sentence_39

Since the government only controlled the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the informal term South Korea was coined, becoming increasingly common in the Western world. South Korea_sentence_40

While South Koreans use Han (or Hanguk) to refer to both Koreas collectively, North Koreans and ethnic Koreans living in China and Japan use the term Joseon instead. South Korea_sentence_41

History South Korea_section_1

Main article: History of Korea South Korea_sentence_42

Ancient Korea South Korea_section_2

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. South Korea_sentence_43

The history of Korea begins with the founding of Joseon (also known as "Gojoseon", or Old Joseon, to differentiate it with the 14th century dynasty) in 2333 BCE by Dangun, according to Korea's foundation mythology. South Korea_sentence_44

Gojoseon was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century. South Korea_sentence_45

Gojoseon expanded until it controlled the northern Korean Peninsula and parts of Manchuria. South Korea_sentence_46

Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in the 12th century BCE, but its existence and role have been controversial in the modern era. South Korea_sentence_47

In 108 BCE, the Han dynasty defeated Wiman Joseon and installed four commanderies in the northern Korean peninsula. South Korea_sentence_48

Three of the commanderies fell or retreated westward within a few decades. South Korea_sentence_49

As Lelang commandery was destroyed and rebuilt around this time, the place gradually moved toward Liaodong. South Korea_sentence_50

Thus, its force was diminished and it only served as a trade center until it was conquered by Goguryeo in 313. South Korea_sentence_51

Three Kingdoms of Korea South Korea_section_3

During the period known as the Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea, the states of Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongye and Samhan occupied the whole Korean peninsula and southern Manchuria. South Korea_sentence_52

From them, Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla emerged to control the peninsula as the Three Kingdoms of Korea. South Korea_sentence_53

Goguryeo, the largest and most powerful among them, was a highly militaristic state, and competed with various Chinese dynasties during its 700 years of history. South Korea_sentence_54

Goguryeo experienced a golden age under Gwanggaeto the Great and his son Jangsu, who both subdued Baekje and Silla during their times, achieving a brief unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea and becoming the most dominant power on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea_sentence_55

In addition to contesting for control of the Korean Peninsula, Goguryeo had many military conflicts with various Chinese dynasties, most notably the Goguryeo–Sui War, in which Goguryeo defeated a huge force said to number over a million men. South Korea_sentence_56

Baekje was a great maritime power; its nautical skill, which made it the Phoenicia of East Asia, was instrumental in the dissemination of Buddhism throughout East Asia and continental culture to Japan. South Korea_sentence_57

Baekje was once a great military power on the Korean Peninsula, especially during the time of Geunchogo, but was critically defeated by Gwanggaeto the Great and declined. South Korea_sentence_58

Silla was the smallest and weakest of the three, but it used cunning diplomatic means to make opportunistic pacts and alliances with the more powerful Korean kingdoms, and eventually Tang China, to its great advantage. South Korea_sentence_59

The unification of the Three Kingdoms by Silla in 676 led to the North South States Period, in which much of the Korean Peninsula was controlled by Later Silla, while Balhae controlled the northern parts of Goguryeo. South Korea_sentence_60

Balhae was founded by a Goguryeo general and formed as a successor state to Goguryeo. South Korea_sentence_61

During its height, Balhae controlled most of Manchuria and parts of the Russian Far East, and was called the "Prosperous Country in the East". South Korea_sentence_62

Later Silla was a golden age of art and culture, as evidenced by the Hwangnyongsa, Seokguram, and Emille Bell. South Korea_sentence_63

Relationships between Korea and China remained relatively peaceful during this time. South Korea_sentence_64

Later Silla carried on the maritime prowess of Baekje, which acted like the Phoenicia of medieval East Asia, and during the 8th and 9th centuries dominated the seas of East Asia and the trade between China, Korea and Japan, most notably during the time of Jang Bogo; in addition, Silla people made overseas communities in China on the Shandong Peninsula and the mouth of the Yangtze River. South Korea_sentence_65

Later Silla was a prosperous and wealthy country, and its metropolitan capital of Gyeongju was the fourth largest city in the world. South Korea_sentence_66

Buddhism flourished during this time, and many Korean Buddhists gained great fame among Chinese Buddhists and contributed to Chinese Buddhism, including: Woncheuk, Wonhyo, Uisang, Musang, and Kim Gyo-gak, a Silla prince whose influence made Mount Jiuhua one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Chinese Buddhism. South Korea_sentence_67

However, Later Silla weakened under internal strife and the revival of Baekje and Goguryeo, which led to the Later Three Kingdoms period in the late 9th century. South Korea_sentence_68

Unified Dynasties South Korea_section_4

In 936, the Later Three Kingdoms were united by Wang Geon, a descendant of Goguryeo nobility, who established Goryeo as the successor state of Goguryeo. South Korea_sentence_69

Balhae had fallen to the Khitan Empire in 926, and a decade later the last crown prince of Balhae fled south to Goryeo, where he was warmly welcomed and included into the ruling family by Wang Geon, thus unifying the two successor nations of Goguryeo. South Korea_sentence_70

Like Silla, Goryeo was a highly cultural state, and invented the metal movable type printing press. South Korea_sentence_71

After defeating the Khitan Empire, which was the most powerful empire of its time, in the Goryeo–Khitan War, Goryeo experienced a golden age that lasted a century, during which the Tripitaka Koreana was completed and there were great developments in printing and publishing, promoting learning and dispersing knowledge on philosophy, literature, religion, and science; by 1100, there were 12 universities that produced famous scholars and scientists. South Korea_sentence_72

However, the Mongol invasions in the 13th century greatly weakened the kingdom. South Korea_sentence_73

Goryeo was never conquered by the Mongols, but exhausted after three decades of fighting, the Korean court sent its crown prince to the Yuan capital to swear allegiance to Kublai Khan, who accepted, and married one of his daughters to the Korean crown prince. South Korea_sentence_74

Henceforth, Goryeo continued to rule Korea, though as a tributary ally to the Mongols for the next 86 years. South Korea_sentence_75

During this period, the two nations became intertwined as all subsequent Korean kings married Mongol princesses, and the last empress of the Yuan dynasty was a Korean princess. South Korea_sentence_76

In the mid-14th century, Goryeo drove out the Mongols to regain its northern territories, briefly conquered Liaoyang, and defeated invasions by the Red Turbans. South Korea_sentence_77

However, in 1392, General Yi Seong-gye, who had been ordered to attack China, turned his army around and staged a coup. South Korea_sentence_78

Yi Seong-gye declared the new name of Korea as "Joseon" in reference to Gojoseon, and moved the capital to Hanseong (one of the old names of Seoul). South Korea_sentence_79

The first 200 years of the Joseon dynasty were marked by peace, and saw great advancements in science and education, as well as the creation of Hangul by Sejong the Great to promote literacy among the common people. South Korea_sentence_80

The prevailing ideology of the time was Neo-Confucianism, which was epitomized by the seonbi class: nobles who passed up positions of wealth and power to lead lives of study and integrity. South Korea_sentence_81

Between 1592 and 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched invasions of Korea, but his advance was halted by Korean forces (most notably the Joseon Navy led by Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his renowned "turtle ship") with assistance from Righteous Army militias formed by Korean civilians, and Ming dynasty Chinese troops. South Korea_sentence_82

Through a series of successful battles of attrition, the Japanese forces were eventually forced to withdraw, and relations between all parties became normalized. South Korea_sentence_83

However, the Manchus took advantage of Joseon's war-weakened state and invaded in 1627 and 1637, and then went on to conquer the destabilized Ming dynasty. South Korea_sentence_84

After normalizing relations with the new Qing dynasty, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. South Korea_sentence_85

Kings Yeongjo and Jeongjo particularly led a new renaissance of the Joseon dynasty during the 18th century. South Korea_sentence_86

In the 19th century, the royal in-law families gained control of the government, leading to mass corruption and weakening of the state, and severe poverty and peasant rebellions throughout the country. South Korea_sentence_87

Furthermore, the Joseon government adopted a strict isolationist policy, earning the nickname "the hermit kingdom", but ultimately failed to protect itself against imperialism and was forced to open its borders. South Korea_sentence_88

After the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, Korea was occupied by Japan (1910–45). South Korea_sentence_89

At the end of World War II, the Japanese surrendered to Soviet and U.S. forces who occupied the northern and southern halves of Korea, respectively. South Korea_sentence_90

Modern history South Korea_section_5

Main article: History of South Korea South Korea_sentence_91

Despite the initial plan of a unified Korea in the 1943 Cairo Declaration, escalating Cold War antagonism between the Soviet Union and the United States eventually led to the establishment of separate governments, each with its own ideology, leading to the division of Korea into two political entities in 1948: North Korea and South Korea. South Korea_sentence_92

In the South, Syngman Rhee, an opponent of communism, who had been backed and appointed by the United States as head of the provisional government, won the first presidential elections of the newly declared Republic of Korea in May. South Korea_sentence_93

In the North, however, a former anti-Japanese guerrilla and communist activist, Kim Il-sung was appointed premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in September. South Korea_sentence_94

In October, the Soviet Union declared Kim Il-sung's government as sovereign over both parts. South Korea_sentence_95

The UN declared Rhee's government as "a lawful government having effective control and jurisdiction over that part of Korea where the UN Temporary Commission on Korea was able to observe and consult" and the Government "based on elections which was observed by the Temporary Commission" in addition to a statement that "this is the only such government in Korea." South Korea_sentence_96

Both leaders began an authoritarian repression of their political opponents inside their region, seeking for a unification of Korea under their control. South Korea_sentence_97

While South Korea's request for military support was denied by the United States, North Korea's military was heavily reinforced by the Soviet Union. South Korea_sentence_98

Korean War South Korea_section_6

On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, sparking the Korean War, the Cold War's first major conflict, which continued until 1953. South Korea_sentence_99

At the time, the Soviet Union had boycotted the United Nations (UN), thus forfeiting their veto rights. South Korea_sentence_100

This allowed the UN to intervene in a civil war when it became apparent that the superior North Korean forces would unify the entire country. South Korea_sentence_101

The Soviet Union and China backed North Korea, with the later participation of millions of Chinese troops. South Korea_sentence_102

After an ebb and flow that saw both sides facing defeat with massive losses among Korean civilians in both the north and the south, the war eventually reached a stalemate. South Korea_sentence_103

During the war, Rhee's party promoted the One-People Principle (based on the German ideology of the Herrenvolk) an effort to build an obedient citizenry through ethnic homogeneity and authoritarian appeals to nationalism. South Korea_sentence_104

The 1953 armistice, never signed by South Korea, split the peninsula along the demilitarized zone near the original demarcation line. South Korea_sentence_105

No peace treaty was ever signed, resulting in the two countries remaining technically at war. South Korea_sentence_106

Approximately 3 million people died in the Korean War, with a higher proportional civilian death toll than World War II or the Vietnam War, making it perhaps the deadliest conflict of the Cold War-era. South Korea_sentence_107

In addition, virtually all of Korea's major cities were destroyed by the war. South Korea_sentence_108

Post-Korean War (1960–1990) South Korea_section_7

In 1960, a student uprising (the "April 19 Revolution") led to the resignation of the autocratic then-President Syngman Rhee. South Korea_sentence_109

This was followed by 13 months of political instability as South Korea was led by a weak and ineffectual government. South Korea_sentence_110

This instability was broken by the May 16, 1961, coup led by General Park Chung-hee. South Korea_sentence_111

As president, Park oversaw a period of rapid export-led economic growth enforced by political repression. South Korea_sentence_112

Park was heavily criticized as a ruthless military dictator, who in 1972 extended his rule by creating a new constitution, which gave the president sweeping (almost dictatorial) powers and permitted him to run for an unlimited number of six-year terms. South Korea_sentence_113

The Korean economy developed significantly during Park's tenure. South Korea_sentence_114

The government developed the nationwide expressway system, the Seoul subway system, and laid the foundation for economic development during his 17-year tenure, which ended with his assassination in 1979. South Korea_sentence_115

The years after Park's assassination were marked again by political turmoil, as the previously suppressed opposition leaders all campaigned to run for president in the sudden political void. South Korea_sentence_116

In 1979, General Chun Doo-hwan led the Coup d'état of December Twelfth. South Korea_sentence_117

Following the Coup d'état, Chun Doo-hwan planned to rise to power through several measures. South Korea_sentence_118

On May 17, Chun Doo-hwan forced the Cabinet to expand martial law to the whole nation, which had previously not applied to the island of Jejudo. South Korea_sentence_119

The expanded martial law closed universities, banned political activities, and further curtailed the press. South Korea_sentence_120

Chun's assumption of the presidency through the events of May 17 triggered nationwide protests demanding democracy; these protests were particularly focused in the city of Gwangju, to which Chun sent special forces to violently suppress the Gwangju Democratization Movement. South Korea_sentence_121

Chun subsequently created the National Defense Emergency Policy Committee and took the presidency according to his political plan. South Korea_sentence_122

Chun and his government held South Korea under a despotic rule until 1987, when a Seoul National University student, Park Jong-chul, was tortured to death. South Korea_sentence_123

On June 10, the Catholic Priests Association for Justice revealed the incident, igniting the June Democracy Movement around the country. South Korea_sentence_124

Eventually, Chun's party, the Democratic Justice Party, and its leader, Roh Tae-woo announced the 6.29 Declaration, which included the direct election of the president. South Korea_sentence_125

Roh went on to win the election by a narrow margin against the two main opposition leaders, Kim Dae-Jung and Kim Young-Sam. South Korea_sentence_126

Seoul hosted the Olympic Games in 1988, widely regarded as successful and a significant boost for South Korea's global image and economy. South Korea_sentence_127

South Korea was formally invited to become a member of the United Nations in 1991. South Korea_sentence_128

The transition of Korea from autocracy to modern democracy was marked in 1997 by the election of Kim Dae-jung, who was sworn in as the eighth president of South Korea, on February 25, 1998. South Korea_sentence_129

His election was significant given that he had in earlier years been a political prisoner sentenced to death (later commuted to exile). South Korea_sentence_130

He won against the backdrop of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, where he took IMF advice to restructure the economy and the nation soon recovered its economic growth, albeit at a slower pace. South Korea_sentence_131

Contemporary South Korea South Korea_section_8

In June 2000, as part of president Kim Dae-jung's "Sunshine Policy" of engagement, a North–South summit took place in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. South Korea_sentence_132

Later that year, Kim received the Nobel Peace Prize "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular". South Korea_sentence_133

However, because of discontent among the population for fruitless approaches to the North under the previous administrations and, amid North Korean provocations, a conservative government was elected in 2007 led by President Lee Myung-bak, former mayor of Seoul. South Korea_sentence_134

Meanwhile, South Korea and Japan jointly co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup. South Korea_sentence_135

However, South Korean and Japanese relations later soured because of conflicting claims of sovereignty over the Liancourt Rocks. South Korea_sentence_136

In 2010, there was an escalation in attacks by North Korea. South Korea_sentence_137

In March 2010 the South Korean warship ROKS Cheonan was sunk with the loss of 46 South Korean sailors, allegedly by a North Korean submarine. South Korea_sentence_138

In November 2010 Yeonpyeong island was attacked by a significant North Korean artillery barrage, with 4 people losing their lives. South Korea_sentence_139

The lack of a strong response to these attacks from both South Korea and the international community (the official UN report declined to explicitly name North Korea as the perpetrator for the Cheonan sinking) caused significant anger with the South Korean public. South Korea_sentence_140

South Korea saw another milestone in 2012 with the first ever female president Park Geun-hye elected and assuming office. South Korea_sentence_141

Daughter of another former president, Park Chung-hee, she carried on a conservative brand of politics. South Korea_sentence_142

President Park Geun-hye's administration was formally accused of corruption, bribery, and influence-peddling for the involvement of close friend Choi Soon-sil in state affairs. South Korea_sentence_143

There followed a series of massive public demonstrations from November 2016 and she was removed from office. South Korea_sentence_144

After the fallout of President Park's impeachment and dismissal, new elections were held and Moon Jae-in of the Democratic party won the presidency, assuming office on 10 May 2017. South Korea_sentence_145

His tenure so far has seen an improving political relationship with North Korea, some increasing divergence in the military alliance with the United States, and the successful hosting of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. South Korea_sentence_146

Geography, climate and environment South Korea_section_9

Geography South Korea_section_10

Main article: Geography of South Korea South Korea_sentence_147

South Korea occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula, which extends some 1,100 km (680 mi) from the Asian mainland. South Korea_sentence_148

This mountainous peninsula is flanked by the Yellow Sea to the west, and the Sea of Japan to the east. South Korea_sentence_149

Its southern tip lies on the Korea Strait and the East China Sea. South Korea_sentence_150

The country, including all its islands, lies between latitudes 33° and 39°N, and longitudes 124° and 130°E. South Korea_sentence_151

Its total area is 100,032 square kilometers (38,622.57 sq mi). South Korea_sentence_152

South Korea can be divided into four general regions: an eastern region of high mountain ranges and narrow coastal plains; a western region of broad coastal plains, river basins, and rolling hills; a southwestern region of mountains and valleys; and a southeastern region dominated by the broad basin of the Nakdong River. South Korea_sentence_153

South Korea's terrain is mostly mountainous, most of which is not arable. South Korea_sentence_154

Lowlands, located primarily in the west and southeast, make up only 30% of the total land area. South Korea_sentence_155

About three thousand islands, mostly small and uninhabited, lie off the western and southern coasts of South Korea. South Korea_sentence_156

Jeju-do is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) off the southern coast of South Korea. South Korea_sentence_157

It is the country's largest island, with an area of 1,845 square kilometers (712 square miles). South Korea_sentence_158

Jeju is also the site of South Korea's highest point: Hallasan, an extinct volcano, reaches 1,950 meters (6,400 feet) above sea level. South Korea_sentence_159

The easternmost islands of South Korea include Ulleungdo and Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima), while Marado and Socotra Rock are the southernmost islands of South Korea. South Korea_sentence_160

South Korea has 20 national parks and popular nature places like the Boseong Tea Fields, Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, and the first national park of Jirisan. South Korea_sentence_161

Climate South Korea_section_11

Main article: Climate of South Korea South Korea_sentence_162

South Korea tends to have a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, and is affected by the East Asian monsoon, with precipitation heavier in summer during a short rainy season called jangma (), which begins end of June through the end of July. South Korea_sentence_163

Winters can be extremely cold with the minimum temperature dropping below −20 °C (−4 °F) in the inland region of the country: in Seoul, the average January temperature range is −7 to 1 °C (19 to 34 °F), and the average August temperature range is 22 to 30 °C (72 to 86 °F). South Korea_sentence_164

Winter temperatures are higher along the southern coast and considerably lower in the mountainous interior. South Korea_sentence_165

Summer can be uncomfortably hot and humid, with temperatures exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) in most parts of the country. South Korea_sentence_166

South Korea has four distinct seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter. South Korea_sentence_167

Spring usually lasts from late March to early May, summer from mid-May to early September, autumn from mid-September to early November, and winter from mid-November to mid-March. South Korea_sentence_168

Rainfall is concentrated in the summer months of June through September. South Korea_sentence_169

The southern coast is subject to late summer typhoons that bring strong winds, heavy rains and sometime floods. South Korea_sentence_170

The average annual precipitation varies from 1,370 millimeters (54 in) in Seoul to 1,470 millimeters (58 in) in Busan. South Korea_sentence_171

Environment South Korea_section_12

Main articles: Environment of South Korea, Pollution in South Korea, and Climate change in South Korea South Korea_sentence_172

During the first 20 years of South Korea's growth surge, little effort was made to preserve the environment. South Korea_sentence_173

Unchecked industrialization and urban development have resulted in deforestation and the ongoing destruction of wetlands such as the Songdo Tidal Flat. South Korea_sentence_174

However, there have been recent efforts to balance these problems, including a government run $84 billion five-year green growth project that aims to boost energy efficiency and green technology. South Korea_sentence_175

The green-based economic strategy is a comprehensive overhaul of South Korea's economy, utilizing nearly two percent of the national GDP. South Korea_sentence_176

The greening initiative includes such efforts as a nationwide bike network, solar and wind energy, lowering oil dependent vehicles, backing daylight saving time and extensive usage of environmentally friendly technologies such as LEDs in electronics and lighting. South Korea_sentence_177

The country – already the world's most wired – plans to build a nationwide next-generation network that will be 10 times faster than broadband facilities, in order to reduce energy usage. South Korea_sentence_178

The renewable portfolio standard program with renewable energy certificates runs from 2012 to 2022. South Korea_sentence_179

Quota systems favor large, vertically integrated generators and multinational electric utilities, if only because certificates are generally denominated in units of one megawatt-hour. South Korea_sentence_180

They are also more difficult to design and implement than a Feed-in tariff. South Korea_sentence_181

Around 350 residential micro combined heat and power units were installed in 2012. South Korea_sentence_182

South-Korea was in 2017 the world's 7th largest emitter of carbon emmsions And the 5th largest emitter per capita. South Korea_sentence_183

The president Moon Jae-in pledged to reduce carbon emissions to zero in 2050. South Korea_sentence_184

Seoul's tap water recently became safe to drink, with city officials branding it "Arisu" in a bid to convince the public. South Korea_sentence_185

Efforts have also been made with afforestation projects. South Korea_sentence_186

Another multibillion-dollar project was the restoration of Cheonggyecheon, a stream running through downtown Seoul that had earlier been paved over by a motorway. South Korea_sentence_187

One major challenge is air quality, with acid rain, sulfur oxides, and annual yellow dust storms being particular problems. South Korea_sentence_188

It is acknowledged that many of these difficulties are a result of South Korea's proximity to China, which is a major air polluter. South Korea_sentence_189

South Korea is a member of the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity Treaty, Kyoto Protocol (forming the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), regarding UNFCCC, with Mexico and Switzerland), Desertification, , Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (not into force), Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, and Whaling. South Korea_sentence_190

Government South Korea_section_13

Main article: Government of South Korea South Korea_sentence_191

South Korea_table_general_4

South Korea_cell_4_0_0 South Korea_cell_4_0_1
Moon Jae-in

19th PresidentSouth Korea_cell_4_1_0

Chung Sye-kyun

46th Prime MinisterSouth Korea_cell_4_1_1

The South Korean government's structure is determined by the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. South Korea_sentence_192

Like many democratic states, South Korea has a government divided into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. South Korea_sentence_193

The executive and legislative branches operate primarily at the national level, although various ministries in the executive branch also carry out local functions. South Korea_sentence_194

Local governments are semi-autonomous, and contain executive and legislative bodies of their own. South Korea_sentence_195

The judicial branch operates at both the national and local levels. South Korea_sentence_196

South Korea is a constitutional democracy. South Korea_sentence_197

The constitution has been revised several times since its first promulgation in 1948 at independence. South Korea_sentence_198

However, it has retained many broad characteristics and with the exception of the short-lived Second Republic of South Korea, the country has always had a presidential system with an independent chief executive. South Korea_sentence_199

Under its current constitution the state is sometimes referred to as the Sixth Republic of South Korea. South Korea_sentence_200

The first direct election was also held in 1948. South Korea_sentence_201

Although South Korea experienced a series of military dictatorships from the 1960s until the 1980s, it has since developed into a successful liberal democracy. South Korea_sentence_202

Today, the CIA World Factbook describes South Korea's democracy as a "fully functioning modern democracy". South Korea_sentence_203

South Korea is ranked 45th on the Corruption Perceptions Index (9th in the Asia-Pacific region), with a score of 57 out of 100. South Korea_sentence_204

Administrative divisions South Korea_section_14

Main article: Administrative divisions of South Korea South Korea_sentence_205

See also: Provinces of South Korea, Special cities of South Korea, and Provinces of Korea South Korea_sentence_206

The major administrative divisions in South Korea are eight provinces, one special self-governing province, six metropolitan cities (self-governing cities that are not part of any province), one special city and one special self-governing city. South Korea_sentence_207

Revised Romanisation; See Names of Seoul; May As of 2018. South Korea_sentence_208

Demographics South Korea_section_15

Main article: Demographics of South Korea South Korea_sentence_209

See also: Koreans South Korea_sentence_210

South Korea_table_general_5

PopulationSouth Korea_table_caption_5
YearSouth Korea_header_cell_5_0_0 MillionSouth Korea_header_cell_5_0_1
1950South Korea_cell_5_1_0 19.2South Korea_cell_5_1_1
2000South Korea_cell_5_2_0 47.3South Korea_cell_5_2_1
2018South Korea_cell_5_3_0 51.2South Korea_cell_5_3_1

In April 2016, South Korea's population was estimated to be around 50.8 million by National Statistical Office, with continuing decline of working age population and total fertility rate. South Korea_sentence_211

The country is noted for its population density, which was an estimated 505 per square kilometer in 2015, more than 10 times the global average. South Korea_sentence_212

Aside from micro-states and city-states, South Korea is the world's third most densely-populated country. South Korea_sentence_213

In practice the population density in much of South Korea is higher than the national one, as most of the country's land is uninhabitable due to being used for other purposes such as farming. South Korea_sentence_214

Most South Koreans live in urban areas, because of rapid migration from the countryside during the country's quick economic expansion in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. South Korea_sentence_215

The capital city of Seoul is also the country's largest city and chief industrial center. South Korea_sentence_216

According to the 2005 census, Seoul had a population of 10 million inhabitants. South Korea_sentence_217

The Seoul National Capital Area has 24.5 million inhabitants (about half of South Korea's entire population) making it the world's second largest metropolitan area. South Korea_sentence_218

Other major cities include Busan (3.5 million), Incheon (3.0 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Daejeon (1.4 million), Gwangju (1.4 million) and Ulsan (1.1 million). South Korea_sentence_219

The population has also been shaped by international migration. South Korea_sentence_220

After World War II and the division of the Korean Peninsula, about four million people from North Korea crossed the border to South Korea. South Korea_sentence_221

This trend of net entry reversed over the next 40 years because of emigration, especially to North America through the United States and Canada. South Korea_sentence_222

South Korea's total population in 1955 was 21.5 million, and has more than doubled, to 50 million, by 2010. South Korea_sentence_223

South Korea is considered one of the most ethnically homogeneous societies in the world with ethnic Koreans representing approximately 96% of total population. South Korea_sentence_224

Precise numbers are difficult since statistics do not record ethnicity and given many immigrants are ethnically Korean themselves, and some South Korean citizens are not ethnically Korean. South Korea_sentence_225

South Korea is nevertheless becoming a more multi-ethnic society over time due to immigration. South Korea_sentence_226

The percentage of foreign nationals has been growing rapidly. South Korea_sentence_227

As of 2016, South Korea had 1,413,758 foreign residents, 2.75% of the population; however, many of them are ethnic Koreans with a foreign citizenship. South Korea_sentence_228

For example, migrants from China (PRC) make up 56.5% of foreign nationals, but approximately 70% of the Chinese citizens in Korea are Joseonjok (조선족), PRC citizens of Korean ethnicity. South Korea_sentence_229

Regardless of the ethnicity, there are 28,500 US military personnel serving in South Korea, most serving a one-year unaccompanied tour (though approximately 10% serve longer tours accompanied by family), according to the Korea National Statistical Office. South Korea_sentence_230

In addition, about 43,000 English teachers from English-speaking countries reside temporarily in Korea. South Korea_sentence_231

Currently, South Korea has one of the highest rates of growth of foreign born population, with about 30,000 foreign born residents obtaining South Korean citizenship every year since 2010. South Korea_sentence_232

Large number of ethnic Koreans live overseas, sometimes in Korean ethnic neighbourhoods also known as Koreatowns. South Korea_sentence_233

The four largest diaspora population can be found in China (2.3 million), the United States (1.8 million), Japan (0.85 million), and Canada (0.25 million). South Korea_sentence_234

South Korea's birthrate was the world's lowest in 2009, at an annual rate of approximately 9 births per 1000 people. South Korea_sentence_235

Fertility saw some modest increase afterwards, but dropped to a new global low in 2017, with fewer than 30,000 births per month for the first time since records began and less than 1 child per woman as of 2018 trends. South Korea_sentence_236

The average life expectancy in 2008 was 79.10 years, (which was 34th in the world) but by 2015 it had increased to around 81. South Korea_sentence_237

South Korea has the steepest decline in working age population of the OECD nations. South Korea_sentence_238

In 2015, National Statistical Office estimated that the population of the country will have reached its peak by 2035. South Korea_sentence_239

Education South Korea_section_16

Main article: Education in South Korea South Korea_sentence_240

A centralized administration in South Korea oversees the process for the education of children from kindergarten to the third and final year of high school. South Korea_sentence_241

The school year is divided into two semesters, the first of which begins at the beginning of March and ends in mid-July, the second of which begins in late August and ends in mid-February. South Korea_sentence_242

The schedules are not uniformly standardized and vary from school to school. South Korea_sentence_243

Most South Korean middle schools and high schools have school uniforms, modeled on western-style uniforms. South Korea_sentence_244

Boys' uniforms usually consist of trousers and white shirts, and girls wear skirts and white shirts (this only applies in middle schools and high schools). South Korea_sentence_245

The country adopted a new educational program to increase the number of their foreign students through 2010. South Korea_sentence_246

According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the number of scholarships for foreign students in South Korea would have (under the program) doubled by that time, and the number of foreign students would have reached 100,000. South Korea_sentence_247

South Korea is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, mathematics and sciences with the average student scoring 519, compared with the OECD average of 492, placing it ninth in the world and has one of the world's most highly educated labor forces among OECD countries. South Korea_sentence_248

The country has one of the world's highest-educated labour forces among OECD countries. South Korea_sentence_249

The country is well known for its highly feverish outlook on education, where its national obsession with education has been called "education fever". South Korea_sentence_250

This obsession with education has catapulted the resource poor nation consistently atop the global education rankings where in 2014 national rankings of students' math and science scores by the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD), South Korea ranked second place worldwide, after Singapore. South Korea_sentence_251

Higher education is a serious issue in South Korea society, where it is viewed as one of the fundamental cornerstones of South Korean life. South Korea_sentence_252

Education is regarded with a high priority for South Korean families as success in education is often a source of pride for families and within South Korean society at large, and is a necessity to improve one's socioeconomic position in South Korean society. South Korea_sentence_253

South Koreans view education as the main propeller of social mobility for themselves and their family as a gateway to the South Korean middle class. South Korea_sentence_254

Graduating from a top university is the ultimate marker of prestige, high socioeconomic status, promising marriage prospects, and a respectable career path. South Korea_sentence_255

The entrance into a top tier higher educational institution leads to a prestigious, secure and well-paid white collar job with the government, banks, or a major South Korean conglomerate such as Samsung, Hyundai or LG Electronics. South Korea_sentence_256

An average South Korean child's life revolves around education as pressure to succeed academically is deeply ingrained in South Korean children from an early age. South Korea_sentence_257

With incredible pressure on high school students to secure places at the nation's best universities, its institutional reputation and alumni networks are strong predictors of future career prospects. South Korea_sentence_258

The top three universities in South Korea, often referred to as "SKY", are Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University. South Korea_sentence_259

Intense competition for top grades and academic pressure to be the top student is deeply ingrained in the psyche of South Korean students at a young age. South Korea_sentence_260

Yet with only so many places at the nations most prestigious universities and even fewer places at top-tier companies, many young people remain disappointed and are often unwilling to lower their sights with the result of many feeling as underachievers. South Korea_sentence_261

There is a major cultural taboo in South Korean society attached to those who have not achieved formal university education where those who do not hold university degrees face social prejudice and are often looked down by others as second-class citizens resulting in fewer opportunities for employment, improvement of one's socioeconomic position and prospects for marriage. South Korea_sentence_262

In 2015, the country spent 5.1% of its GDP on all levels of education – roughly 0.8 percentage points above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 4.3%. South Korea_sentence_263

A strong investment in education, a militant drive for success as well as the passion for excellence has helped the resource poor country rapidly grow its economy over the past 60 years from a war torn wasteland. South Korea_sentence_264

International opinion regarding the South Korean education system has been divided. South Korea_sentence_265

It has been praised for various reasons, including its comparatively high test results and its major role in ushering South Korea's economic development creating one of the world's most educated workforces. South Korea_sentence_266

South Korea's highly enviable academic performance has persuaded British education ministers to actively remodel their own curriculums and exams to try to emulate Korea's militant drive and passion for excellence and high educational achievement. South Korea_sentence_267

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has also praised the country's rigorous school system, where over 80 percent of South Korean high school graduates go on to university. South Korea_sentence_268

The nation's high university entrance rate has created a highly skilled workforce making South Korea among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. South Korea_sentence_269

In 2017, the country ranked fifth for the percentage of 25 to 64 year olds that have attained tertiary education with 47.7 percent. South Korea_sentence_270

In addition, 69.8 percent of South Koreans aged 25–34 have completed some form of tertiary education qualification and bachelor's degrees are held by 34.2 percent of South Koreans aged 25–64, the most in the OECD. South Korea_sentence_271

The system's rigid and hierarchical structure has been criticized for stifling creativity and innovation; described as intensely and "brutally" competitive, the system is often blamed for the high suicide rate in the country, particularly the growing rates among those aged 10–19. South Korea_sentence_272

Various media outlets attribute the country's high suicide rate to the nationwide anxiety around the country's college entrance exams, which determine the trajectory of students' entire lives and careers. South Korea_sentence_273

Former South Korean hagwon teacher Se-Woong Koo wrote that the South Korean education system amounts to child abuse and that it should be "reformed and restructured without delay". South Korea_sentence_274

The system has also been criticized for producing an excess supply of university graduates creating an overeducated and underemployed labor force; in the first quarter of 2013 alone, nearly 3.3 million South Korean university graduates were jobless, leaving many graduates overqualified for jobs requiring less education. South Korea_sentence_275

Further criticism has been stemmed for causing labor shortages in various skilled blue collar labor and vocational occupations, where many go unfilled as the negative social stigma associated with vocational careers and not having a university degree continues to remain deep-rooted in South Korean society. South Korea_sentence_276

Language South Korea_section_17

Main articles: Korean language and Korean dialects South Korea_sentence_277

Korean is the official language of South Korea, and is classified by most linguists as a language isolate. South Korea_sentence_278

Korean is not related to any Chinese languages, although it incorporates a number of words that are Chinese in origin. South Korea_sentence_279

Additionally, Korean spoken in South Korea uses a significant number of loan words from English and other European languages. South Korea_sentence_280

Korean uses an indigenous writing system called Hangul, created in 1446 by King Sejong to provide a convenient alternative to the Classical Chinese Hanja characters that were difficult to learn and did not fit the Korean language well. South Korea_sentence_281

South Korea still uses some Chinese Hanja characters in limited areas, such as print media and legal documentation. South Korea_sentence_282

The Korean language in South Korea has a standard dialect known as Seoul (after the capital city), with an additional 4 Korean language dialect groups in use around the country. South Korea_sentence_283

Almost all South Korean students today learn English throughout their education, with some optionally choosing Japanese or Mandarin as well. South Korea_sentence_284

Religion South Korea_section_18

Main article: Religion in South Korea South Korea_sentence_285

See also: Irreligion in South Korea South Korea_sentence_286

According to the results of the census of 2015 more than half of the South Korean population (56.1%) declared themselves not affiliated with any religious organizations. South Korea_sentence_287

In a 2012 survey, 52% declared themselves "religious", 31% said they were "not religious" and 15% identified themselves as "convinced atheists". South Korea_sentence_288

Of the people who are affiliated with a religious organization, most are Christians and Buddhists. South Korea_sentence_289

According to the 2015 census, 27.6% of the population were Christians (19.7% identified themselves as Protestants, 7.9% as Roman Catholics), and 15.5% were Buddhists. South Korea_sentence_290

Other religions include Islam (130,000 Muslims, mostly migrant workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh but including some 35,000 Korean Muslims,) the homegrown sect of Won Buddhism, and a variety of indigenous religions, including Cheondoism (a Confucianizing religion), Jeungsanism, Daejongism, Daesun Jinrihoe and others. South Korea_sentence_291

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, and there is no state religion. South Korea_sentence_292

Overall, between the 2005 and 2015 censuses there has been a slight decline of Christianity (down from 29% to 27.6%), a sharp decline of Buddhism (down from 22.8% to 15.5%), and a rise of the unaffiliated population (from 47.2% to 56.9%). South Korea_sentence_293

Christianity is South Korea's largest organized religion, accounting for more than half of all South Korean adherents of religious organizations. South Korea_sentence_294

There are approximately 13.5 million Christians in South Korea today; about two thirds of them belonging to Protestant churches, and the rest to the Roman Catholic Church. South Korea_sentence_295

The number of Protestants has been stagnant throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, but increased to a peak level throughout the 2010s. South Korea_sentence_296

Roman Catholics increased significantly between the 1980s and the 2000s, but declined throughout the 2010s. South Korea_sentence_297

Christianity, unlike in other East Asian countries, found fertile ground in Korea in the 18th century, and by the end of the 18th century it persuaded a large part of the population as the declining monarchy supported it and opened the country to widespread proselytism as part of a project of Westernization. South Korea_sentence_298

The weakness of Korean Sindo, which, unlike Japanese Shinto and China's religious system, never developed into a national religion of high status, combined with the impoverished state of Korean Buddhism (after 500 years of suppression at the hands of the Joseon state, by the 20th century it was virtually extinct) left a free hand to Christian churches. South Korea_sentence_299

Christianity's similarity to native religious narratives has been studied as another factor that contributed to its success in the peninsula. South Korea_sentence_300

The Japanese colonization of the first half of the 20th century further strengthened the identification of Christianity with Korean nationalism, as the Japanese coopted native Korean Sindo into the Nipponic Imperial Shinto that they tried to establish in the peninsula. South Korea_sentence_301

Widespread Christianization of the Koreans took place during State Shinto, after its abolition, and then in the independent South Korea as the newly established military government supported Christianity and tried to utterly oust native Sindo. South Korea_sentence_302

Among Christian denominations, Presbyterianism is the largest. South Korea_sentence_303

About nine million people belong to one of the hundred different Presbyterian churches; the biggest ones are the HapDong Presbyterian Church, TongHap Presbyterian Church, the Koshin Presbyterian Church. South Korea_sentence_304

South Korea is also the second-largest missionary-sending nation, after the United States. South Korea_sentence_305

Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the 4th century. South Korea_sentence_306

It became soon a dominant religion in the southeastern kingdom of Silla, the region that hitherto hosts the strongest concentration of Buddhists in South Korea. South Korea_sentence_307

In the other states of the Three Kingdoms Period, Goguryeo and Baekje, it was made the state religion respectively in 372 and 528. South Korea_sentence_308

It remained the state religion in Later Silla (North South States Period) and Goryeo. South Korea_sentence_309

It was later suppressed throughout much of the subsequent history under the unified kingdom of Joseon (1392–1897), which officially adopted a strict Korean Confucianism. South Korea_sentence_310

Today, South Korea has about 7 million Buddhists, most of them affiliated to the Jogye Order. South Korea_sentence_311

Most of the National Treasures of South Korea are Buddhist artifacts. South Korea_sentence_312

Health South Korea_section_19

Main article: Health in South Korea South Korea_sentence_313

South Korea has a universal healthcare system. South Korea_sentence_314

It has the world's second best healthcare system. South Korea_sentence_315

Suicide in South Korea is a serious and widespread problem and the country ranks poorly on world happiness reports for a high-income state. South Korea_sentence_316

The suicide rate was the highest in the G20 in 2015 (24.1 deaths per 100,000 persons). South Korea_sentence_317

South Korean hospitals have advanced medical equipment and facilities readily available, ranking 4th for MRI units per capita and 6th for CT scanners per capita in the OECD. South Korea_sentence_318

It also had the OECD's second largest number of hospital beds per 1000 people at 9.56 beds. South Korea_sentence_319

Life expectancy has been rising rapidly and South Korea ranked 11th in the world for life expectancy at 82.3 years by the WHO in 2015. South Korea_sentence_320

It also has the third highest health adjusted life expectancy in the world. South Korea_sentence_321

Foreign relations South Korea_section_20

Main article: Foreign relations of South Korea South Korea_sentence_322

South Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 188 countries. South Korea_sentence_323

The country has also been a member of the United Nations since 1991, when it became a member state at the same time as North Korea. South Korea_sentence_324

On January 1, 2007, Former South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon served as UN Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016. South Korea_sentence_325

It has also developed links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as both a member of ASEAN Plus three, a body of observers, and the East Asia Summit (EAS). South Korea_sentence_326

In November 2009 South Korea joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee, marking the first time a former aid recipient country joined the group as a donor member. South Korea_sentence_327

South Korea hosted the G-20 Summit in Seoul in November 2010, a year that saw South Korea and the European Union conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) to reduce trade barriers. South Korea_sentence_328

South Korea went on to sign a Free Trade Agreements with Canada and Australia in 2014, and another with New Zealand in 2015. South Korea_sentence_329

North Korea South Korea_section_21

Main article: North Korea–South Korea relations South Korea_sentence_330

Both North and South Korea claim complete sovereignty over the entire peninsula and outlying islands. South Korea_sentence_331

Despite mutual animosity, reconciliation efforts have continued since the initial separation between North and South Korea. South Korea_sentence_332

Political figures such as Kim Koo worked to reconcile the two governments even after the Korean War. South Korea_sentence_333

With longstanding animosity following the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, North Korea and South Korea signed an agreement to pursue peace. South Korea_sentence_334

On October 4, 2007, Roh Moo-Hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signed an eight-point agreement on issues of permanent peace, high-level talks, economic cooperation, renewal of train services, highway and air travel, and a joint Olympic cheering squad. South Korea_sentence_335

Despite the Sunshine Policy and efforts at reconciliation, the progress was complicated by North Korean missile tests in 1993, 1998, 2006, 2009, and 2013. South Korea_sentence_336

As of early 2009, relationships between North and South Korea were very tense; North Korea had been reported to have deployed missiles, ended its former agreements with South Korea, and threatened South Korea and the United States not to interfere with a satellite launch it had planned. South Korea_sentence_337

North and South Korea are still technically at war (having never signed a peace treaty after the Korean War) and share the world's most heavily fortified border. South Korea_sentence_338

On May 27, 2009, North Korean media declared that the Armistice is no longer valid because of the South Korean government's pledge to "definitely join" the Proliferation Security Initiative. South Korea_sentence_339

To further complicate and intensify strains between the two nations, the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March 2010, is affirmed by the South Korean government to have been caused by a North Korean torpedo, which the North denies. South Korea_sentence_340

President Lee Myung-bak declared in May 2010 that Seoul would cut all trade with North Korea as part of measures primarily aimed at striking back at North Korea diplomatically and financially, except for the joint Kaesong Industrial Project, and humanitarian aid. South Korea_sentence_341

North Korea initially threatened to sever all ties, to completely abrogate the previous pact of non-aggression, and to expel all South Koreans from a joint industrial zone in Kaesong, but backtracked on its threats and decided to continue its ties with South Korea. South Korea_sentence_342

Despite the continuing ties, Kaesong industrial zone has seen a large decrease in investment and manpower as a result of this military conflict. South Korea_sentence_343

In February 2016, the Kaesong complex was closed by Seoul in reaction to North Korea's launch of a rocket earlier in the month unanimously condemned by the United Nations security council. South Korea_sentence_344

The 2017 election of President Moon Jae-in has seen a change in approach towards the North, and both sides used the South Korean held 2018 Winter Olympics as an opportunity for engagement, with a very senior North Korean political delegation sent to the games, along with a reciprocal visit by senior South Korean cabinet members to the North soon afterwards. South Korea_sentence_345

China and Russia South Korea_section_22

Main articles: China–South Korea relations, South Korea–Taiwan relations, and Russia–South Korea relations South Korea_sentence_346

Historically, Korea had close relations with the dynasties in China, and some Korean kingdoms were members of the Imperial Chinese tributary system. South Korea_sentence_347

The Korean kingdoms also ruled over some Chinese kingdoms including the Kitan people and the Manchurians before the Qing dynasty and received tributes from them. South Korea_sentence_348

In modern times, before the formation of South Korea, Korean independence fighters worked with Chinese soldiers during the Japanese occupation. South Korea_sentence_349

However, after World War II, the People's Republic of China embraced Maoism while South Korea sought close relations with the United States. South Korea_sentence_350

The PRC assisted North Korea with manpower and supplies during the Korean War, and in its aftermath the diplomatic relationship between South Korea and the PRC almost completely ceased. South Korea_sentence_351

Relations thawed gradually and South Korea and the PRC re-established formal diplomatic relations on August 24, 1992. South Korea_sentence_352

The two countries sought to improve bilateral relations and lifted the forty-year-old trade embargo, and South Korean–Chinese relations have improved steadily since 1992. South Korea_sentence_353

The Republic of Korea broke off official relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) upon gaining official relations with the People's Republic of China, which does not recognize Taiwan's sovereignty. South Korea_sentence_354

China has become South Korea's largest trading partner by far, sending 26% of South Korean exports in 2016 worth $124 billion, as well as an additional $32 billion worth of exports to Hong Kong. South Korea_sentence_355

South Korea is also China's 4th largest trading partner, with $93 billion of Chinese imports in 2016. South Korea_sentence_356

The 2017 deployment of THAAD defense missiles by the United States military in South Korea in response to North Korean missile tests has been protested strongly by the Chinese government, concerned that the technologically advanced missile defense could be used more broadly against China. South Korea_sentence_357

Relations between the governments have cooled in response, with South Korean commercial and cultural interests in China having been targeted, and Chinese tourism to South Korea having been curtailed. South Korea_sentence_358

The situation was largely resolved by South Korea making significant military concessions to China in exchange for THAAD, including not deploying any more anti-ballistic missile systems in South Korea and not participating in an alliance between the United States and Japan. South Korea_sentence_359

South Korea and Russia are participants in the Six-party talks on the North Korea's nuclear proliferation issue. South Korea_sentence_360

Moon Jae-in's administration has focused on increasing South Korea's consumption of natural gas. South Korea_sentence_361

These plans include re-opening dialogue around a natural gas pipeline that would come from Russia and pass through North Korea. South Korea_sentence_362

In June 2018, president Moon Jae-in became the first South Korean leader to speak in the Russian Parliament. South Korea_sentence_363

On June 22, Moon Jae-in and Putin signed a document for foundation of free trade area. South Korea_sentence_364

Japan South Korea_section_23

Main article: Japan–South Korea relations South Korea_sentence_365

See also: History of Japan–Korea relations and Japan–Korea disputes South Korea_sentence_366

Korea and Japan have had difficult relations since ancient times, but also significant cultural exchange, with Korea acting as the gateway between Asia and Japan. South Korea_sentence_367

Contemporary perceptions of Japan are still largely defined by Japan's 35 year colonization of Korea in the 20th century, which is generally regarded in South Korea as having been very negative. South Korea_sentence_368

Japan is today South Korea's third largest trading partner, with 12% ($46 billion) of exports in 2016. South Korea_sentence_369

There were no formal diplomatic ties between South Korea and Japan directly after independence the end of World War II in 1945. South Korea_sentence_370

South Korea and Japan eventually signed the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1965 to establish diplomatic ties. South Korea_sentence_371

There is heavy anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea because of a number of unsettled Japanese-Korean disputes, many of which stem from the period of Japanese occupation after the Japanese annexation of Korea. South Korea_sentence_372

During World War II, more than 100,000 Koreans served in the Imperial Japanese Army. South Korea_sentence_373

Korean women were coerced and forced to serve the Imperial Japanese Army as sexual slaves, called comfort women, in both Korea and throughout the Japanese war fronts. South Korea_sentence_374

Longstanding issues such as Japanese war crimes against Korean civilians, the negationist re-writing of Japanese textbooks relating Japanese atrocities during World War II, the territorial disputes over the Liancourt Rocks, known in South Korea as "Dokdo" and in Japan as "Takeshima", and visits by Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine, honoring Japanese people (civilians and military) killed during the war continue to trouble Korean-Japanese relations. South Korea_sentence_375

The Liancourt Rocks were the first Korean territories to be forcibly colonized by Japan in 1905. South Korea_sentence_376

Although it was again returned to Korea along with the rest of its territory in 1951 with the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco, Japan does not recant on its claims that the Liancourt Rocks are Japanese territory. South Korea_sentence_377

In response to then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, former President Roh Moo-hyun suspended all summit talks between South Korea and Japan in 2009. South Korea_sentence_378

A summit between the nations' leaders was eventually held on February 9, 2018 during the Korean held Winter Olympics. South Korea_sentence_379

South Korea asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban the Japanese Rising Sun Flag from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and the IOC said in a statement "sports stadiums should be free of any political demonstration. South Korea_sentence_380

When concerns arise at games time we look at them on a case by case basis." South Korea_sentence_381

European Union South Korea_section_24

Main article: South Korea–European Union relations South Korea_sentence_382

The European Union (EU) and South Korea are important trading partners, having negotiated a free trade agreement for many years since South Korea was designated as a priority FTA partner in 2006. South Korea_sentence_383

The free trade agreement was approved in September 2010, and took effect on July 1, 2011. South Korea_sentence_384

South Korea is the EU's tenth largest trade partner, and the EU has become South Korea's fourth largest export destination. South Korea_sentence_385

EU trade with South Korea exceeded €90 billion in 2015 and has enjoyed an annual average growth rate of 9.8% between 2003 and 2013. South Korea_sentence_386

The EU has been the single largest foreign investor in South Korea since 1962, and accounted for almost 45% of all FDI inflows into Korea in 2006. South Korea_sentence_387

Nevertheless, EU companies have significant problems accessing and operating in the South Korean market because of stringent standards and testing requirements for products and services often creating barriers to trade. South Korea_sentence_388

Both in its regular bilateral contacts with South Korea and through its FTA with Korea, the EU is seeking to improve this situation. South Korea_sentence_389

United States South Korea_section_25

Main article: South Korea–United States relations South Korea_sentence_390

The close relationship began directly after World War II, when the United States temporarily administrated Korea for three years (mainly in the South, with the Soviet Union engaged in North Korea) after Japan. South Korea_sentence_391

Upon the onset of the Korean War in 1950, U.S. forces were sent to defend against an invasion from North Korea of the South, and subsequently fought as the largest contributor of UN troops. South Korea_sentence_392

The United States participation was critical for preventing the near defeat of the Republic of Korea by northern forces, as well as fighting back for the territory gains that define the South Korean nation today. South Korea_sentence_393

Following the Armistice, South Korea and the U.S. agreed to a "Mutual Defense Treaty", under which an attack on either party in the Pacific area would summon a response from both. South Korea_sentence_394

In 1967, South Korea obliged the mutual defense treaty, by sending a large combat troop contingent to support the United States in the Vietnam War. South Korea_sentence_395

The US has over 23,000 troops stationed in South Korea, including the U.S. South Korea_sentence_396

Eighth Army, Seventh Air Force, and U.S. South Korea_sentence_397

Naval Forces Korea. South Korea_sentence_398

The two nations have strong economic, diplomatic, and military ties, although they have at times disagreed with regard to policies towards North Korea, and with regard to some of South Korea's industrial activities that involve usage of rocket or nuclear technology. South Korea_sentence_399

There had also been strong anti-American sentiment during certain periods, which has largely moderated in the modern day. South Korea_sentence_400

The two nations also share a close economic relationship, with the U.S being South Korea's second largest trading partner, receiving $66 billion in exports in 2016. South Korea_sentence_401

In 2007, a free trade agreement known as the Republic of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) was signed between South Korea and the United States, but its formal implementation was repeatedly delayed, pending approval by the legislative bodies of the two countries. South Korea_sentence_402

On October 12, 2011, the U.S. Congress passed the long-stalled trade agreement with South Korea. South Korea_sentence_403

It went into effect on March 15, 2012. South Korea_sentence_404

Military South Korea_section_26

Main article: Republic of Korea Armed Forces South Korea_sentence_405

Unresolved tension with North Korea has prompted South Korea to allocate 2.6% of its GDP and 15% of all government spending to its military (Government share of GDP: 14.967%), while maintaining compulsory conscription for men. South Korea_sentence_406

Consequently, South Korea has the world's seventh largest number of active troops (599,000 in 2018), the world's highest number of reserve troops (3,100,000 in 2018) and the tenth largest defense budget. South Korea_sentence_407

As of 2019 South Korea has a defense budget of $43.1 billion. South Korea_sentence_408

The South Korean military is ranked as the 6th most powerful military force in the world as of 2020. South Korea_sentence_409

The South Korean military consists of the Army (ROKA), the Navy (ROKN), the Air Force (ROKAF), and the Marine Corps (ROKMC), and reserve forces. South Korea_sentence_410

Many of these forces are concentrated near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. South Korea_sentence_411

All South Korean males are constitutionally required to serve in the military, typically 18 months. South Korea_sentence_412

Previous exceptions for South Korean citizens of mixed race no longer apply since 2011. South Korea_sentence_413

In addition to male conscription in South Korea's sovereign military, 1,800 Korean males are selected every year to serve 18 months in the KATUSA Program to further augment the United States Forces Korea (USFK). South Korea_sentence_414

In 2010, South Korea was spending 1.68 trillion in a cost-sharing agreement with the US to provide budgetary support to the US forces in Korea, on top of the ₩29.6 trillion budget for its own military. South Korea_sentence_415

The South Korean army has 2,500 tanks in operation, including the K1A1 and K2 Black Panther, which form the backbone of the South Korean army's mechanized armor and infantry forces. South Korea_sentence_416

A sizable arsenal of many artillery systems, including 1,700 self-propelled K55 and K9 Thunder howitzers and 680 helicopters and UAVs of numerous types, are assembled to provide additional fire, reconnaissance, and logistics support. South Korea_sentence_417

South Korea's smaller but more advanced artillery force and wide range of airborne reconnaissance platforms are pivotal in the counter-battery suppression of North Korea's large artillery force, which operates more than 13,000 artillery systems deployed in various state of fortification and mobility. South Korea_sentence_418

The South Korean navy has made its first major transformation into a blue-water navy through the formation of the Strategic Mobile Fleet, which includes a battle group of Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class destroyers, Dokdo class amphibious assault ship, AIP-driven Type 214 submarines, and King Sejong the Great class destroyers, which is equipped with the latest baseline of Aegis fleet-defense system that allows the ships to track and destroy multiple cruise missiles and ballistic missiles simultaneously, forming an integral part of South Korea's indigenous missile defense umbrella against the North Korean military's missile threat. South Korea_sentence_419

The South Korean air force operates 840 aircraft, making it world's ninth largest air force, including several types of advanced fighters like F-15K, heavily modified KF-16C/D, and the indigenous T-50 Golden Eagle, supported by well-maintained fleets of older fighters such as F-4E and KF-5E/F that still effectively serve the air force alongside the more modern aircraft. South Korea_sentence_420

In an attempt to gain strength in terms of not just numbers but also modernity, the commissioning of four Boeing 737 AEW&C aircraft, under Project Peace Eye for centralized intelligence gathering and analysis on a modern battlefield, will enhance the fighters' and other support aircraft's ability to perform their missions with awareness and precision. South Korea_sentence_421

In May 2011, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., South Korea's largest plane maker, signed a $400 million deal to sell 16 T-50 Golden Eagle trainer jets to Indonesia, making South Korea the first country in Asia to export supersonic jets. South Korea_sentence_422

From time to time, South Korea has sent its troops overseas to assist American forces. South Korea_sentence_423

It has participated in most major conflicts that the United States has been involved in the past 50 years. South Korea_sentence_424

South Korea dispatched 325,517 troops to fight alongside American, Australian, Filipino, New Zealand and South Vietnamese soldiers in the Vietnam War, with a peak strength of 50,000. South Korea_sentence_425

In 2004, South Korea sent 3,300 troops of the Zaytun Division to help re-building in northern Iraq, and was the third largest contributor in the coalition forces after only the US and Britain. South Korea_sentence_426

Beginning in 2001, South Korea had so far deployed 24,000 troops in the Middle East region to support the War on Terrorism. South Korea_sentence_427

A further 1,800 were deployed since 2007 to reinforce UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon. South Korea_sentence_428

United States contingent South Korea_section_27

The United States has stationed a substantial contingent of troops to defend South Korea. South Korea_sentence_429

There are approximately 28,500 U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea, most of them serving one year unaccompanied tours. South Korea_sentence_430

The U.S. troops, which are primarily ground and air units, are assigned to USFK and mainly assigned to the Eighth United States Army of the U.S. South Korea_sentence_431

Army and Seventh Air Force of the U.S. South Korea_sentence_432

Air Force. South Korea_sentence_433

They are stationed in installations at Osan, Kunsan, Yongsan, Dongducheon, Sungbuk, Camp Humphreys, and Daegu, as well as at Camp Bonifas in the DMZ Joint Security Area. South Korea_sentence_434

A fully functioning UN Command is at the top of the chain of command of all forces in South Korea, including the U.S. forces and the entire South Korean military – if a sudden escalation of war between North and South Korea were to occur the United States would assume control of the South Korean armed forces in all military and paramilitary moves. South Korea_sentence_435

There has been long-term agreement between the United States and South Korea that South Korea should eventually assume the lead for its own defense. South Korea_sentence_436

This transition to a South Korean command has been slow and often postponed, although it is currently scheduled to occur in the early 2020s. South Korea_sentence_437

Conscientious objection South Korea_section_28

Male citizens who refuse or reject to undertake military services because of conscientious objection are typically imprisoned, with over 600 individuals usually imprisoned at any given time; more than the rest of the world put together. South Korea_sentence_438

The vast majority of these are young men from the Jehovah's Witnesses Christian denomination. South Korea_sentence_439

See Conscription in South Korea. South Korea_sentence_440

However, in a court ruling of 2018, conscientious objectors were permitted to reject military service. South Korea_sentence_441

Economy South Korea_section_29

Main article: Economy of South Korea South Korea_sentence_442

See also: List of largest companies of South Korea South Korea_sentence_443

South Korea_table_general_6

Share of world GDP (PPP)South Korea_header_cell_6_0_0
YearSouth Korea_header_cell_6_1_0 ShareSouth Korea_header_cell_6_1_1
1980South Korea_cell_6_2_0 0.63%South Korea_cell_6_2_1
1990South Korea_cell_6_3_0 1.18%South Korea_cell_6_3_1
2000South Korea_cell_6_4_0 1.55%South Korea_cell_6_4_1
2010South Korea_cell_6_5_0 1.65%South Korea_cell_6_5_1
2017South Korea_cell_6_6_0 1.60%South Korea_cell_6_6_1

South Korea's mixed economy ranks 11th nominal and 13th purchasing power parity GDP in the world, identifying it as one of the G-20 major economies. South Korea_sentence_444

It is a developed country with a high-income economy and is the most industrialized member country of the OECD. South Korea_sentence_445

South Korean brands such as LG Electronics and Samsung are internationally famous and garnered South Korea's reputation for its quality electronics and other manufactured goods. South Korea_sentence_446

Its massive investment in education has taken the country from mass illiteracy to a major international technological powerhouse. South Korea_sentence_447

The country's national economy benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. South Korea_sentence_448

South Korea's economy was one of the world's fastest-growing from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and was still one of the fastest-growing developed countries in the 2000s, along with Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, the other three Asian Tigers. South Korea_sentence_449

It recorded the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. South Korea_sentence_450

South Koreans refer to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River. South Korea_sentence_451

The South Korean economy is heavily dependent on international trade, and in 2014, South Korea was the fifth-largest exporter and seventh-largest importer in the world. South Korea_sentence_452

Despite the South Korean economy's high growth potential and apparent structural stability, the country suffers damage to its credit rating in the stock market because of the belligerence of North Korea in times of deep military crises, which has an adverse effect on South Korean financial markets. South Korea_sentence_453

The International Monetary Fund compliments the resilience of the South Korean economy against various economic crises, citing low state debt and high fiscal reserves that can quickly be mobilized to address financial emergencies. South Korea_sentence_454

Although it was severely harmed by the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s, the South Korean economy managed a rapid recovery and subsequently tripled its GDP. South Korea_sentence_455

Furthermore, South Korea was one of the few developed countries that were able to avoid a recession during the global financial crisis. South Korea_sentence_456

Its economic growth rate reached 6.2 percent in 2010 (the fastest growth for eight years after significant growth by 7.2 percent in 2002), a sharp recovery from economic growth rates of 2.3% in 2008 and 0.2% in 2009, when the global financial crisis hit. South Korea_sentence_457

The unemployment rate in South Korea also remained low in 2009, at 3.6%. South Korea_sentence_458

South Korea became a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1996. South Korea_sentence_459

The following list includes the largest South Korean companies by revenue in 2017 who are all listed as part of the Fortune Global 500: South Korea_sentence_460

South Korea_table_general_7

RankSouth Korea_header_cell_7_0_0 NameSouth Korea_header_cell_7_0_1 HeadquartersSouth Korea_header_cell_7_0_2 Revenue

(Mil. $)South Korea_header_cell_7_0_3


(Mil. $)South Korea_header_cell_7_0_4


(Mil. $)South Korea_header_cell_7_0_5

01.South Korea_cell_7_1_0 Samsung ElectronicsSouth Korea_cell_7_1_1 SuwonSouth Korea_cell_7_1_2 173,957South Korea_cell_7_1_3 19,316South Korea_cell_7_1_4 217,104South Korea_cell_7_1_5
02.South Korea_cell_7_2_0 Hyundai MotorSouth Korea_cell_7_2_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_2_2 80,701South Korea_cell_7_2_3 4,659South Korea_cell_7_2_4 148,092South Korea_cell_7_2_5
03.South Korea_cell_7_3_0 SK HoldingsSouth Korea_cell_7_3_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_3_2 72,579South Korea_cell_7_3_3 659South Korea_cell_7_3_4 85.332South Korea_cell_7_3_5
04.South Korea_cell_7_4_0 Korea Electric PowerSouth Korea_cell_7_4_1 NajuSouth Korea_cell_7_4_2 51,500South Korea_cell_7_4_3 6,074South Korea_cell_7_4_4 147,265South Korea_cell_7_4_5
05.South Korea_cell_7_5_0 LG ElectronicsSouth Korea_cell_7_5_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_5_2 47,712South Korea_cell_7_5_3 66South Korea_cell_7_5_4 31,348South Korea_cell_7_5_5
06.South Korea_cell_7_6_0 POSCOSouth Korea_cell_7_6_1 PohangSouth Korea_cell_7_6_2 45,621South Korea_cell_7_6_3 1,167South Korea_cell_7_6_4 66,361South Korea_cell_7_6_5
07.South Korea_cell_7_7_0 Kia MotorsSouth Korea_cell_7_7_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_7_2 45,425South Korea_cell_7_7_3 2,373South Korea_cell_7_7_4 42,141South Korea_cell_7_7_5
08.South Korea_cell_7_8_0 HanwhaSouth Korea_cell_7_8_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_8_2 40,606South Korea_cell_7_8_3 423South Korea_cell_7_8_4 128,247South Korea_cell_7_8_5
09.South Korea_cell_7_9_0 Hyundai Heavy IndustriesSouth Korea_cell_7_9_1 UlsanSouth Korea_cell_7_9_2 33,881South Korea_cell_7_9_3 469South Korea_cell_7_9_4 40,783South Korea_cell_7_9_5
010.South Korea_cell_7_10_0 Hyundai MobisSouth Korea_cell_7_10_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_10_2 32,972South Korea_cell_7_10_3 2,617South Korea_cell_7_10_4 34,541South Korea_cell_7_10_5
011.South Korea_cell_7_11_0 Samsung Life InsuranceSouth Korea_cell_7_11_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_11_2 26,222South Korea_cell_7_11_3 1,770South Korea_cell_7_11_4 219,157South Korea_cell_7_11_5
012.South Korea_cell_7_12_0 Lotte ShoppingSouth Korea_cell_7_12_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_12_2 25,444South Korea_cell_7_12_3 144South Korea_cell_7_12_4 34,710South Korea_cell_7_12_5
013.South Korea_cell_7_13_0 Samsung C&TSouth Korea_cell_7_13_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_13_2 24,217South Korea_cell_7_13_3 92South Korea_cell_7_13_4 36,816South Korea_cell_7_13_5
014.South Korea_cell_7_14_0 LG DisplaySouth Korea_cell_7_14_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_14_2 22,840South Korea_cell_7_14_3 781South Korea_cell_7_14_4 20,606South Korea_cell_7_14_5
015.South Korea_cell_7_15_0 GS CaltexSouth Korea_cell_7_15_1 SeoulSouth Korea_cell_7_15_2 22,207South Korea_cell_7_15_3 1,221South Korea_cell_7_15_4 15,969South Korea_cell_7_15_5

Transportation, energy and infrastructure South Korea_section_30

Main articles: Transport in South Korea and Energy in South Korea South Korea_sentence_461

South Korea has a technologically advanced transport network consisting of high-speed railways, highways, bus routes, ferry services, and air routes that crisscross the country. South Korea_sentence_462

Korea Expressway Corporation operates the toll highways and service amenities en route. South Korea_sentence_463

Korail provides frequent train services to all major South Korean cities. South Korea_sentence_464

Two rail lines, Gyeongui and Donghae Bukbu Line, to North Korea are now being reconnected. South Korea_sentence_465

The Korean high-speed rail system, KTX, provides high-speed service along Gyeongbu and Honam Line. South Korea_sentence_466

Major cities including Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju have urban rapid transit systems. South Korea_sentence_467

Express bus terminals are available in most cities. South Korea_sentence_468

South Korea's main gateway and largest airport is Incheon International Airport, serving 58 million passengers in 2016. South Korea_sentence_469

Other international airports include Gimpo, Busan and Jeju. South Korea_sentence_470

There are also many airports that were built as part of the infrastructure boom but are barely used. South Korea_sentence_471

There are also many heliports. South Korea_sentence_472

The national carrier, Korean Air served over 26,800,000 passengers, including almost 19,000,000 international passengers in 2016. South Korea_sentence_473

A second carrier, Asiana Airlines also serves domestic and international traffic. South Korea_sentence_474

Combined, South Korean airlines serve 297 international routes. South Korea_sentence_475

Smaller airlines, such as Jeju Air, provide domestic service with lower fares. South Korea_sentence_476

South Korea is the world's fifth-largest nuclear power producer and the second-largest in Asia as of 2010. South Korea_sentence_477

Nuclear power in South Korea supplies 45% of electricity production, and research is very active with investigation into a variety of advanced reactors, including a small modular reactor, a liquid-metal fast/transmutation reactor and a high-temperature hydrogen generation design. South Korea_sentence_478

Fuel production and waste handling technologies have also been developed locally. South Korea_sentence_479

It is also a member of the ITER project. South Korea_sentence_480

South Korea is an emerging exporter of nuclear reactors, having concluded agreements with the UAE to build and maintain four advanced nuclear reactors, with Jordan for a research nuclear reactor, and with Argentina for construction and repair of heavy-water nuclear reactors. South Korea_sentence_481

As of 2010, South Korea and Turkey are in negotiations regarding construction of two nuclear reactors. South Korea_sentence_482

South Korea is also preparing to bid on construction of a light-water nuclear reactor for Argentina. South Korea_sentence_483

South Korea is not allowed to enrich uranium or develop traditional uranium enrichment technology on its own, because of US political pressure, unlike most major nuclear powers such as Japan, Germany, and France, competitors of South Korea in the international nuclear market. South Korea_sentence_484

This impediment to South Korea's indigenous nuclear industrial undertaking has sparked occasional diplomatic rows between the two allies. South Korea_sentence_485

While South Korea is successful in exporting its electricity-generating nuclear technology and nuclear reactors, it cannot capitalize on the market for nuclear enrichment facilities and refineries, preventing it from further expanding its export niche. South Korea_sentence_486

South Korea has sought unique technologies such as pyroprocessing to circumvent these obstacles and seek a more advantageous competition. South Korea_sentence_487

The US has recently been wary of South Korea's burgeoning nuclear program, which South Korea insists will be for civilian use only. South Korea_sentence_488

South Korea is the third highest ranked Asian country in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) after Singapore and Hong Kong respectively – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. South Korea_sentence_489

South Korea ranked number 10 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, up from 11 in 2013. South Korea_sentence_490

Tourism South Korea_section_31

Main article: Tourism in South Korea South Korea_sentence_491

In 2016, 17 million foreign tourists visited South Korea With rising tourist prospects, especially from foreign countries outside of Asia, the South Korean government has set a target of attracting 20 million foreign tourists a year by 2017. South Korea_sentence_492

South Korean tourism is driven by many factors, including the prominence of Korean pop culture such as South Korean pop music and television dramas, known as the Korean Wave or (Hallyu), has gained popularity throughout East Asia. South Korea_sentence_493

The Hyundai Research Institute reported that the Korean Wave has a direct impact in encouraging direct foreign investment back into the country through demand for products, and the tourism industry. South Korea_sentence_494

Among East Asian countries, China was the most receptive, investing 1.4 billion in South Korea, with much of the investment within its service sector, a sevenfold increase from 2001. South Korea_sentence_495

According to an analysis by economist Han Sang-Wan, a 1 percent increase in the exports of Korean cultural content pushes consumer goods exports up 0.083 percent while a 1 percent increase in Korean pop content exports to a country produces a 0.019 percent bump in tourism. South Korea_sentence_496

South Korean National Pension System South Korea_section_32

The South Korean pension system was created to provide benefits to persons reaching old age, families and persons stricken with death of their primary breadwinner, and for the purposes of stabilizing its nations welfare state. South Korea_sentence_497

South Korea's pension system structure is primarily based on taxation and is income-related. South Korea_sentence_498

In 2007 there was a total of 18,367,000 insured individuals with only around 511,000 persons excluded from mandatory contribution. South Korea_sentence_499

The current pension system is divided into four categories distributing benefits to participants through national, military personnel, governmental, and private school teacher pension schemes. South Korea_sentence_500

The national pension scheme is the primary welfare system providing allowances to the majority of persons. South Korea_sentence_501

Eligibility for the national pension scheme is not dependent on income but on age and residence, where those between the ages of 18 to 59 are covered. South Korea_sentence_502

Any one who is under the age of 18 are dependents of someone who is covered or under a special exclusion where they are allowed to alternative provisions. South Korea_sentence_503

The national pension scheme is divided into four categories of insured persons – the workplace-based insured, the individually insured, the voluntarily insured, and the voluntarily and continuously insured. South Korea_sentence_504

Employees between the ages of 18 to 59 are covered under the workplace-based pension scheme and contribute 4.5% of their gross monthly earnings. South Korea_sentence_505

The national pension covers employees who work in firms that employ five or more employees, fishermen, farmers, and the self-employed in both rural and urban areas. South Korea_sentence_506

Employers are also covered under the workplace-based pension scheme and help cover their employees obligated 9% contribution by providing the remaining 4.5%. South Korea_sentence_507

Anyone who is not employed, of the age of 60 or above, and excluded by article 6 of the National Pension Act but of the ages between 18 and 59, is covered under the individually insured pension scheme. South Korea_sentence_508

Persons covered by the individually insured pension scheme are in charge of paying the entire 9% contribution themselves. South Korea_sentence_509

Voluntarily insured persons are not subjected to mandatory coverage but can choose to be. South Korea_sentence_510

This category comprises retirees who voluntarily choose to have additional benefits, individuals under the age of 27 without income, and individuals whose spouses are covered under a public welfare system, whether military, governmental, or private school teacher pensions. South Korea_sentence_511

Like the Individually insured persons, they too are in charge of covering the full amount of the contribution. South Korea_sentence_512

Voluntarily and continuously insured persons consists of individuals 60 years of age who want to fulfill the minimum insured period of 20 years to qualify for old age pension benefits. South Korea_sentence_513

Excluding the workplace-based insured persons, all the other insured persons personally cover their own 9% contribution. South Korea_sentence_514

South Korea's old-age pension scheme covers individuals age 60 or older for the rest of their life as long as they have satisfied the minimum of 20 years of national pension coverage beforehand. South Korea_sentence_515

Individuals with a minimum of 10 years covered under the national pension scheme and who are 60 years of age are able to be covered by under a 'reduced old-age pension' scheme. South Korea_sentence_516

There also is an 'active old-age pension' scheme that covers individuals age 60 to 65 engaged in activities yielding earned income. South Korea_sentence_517

Individuals age of 55 and younger than 60 who are not engaged in activities yielding earned income are eligible to be covered under the 'early old-age pension' scheme. South Korea_sentence_518

Around 60% of all Korean elders, age 65 and over are entitled to a 5% benefit of their past average income at an average of 90,000 Korean Won (KRW). South Korea_sentence_519

Basic old-age pension schemes covered individuals 65 years of age who earned below an amount set by presidential order. South Korea_sentence_520

In 2010, that ceiling was 700,00 KRW for a single individual and 1,120,000 for a couple, equivalent to around $600.00 and $960.00. South Korea_sentence_521

Science and technology South Korea_section_33

Main article: History of science and technology in Korea South Korea_sentence_522

See also: List of Korean inventions and discoveries South Korea_sentence_523

Scientific and technological development in the South Korea at first did not occur largely because of more pressing matters such as the division of Korea and the Korean War that occurred right after its independence. South Korea_sentence_524

It was not until the 1960s under the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee where South Korea's economy rapidly grew from industrialisation and the Chaebol corporations such as Samsung and LG. South Korea_sentence_525

Ever since the industrialization of South Korea's economy, South Korea has placed its focus on technology-based corporations, which has been supported by infrastructure developments by the government. South Korea_sentence_526

South Korean corporations Samsung and LG were ranked first and third largest mobile phone companies in the world in the first quarter of 2012, respectively. South Korea_sentence_527

An estimated 90% of South Koreans own a mobile phone. South Korea_sentence_528

Aside from placing/receiving calls and text messaging, mobile phones in the country are widely used for watching Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) or viewing websites. South Korea_sentence_529

Over one million DMB phones have been sold and the three major wireless communications providers SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ provide coverage in all major cities and other areas. South Korea_sentence_530

South Korea has the fastest Internet download speeds in the world, with an average download speed of 25.3 Mbit/s. South Korea_sentence_531

South Korea leads the OECD in graduates in science and engineering. South Korea_sentence_532

From 2014 to 2019, the country ranked first among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index. South Korea_sentence_533

Additionally, South Korea today is known as a Launchpad of a mature mobile market, where developers can reap benefits of a market where very few technology constraints exist. South Korea_sentence_534

There is a growing trend of inventions of new types of media or apps, utilizing the 4G and 5G internet infrastructure in South Korea. South Korea_sentence_535

South Korea has today the infrastructures to meet a density of population and culture that has the capability to create strong local particularity. South Korea_sentence_536

Cyber security South Korea_section_34

See also: Internet censorship in South Korea South Korea_sentence_537

Following cyberattacks in the first half of 2013, whereby government, news-media, television station, and bank websites were compromised, the national government committed to the training of 5,000 new cybersecurity experts by 2017. South Korea_sentence_538

The South Korean government blamed North Korea for these attacks, as well as incidents that occurred in 2009, 2011 and 2012, but Pyongyang denies the accusations. South Korea_sentence_539

In late September 2013, a computer-security competition jointly sponsored by the defense ministry and the National Intelligence Service was announced. South Korea_sentence_540

The winners were announced on September 29, 2013 and shared a total prize pool of 80 million won (US$74,000). South Korea_sentence_541

South Korea's government maintains a broad-ranging approach toward the regulation of specific online content and imposes a substantial level of censorship on election-related discourse and on many websites that the government deems subversive or socially harmful. South Korea_sentence_542

Aerospace engineering South Korea_section_35

Main article: Korea Aerospace Research Institute South Korea_sentence_543

South Korea has sent up 10 satellites since 1992, all using foreign rockets and overseas launch pads, notably Arirang-1 in 1999, and Arirang-2 in 2006 as part of its space partnership with Russia. South Korea_sentence_544

Arirang-1 was lost in space in 2008, after nine years in service. South Korea_sentence_545

In April 2008, Yi So-yeon became the first Korean to fly in space, aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-12. South Korea_sentence_546

In June 2009, the first spaceport of South Korea, Naro Space Center, was completed at Goheung, Jeollanam-do. South Korea_sentence_547

The launch of Naro-1 in August 2009 resulted in a failure. South Korea_sentence_548

The second attempt in June 2010 was also unsuccessful. South Korea_sentence_549

However, the third launch of the Naro 1 in January 2013 was successful. South Korea_sentence_550

The government plans to develop Naro-2 by the year 2018. South Korea_sentence_551

South Korea's efforts to build an indigenous space launch vehicle have been marred due to persistent political pressure from the United States, who had for many decades hindered South Korea's indigenous rocket and missile development programs in fear of their possible connection to clandestine military ballistic missile programs, which Korea many times insisted did not violate the research and development guidelines stipulated by US-Korea agreements on restriction of South Korean rocket technology research and development. South Korea_sentence_552

South Korea has sought the assistance of foreign countries such as Russia through MTCR commitments to supplement its restricted domestic rocket technology. South Korea_sentence_553

The two failed KSLV-I launch vehicles were based on the Universal Rocket Module, the first stage of the Russian Angara rocket, combined with a solid-fueled second stage built by South Korea. South Korea_sentence_554

Robotics South Korea_section_36

Robotics has been included in the list of main national R&D projects in Korea since 2003. South Korea_sentence_555

In 2009, the government announced plans to build robot-themed parks in Incheon and Masan with a mix of public and private funding. South Korea_sentence_556

In 2005, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed the world's second walking humanoid robot, HUBO. South Korea_sentence_557

A team in the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology developed the first Korean android, EveR-1 in May 2006. South Korea_sentence_558

EveR-1 has been succeeded by more complex models with improved movement and vision. South Korea_sentence_559

Plans of creating English-teaching robot assistants to compensate for the shortage of teachers were announced in February 2010, with the robots being deployed to most preschools and kindergartens by 2013. South Korea_sentence_560

Robotics are also incorporated in the entertainment sector as well; the Korean Robot Game Festival has been held every year since 2004 to promote science and robot technology. South Korea_sentence_561

Biotechnology South Korea_section_37

Since the 1980s, the Korean government has invested in the development of a domestic biotechnology industry, and the sector is projected to grow to $6.5 billion by 2010. South Korea_sentence_562

The medical sector accounts for a large part of the production, including production of hepatitis vaccines and antibiotics. South Korea_sentence_563

Recently, research and development in genetics and cloning has received increasing attention, with the first successful cloning of a dog, Snuppy (in 2005), and the cloning of two females of an endangered species of wolves by the Seoul National University in 2007. South Korea_sentence_564

The rapid growth of the industry has resulted in significant voids in regulation of ethics, as was highlighted by the scientific misconduct case involving Hwang Woo-Suk. South Korea_sentence_565

Culture South Korea_section_38

Main article: Culture of South Korea South Korea_sentence_566

See also: Culture of Korea South Korea_sentence_567

South Korea shares its traditional culture with North Korea, but the two Koreas have developed distinct contemporary forms of culture since the peninsula was divided in 1945. South Korea_sentence_568

Historically, while the culture of Korea has been heavily influenced by that of neighboring China, it has nevertheless managed to develop a unique cultural identity that is distinct from its larger neighbor. South Korea_sentence_569

Its rich and vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites. South Korea_sentence_570

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism actively encourages the traditional arts, as well as modern forms, through funding and education programs. South Korea_sentence_571

The industrialization and urbanization of South Korea have brought many changes to the way modern Koreans live. South Korea_sentence_572

Changing economics and lifestyles have led to a concentration of population in major cities, especially the capital Seoul, with multi-generational households separating into nuclear family living arrangements. South Korea_sentence_573

A 2014 Euromonitor study found that South Koreans drink the most alcohol on a weekly basis compared to the rest of the world. South Korea_sentence_574

South Koreans drink 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average and, of the 44 other countries analyzed, Russia, the Philippines, and Thailand follow. South Korea_sentence_575

Art South Korea_section_39

Main article: Korean art South Korea_sentence_576

Korean art has been highly influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism, which can be seen in the many traditional paintings, sculptures, ceramics and the performing arts. South Korea_sentence_577

Korean pottery and porcelain, such as Joseon's baekja and buncheong, and Goryeo's celadon are well known throughout the world. South Korea_sentence_578

The Korean tea ceremony, pansori, talchum and buchaechum are also notable Korean performing arts. South Korea_sentence_579

Post-war modern Korean art started to flourish in the 1960s and 1970s, when South Korean artists took interest in geometrical shapes and intangible subjects. South Korea_sentence_580

Establishing a harmony between man and nature was also a favorite of this time. South Korea_sentence_581

Because of social instability, social issues appeared as main subjects in the 1980s. South Korea_sentence_582

Art was influenced by various international events and exhibits in Korea, and with it brought more diversity. South Korea_sentence_583

The Olympic Sculpture Garden in 1988, the transposition of the 1993 edition of the Whitney Biennial to Seoul, the creation of the Gwangju Biennale and the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1995 were notable events. South Korea_sentence_584

Architecture South Korea_section_40

Main article: Architecture of South Korea South Korea_sentence_585

See also: Korean architecture South Korea_sentence_586

Because of South Korea's tumultuous history, construction and destruction has been repeated endlessly, resulting in an interesting melange of architectural styles and designs. South Korea_sentence_587

Korean traditional architecture is characterized by its harmony with nature. South Korea_sentence_588

Ancient architects adopted the bracket system characterized by thatched roofs and heated floors called ondol. South Korea_sentence_589

People of the upper classes built bigger houses with elegantly curved tiled roofs with lifting eaves. South Korea_sentence_590

Traditional architecture can be seen in the palaces and temples, preserved old houses called hanok, and special sites like Hahoe Folk Village, Yangdong Village of Gyeongju and Korean Folk Village. South Korea_sentence_591

Traditional architecture may also be seen at the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Korea. South Korea_sentence_592

Western architecture was first introduced to Korea at the end of the 19th century. South Korea_sentence_593

Churches, offices for foreign legislation, schools and university buildings were built in new styles. South Korea_sentence_594

With the annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910 the colonial regime intervened in Korea's architectural heritage, and Japanese-style modern architecture was imposed. South Korea_sentence_595

The anti-Japanese sentiment, and the Korean War, led to the destruction of most buildings constructed during that time. South Korea_sentence_596

Korean architecture entered a new phase of development during the post-Korean War reconstruction, incorporating modern architectural trends and styles. South Korea_sentence_597

Stimulated by the economic growth in the 1970s and 1980s, active redevelopment saw new horizons in architectural design. South Korea_sentence_598

In the aftermath of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea has witnessed a wide variation of styles in its architectural landscape due, in large part, to the opening up of the market to foreign architects. South Korea_sentence_599

Contemporary architectural efforts have been constantly trying to balance the traditional philosophy of "harmony with nature" and the fast-paced urbanization that the country has been going through in recent years. South Korea_sentence_600

Cuisine South Korea_section_41

Main article: Korean cuisine South Korea_sentence_601

Korean cuisine, hanguk yori (한국요리; 韓國料理), or hansik (한식; 韓食), has evolved through centuries of social and political change. South Korea_sentence_602

Ingredients and dishes vary by province. South Korea_sentence_603

There are many significant regional dishes that have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day. South Korea_sentence_604

The Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. South Korea_sentence_605

Meals consumed both by the royal family and ordinary Korean citizens have been regulated by a unique culture of etiquette. South Korea_sentence_606

Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables, fish and meats. South Korea_sentence_607

Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes, banchan (반찬), which accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. South Korea_sentence_608

Every meal is accompanied by numerous banchan. South Korea_sentence_609

Kimchi (김치), a fermented, usually spicy vegetable dish is commonly served at every meal and is one of the best known Korean dishes. South Korea_sentence_610

Korean cuisine usually involves heavy seasoning with sesame oil, doenjang (된장), a type of fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (고추장), a hot pepper paste. South Korea_sentence_611

Other well-known dishes are Bulgogi (불고기), grilled marinated beef, Gimbap (김밥), and Tteokbokki (떡볶이), a spicy snack consisting of rice cake seasoned with gochujang or a spicy chili paste. South Korea_sentence_612

Soups are also a common part of a Korean meal and are served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal. South Korea_sentence_613

Soups known as guk (국) are often made with meats, shellfish and vegetables. South Korea_sentence_614

Similar to guk, tang (탕; 湯) has less water, and is more often served in restaurants. South Korea_sentence_615

Another type is jjigae (찌개), a stew that is typically heavily seasoned with chili pepper and served boiling hot. South Korea_sentence_616

Popular Korean alcoholic beverages include Soju, Makgeolli and Bokbunja ju. South Korea_sentence_617

Korea is unique among East Asian countries in its use of metal chopsticks. South Korea_sentence_618

Metal chopsticks have been discovered in Goguryeo archaeological sites. South Korea_sentence_619

Entertainment South Korea_section_42

Main articles: Korean Wave, Cinema of South Korea, Korean drama, and K-pop South Korea_sentence_620

In addition to domestic consumption, South Korea has a thriving entertainment industry where various facets of South Korean entertainment, including television dramas, films, and popular music, has generated significant financial revenues for the nation's economy. South Korea_sentence_621

The cultural phenomenon known as Hallyu or the "Korean Wave", has swept many countries across Asia making South Korea a major soft power as an exporter of popular culture and entertainment, rivaling Western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom. South Korea_sentence_622

Until the 1990s, trot and traditional Korean folk based ballads dominated South Korean popular music. South Korea_sentence_623

The emergence of the South Korean pop group Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992 marked a turning point for South Korean popular music, also known as K-pop, as the genre modernized itself from incorporating elements of popular musical genres from across the world such as Western popular music, experimental, jazz, gospel, Latin, classical, hip hop, rhythm and blues, electronic dance, reggae, country, folk, and rock on top of its uniquely traditional Korean music roots. South Korea_sentence_624

Western-style pop, hip hop, rhythm and blues, rock, folk, electronic dance oriented acts have become dominant in the modern South Korean popular music scene, though trot is still enjoyed among older South Koreans. South Korea_sentence_625

K-pop stars and groups are well known across Asia and have found international fame making millions of dollars in export revenue. South Korea_sentence_626

Many K-pop acts have also been able secure a strong overseas following using online social media platforms such as the video sharing website YouTube. South Korea_sentence_627

South Korean singer PSY became an international sensation when his song "Gangnam Style" topped global music charts in 2012. South Korea_sentence_628

Since the success of the film Shiri in 1999, the Korean film industry has begun to gain recognition internationally. South Korea_sentence_629

Domestic film has a dominant share of the market, partly because of the existence of screen quotas requiring cinemas to show Korean films at least 73 days a year. South Korea_sentence_630

2019's Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho, became the highest-grossing film in South Korea as well as the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the United States-based Academy Awards that year amongst numerous other accolades. South Korea_sentence_631

South Korean television shows have become popular outside of Korea. South Korea_sentence_632

South Korean television dramas, known as K-dramas, have begun to find fame internationally. South Korea_sentence_633

Many dramas tend to have a romantic focus, such as Princess Hours, You're Beautiful, Playful Kiss, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Boys Over Flowers, Winter Sonata, Autumn in My Heart, Full House, City Hunter, All About Eve, Secret Garden, I Can Hear Your Voice, Master's Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Descendants of the Sun and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. South Korea_sentence_634

Historical dramas have included Faith, Dae Jang Geum, The Legend, Dong Yi, Moon Embracing the Sun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and Iljimae. South Korea_sentence_635

Holidays South Korea_section_43

Main article: Public holidays in South Korea South Korea_sentence_636

There are many official public holidays in South Korea. South Korea_sentence_637

Korean New Year's Day, or "Seollal", is celebrated on the first day of the Korean lunar calendar. South Korea_sentence_638

Korean Independence Day falls on March 1, and commemorates the March 1 Movement of 1919. South Korea_sentence_639

Memorial Day is celebrated on June 6, and its purpose is to honor the men and women who died in South Korea's independence movement. South Korea_sentence_640

Constitution Day is on July 17, and it celebrates the promulgation of Constitution of the Republic of Korea. South Korea_sentence_641

Liberation Day, on August 15, celebrates Korea's liberation from the Empire of Japan in 1945. South Korea_sentence_642

Every 15th day of the 8th lunar month, Koreans celebrate the Midautumn Festival, in which Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and eat a variety of traditional Korean foods. South Korea_sentence_643

On October 1, Armed Forces day is celebrated, honoring the military forces of South Korea. South Korea_sentence_644

October 3 is National Foundation Day. South Korea_sentence_645

Hangul Day, on October 9 commemorates the invention of hangul, the native alphabet of the Korean language. South Korea_sentence_646

Sports South Korea_section_44

Main article: Sport in South Korea South Korea_sentence_647

The martial art taekwondo originated in Korea. South Korea_sentence_648

In the 1950s and 1960s, modern rules were standardized, with taekwondo becoming an official Olympic sport in 2000. South Korea_sentence_649

Other Korean martial arts include Taekkyon, hapkido, Tang Soo Do, Kuk Sool Won, kumdo and subak. South Korea_sentence_650

Football and baseball have traditionally been regarded as the most popular sports in Korea. South Korea_sentence_651

Recent polling indicates that a majority, 41% of South Korean sports fans continue to self-identify as football fans, with baseball ranked 2nd at 25% of respondents. South Korea_sentence_652

However, the polling did not indicate the extent to which respondents follow both sports. South Korea_sentence_653

The national football team became the first team in the Asian Football Confederation to reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan. South Korea_sentence_654

The Korea Republic national team (as it is known) has qualified for every World Cup since Mexico 1986, and has broken out of the group stage twice: first in 2002, and again in 2010, when it was defeated by eventual semi-finalist Uruguay in the Round of 16. South Korea_sentence_655

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, South Korea won the bronze medal for football. South Korea_sentence_656

Baseball was first introduced to Korea in 1905 and has since become increasingly popular, with some sources claiming it has surpassed football as the most popular sport in the country. South Korea_sentence_657

Recent years have been characterized by increasing attendance and ticket prices for professional baseball games. South Korea_sentence_658

The Korea Professional Baseball league, a 10-team circuit, was established in 1982. South Korea_sentence_659

The South Korea national team finished third in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and second in the 2009 tournament. South Korea_sentence_660

The team's 2009 final game against Japan was widely watched in Korea, with a large screen at Gwanghwamun crossing in Seoul broadcasting the game live. South Korea_sentence_661

In the 2008 Summer Olympics, South Korea won the gold medal in baseball. South Korea_sentence_662

Also in 1982, at the Baseball Worldcup, Korea won the gold medal. South Korea_sentence_663

At the 2010 Asian Games, the Korean National Baseball team won the gold medal. South Korea_sentence_664

Several Korean players have gone on to play in Major League Baseball. South Korea_sentence_665

Basketball is a popular sport in the country as well. South Korea_sentence_666

South Korea has traditionally had one of the top basketball teams in Asia and one of the continent's strongest basketball divisions. South Korea_sentence_667

Seoul hosted the 1967 and 1995 Asian Basketball Championship. South Korea_sentence_668

The Korea national basketball team has won a record number of 23 medals at the event to date. South Korea_sentence_669

South Korea hosted the Asian Games in 1986 (Seoul), 2002 (Busan) and 2014 (Incheon). South Korea_sentence_670

It also hosted the Winter Universiade in 1997, the Asian Winter Games in 1999 and the Summer Universiade in 2003, 2015. South Korea_sentence_671

In 1988, South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in Seoul, coming fourth with 12 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 11 bronze medals. South Korea_sentence_672

South Korea regularly performs well in archery, shooting, table tennis, badminton, short track speed skating, handball, hockey, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, baseball, judo, taekwondo, speed skating, figure Skating, and weightlifting. South Korea_sentence_673

The Seoul Olympic Museum is a museum in Seoul, South Korea, dedicated to the 1988 Summer Olympics. South Korea_sentence_674

On July 6, 2011 Pyeongchang was chosen by the IOC to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. South Korea_sentence_675

South Korea has won more medals in the Winter Olympics than any other Asian country with a total of 45 medals (23 gold, 14 silver, and 8 bronze). South Korea_sentence_676

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, South Korea ranked fifth in the overall medal rankings. South Korea_sentence_677

South Korea is especially strong in short track speed skating. South Korea_sentence_678

However, speed skating and figure skating are very popular, too, and ice hockey is an emerging sport with Anyang Halla winning their first ever Asia League Ice Hockey title in March 2010. South Korea_sentence_679

Seoul hosted a professional triathlon race, which is part of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship Series in May 2010. South Korea_sentence_680

In 2011, the South Korean city of Daegu hosted the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. South Korea_sentence_681

In October 2010, South Korea hosted its first Formula One race at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, about 400 kilometres (250 mi) south of Seoul. South Korea_sentence_682

The Korean Grand Prix was held from 2010 to 2013, but was not placed on the 2014 F1 calendar. South Korea_sentence_683

Domestic horse racing events are also followed by South Koreans and Seoul Race Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do is located closest to Seoul out of the country's three tracks. South Korea_sentence_684

Competitive video gaming, also called Esports (sometimes written e-Sports), has become more popular in South Korea in recent years, particularly among young people. South Korea_sentence_685

The two most popular games are League of Legends and StarCraft. South Korea_sentence_686

The gaming scene of South Korea is managed by the Korean e-Sports Association. South Korea_sentence_687

See also South Korea_section_45

South Korea_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Korea.