Independence Year : 1948
Population : 46844000
Life Expectancy : 74.4
Capital : 2331
GNP : 320749.00
GNP Old : 442544.00
Local Name : Taehan Min’guk (Namhan)
Government Form : Republic
Location : Korea is a peninsula country in Northeast Asia bordering China and Russia to the north, and Japan to the southeast. The Korean peninsula is surrounded by Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and East Sea (Sea of Japan).
Terrain : Partially forested mountain ranges separated by deep, narrow valleys; cultivated plains along the coasts, particularly in the west and south.
Climate : Temperate, four distinct seasons, and heavier rainfall in the summer
Ethnic Group : Korean; small Chinese minority
Religions : Buddhism 46%, Protestantism 39%, Catholicism 13%, Confucianism 1%, Cheondogyo (the Religion of Heavenly Way) and others 1%
Official Website : www.cwd.go.kr
Genral Information - South Korea
The Korean Peninsula extends southward from the northeast part of the Asian continent. The country has a long history and proud tradition. Buddhism and Confucianism have influenced the nation's society and culture.
Koreans, like many other Asian peoples, are descendants of the Mongolian Tungus stock. They differ from the neighboring Japanese and Chinese, however, in that Koreans are a homogeneous ethnic group with their own language, culture, and customs.
Over the last several decades, Korea has transformed herself from an agrarian society to an industrial leader on the world economic scene. Progress is being made in education, science and technology and social welfare.
In 2002 South Korea has co-hosted, the FIFA World CupTM tournament.
After World War II, a republic was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula (in August 15, 1945) while a communist-style government was installed in the north.
The Korean War (1950-53) had US and other UN forces intervene to defend South Korea from North Korean attacks supported by the Chinese. An armistice was signed in 1953 splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to 13 times the level of North Korea.
In 1997, the nation suffered a severe financial crisis from which it continues to make a solid recovery. South Korea has also maintained its commitment to democratize its political processes.
In June 2000, a historic first south-north summit took place between the south's then President KIM Dae-jung and the north's leader KIM Chong-il. In December 2000, President KIM Dae-jung won the Noble Peace Prize for his lifelong commitment to democracy and human rights in Asia. He is the first Korean to win a Nobel Prize.