South Korea officially the Republic of Korea rock is a country in East Asia constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland the name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time ruling most of the Korean Peninsula Manchuria parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Guang Gado the Great South Korea lies in the North temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain it comprises an estimated 50 million residents distributed over 100,000 363 square kilometers 38,000 750 square miles the capital and largest city is Seoul with a population of 10 million archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the lower Paleolithic period ma 300 calm the history of Korea begins with the foundation of gojoseon in 2333 BC by the legendary King dangun but no archaeological evidence in writing was found from this period the GIJoe Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE and its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era the written historical record on gojoseon old Joseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE following the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea under unified Silla in AD 668 Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty nine one eight one three nine two and the Joseon dynasty 1392 to 1910 it was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910 at the end of World War two Korea was divided into Soviet and US zones of occupations a separate election was held in the US Zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea ROC while the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea DPRK was established in the Soviet zone the United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROC to be the only lawful government in Korea the Korean War began in 1950 when forces from the north invaded the south the war lasted three years and involved the US China the Soviet Union and several other nations the border between the two nations remains the most heavily fortified in the world under longtime military leader Park chung-hee the South Korean economy grew significantly in the country was transformed into a g20 major economy military rule ended in 1987 and the country is now a presidential Republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions South Korea is a developed country and a high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index ranking 22nd in the world the country is considered a regional power and as the world’s 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 12th largest by PPP as of 2010 South Korea is a global leader in the industrial and technological sectors being the world’s fifth largest exporter and eighth largest importer its export driven economy primarily focuses production on electronics automobiles ships machinery petrochemicals and robotics South Korea is a member of the Aegean plus mechanism the united nations uniting for consensus g20 the WTO and oacd and as a founding member of APEC in the East Asia Summit topic etymology the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo the name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the fifth century as a shortened form of its name the 10th century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo and thus inherited its name which was pronounced by visiting Persian merchants as Korea the modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company’s Hendrik Hamel despite the coexistence of the spellings Korea in Korea in 19th century publications some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan around the time of the Japanese occupation intentionally standardized the spelling on Korea making Japan appear first alphabetically after Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392 Joseon became the official name for the entire territory though it was not universally accepted the new official name has its origin in the ancient country of gojoseon old joseon in 1897 the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Dae Han Jagga Korean Empire the name Dae Han which means great Han literally derives from Samhan 3 Hans referring to the three kingdoms of korea not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula however the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country though it was no longer the official name under Japanese rule the two names Han and Joseon coexisted there were several groups who fought for independence the most notable being the provisional government of the republic of korea de and minguk m-z Zhang Buddha Han min Guan Lin Chi Jung following the surrender of Japan in 1945 the Republic of Korea Day and minguk de han min-koo oip a TI mnemonic lit great korean people’s country listened was adopted as the legal english name for the new country 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 while South Koreans use Han or Hongik to refer to the entire country North Koreans and ethnic Koreans living in China and Japan used the term Joseon as the name of the country the Korean name Dae Han 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 topic history you topic ancient Korea 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 BC by dangun according to Korea’s foundation mythology gojoseon expanded until it controlled the northern Korean Peninsula in parts of Manchuria giza Joseon was purportedly founded in the 12th century BC but its existence and role have been controversial in the modern era in 108 BC the Han Dynasty defeated wyman Joseon and installed for common dairies in the northern Korean Peninsula three of the common dairies fell or retreated westward within a few decades as LaLanne commandery was destroyed and rebuilt around this time the place gradually moved toward Liang thus its force was diminished and it only served as a trade center until it was conquered by Goguryeo in 313 topic three kingdoms of Korea during the period known as the pro two three kingdoms of korea the states of buyo oak jo dong Yi and Samhan occupied the whole Korean Peninsula and southern Manchuria from them goguryeo baekje and silla emerged to control the peninsula as the three kingdoms of korea 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 Goguryeo experienced a golden age under Gwang GAE toad the Great and his son Jang soo hoo both subdued Vecchia 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 in addition to contesting for control of the Korean Peninsula Goguryeo had many military conflicts with various Chinese dynasties most notably the goguryeo sway war in which goguryeo defeated a huge force said to number over a million men Baek you 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 Becky was once a great military power on the Korean Peninsula especially during the time of jeong cho go but was critically defeated by Gwang GAE dou the Great and declined 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 tank China to its great advantage 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 balhae was founded by a goguryeo general and formed as a successor state to Goguryeo during its height ballet controlled most of Manchuria and parts of the Russian Far East and was called the prosperous country in the east later Silla was a Golden Age of art and culture as evidenced by the Wang Yong’s ax Suk Gorham and mo Bell relationships between Korea and China remained relatively peaceful during this time later silla carried on the maritime prowess of Vecchia which acted like the Phoenicia of medieval east asia and during the eighth and ninth centuries dominated the Seas of 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 in the mouth of the Yangtze River later Silla was a prosperous and wealthy country and its metropolitan capital of Gyeongju was the fourth largest city in the world Buddhism flourished during this time and many Korean Buddhists gained great fame among Chinese Buddhists and contributed to Chinese Buddhism including wangchuk one yo u Ising mu song and Kim Dao gak asila prince whose influence made mount zhu ha one of the four sacred mountains of chinese buddhism however later silla weakened under internal strife and the revival of Bekka and goguryeo which led to the later Three Kingdoms period in the late 9th century topic unified dynasties in 936 the later three kingdoms were united by Wang Jian a descendant of Goguryeo nobility who established Goryeo as the successor state of Goguryeo balhae had fallen to the chitin 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 Jian thus unifying the two successor nations of Goguryeo like Silla Goryeo was a highly cultural state and invented the metal movable-type printing press after defeating the chitin Empire which was the most powerful Empire of its time in the Goryeo chitin 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 however the Mongol invasions in the 13th century greatly weakened the kingdom 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 henceforth Goryeo continued to rule Korea though is a tributary allied to the Mongols for the next 86 years 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 in the mid 14th century Goryeo drove out the Mongols to regain its northern territories briefly conquered liao young and defeated invasions by the red turbans however in 1392 general yi seong-gye who had been ordered to attack China turned his army around and staged a coup yi seong-gye declared the new name of Korea as Joseon in reference to gojoseon and moved the capital to Han Sung one of the old names of Seoul 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 Sooyoung the great to promote literacy among the common people the prevailing ideology of the time was neo-confucianism which was epitomized by the samba class nobles who passed up positions of wealth and power to lead lives of study and integrity 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 through a series of successful battles of attrition the Japanese forces were eventually forced to withdraw and relations between all parties became normalized 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 after normalizing relations with the new ching dynasty Joseon experienced a nearly 200 year period of peace Kings yeongjo and jeongjo particularly led a new renaissance of the joseon dynasty during the 18th century 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 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 after the first sino-japanese war in the russo-japanese war Korea was occupied by Japan 1910 to 45 at the end of World War two the Japanese surrendered to Soviet and US forces who occupied the northern and southern halves of Korea respectively topic modern history 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 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 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 in October the Soviet Union declared Kim il-sung’s government as sovereign over both parts the UN declared Riis 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 both leaders began an authoritarian repression of their political opponents inside their region seeking for a unification of Korea under their control 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 topic Korean War On June 25th 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea sparking the Korean War the Cold War’s first major conflict which continued until 1953 at the time the Soviet Union had boycotted the United Nations UN thus forfeiting their veto rights 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 the Soviet Union and China backed North Korea with the later participation of millions of Chinese troops after an ebb and flow that saw both sides almost pushed to the brink of extinction and massive losses among Korean civilians in both the North and the South the war eventually reached a stalemate the 1953 armistice never signed by South Korea split the peninsula along the Demilitarized Zone near the original demarcation line no peace treaty was ever signed resulting in the two countries remaining technically at war over million people died during the Korean War topic post Korean War 1960 to 1990 in 1960 a student uprising the April 19th revolution led to the resignation of the autocratic president Syngman Rhee a period of political instability followed broken by General Park Choong he’s made the weak and ineffectual government the next year Park took over as president until his assassination in 1979 overseeing rapid export-led economic growth as well as implementing political repression 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 however the Korean economy developed significantly during parks tenure and the government developed the nationwide expressway system the seoul subway system and laid the foundation for economic development during his 17-year tenure the years after parks assassination were marked again by political turmoil as the previously suppressed opposition leaders all campaigned to run for president in the sudden political void in 1979 there came the coup d’etat December 12th led by General Chun doo-hwan following the coup d’etat Chun doo-hwan plan to rise to power through several measures on May 17th Chun doo-hwan forced the cabinet to expand martial law to the whole nation which had previously not applied to the island of Jeju Tao the expanded martial law closed universities banned political activities and further curtailed the press Chun’s assumption of the presidency in the events of May 17th triggered nationwide protests demanding democracy in particular in the city of Gwangju to which Chun sent special forces to violently suppress the Gwangju democratization movement Chung subsequently created the national defense emergency policy committee and took the presidency according to his political plan Chun and his government held South Korea under a despotic rule until 1987 when a Seoul National University student park jong-hong was tortured to death On June 10th the Catholic priests Association for justice revealed the incident igniting the June democracy movement around the country eventually Chun’s party the Democratic Justice Party and its leader ROH tae-woo announced the declaration which included the direct election of the President Roh went on to win the election by a narrow margin against the two main opposition leaders Kim dae-jung and Kim young-sam 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 was formally invited to become a member of the United Nations in 1991 the transition of Korean from autocracy to modern democracy was marked in 1997 by the election of Kim dae-jung who was sworn in as the 8th president of South Korea on February 25th 1998 his election was significant given that he had in earlier years been a political prisoner sentenced to death later commuted to exile he went 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 topic modern South Korea in June 2000 as part of President Kim dae-jung sunshine policy of engagement a north-south summit took place in Pyongyang the capital of North Korea 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 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 meanwhile South Korea and Japan jointly co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup however South Korean and Japanese relations later soured because of conflicting claims of sovereignty over the Liancourt rocks in 2010 there was an escalation in attacks by North Korea in March 2010 the South Korean warship rocks Cheonan was sunk with the loss of 46 South Korean sailors allegedly by a North Korean submarine in November 2010 Yeonpyeong Island was attacked by a significant North Korean artillery barrage with four people losing their lives 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 saw another milestone in 2012 with the first-ever female president Park geun-hye elected an assuming office daughter of another former president Park chung-hee she carried on a conservative brand of politics president Park geun-hye administration was formally accused of corruption bribery and influence peddling for the involvement of close friend choice soon still in state affairs there followed a series of massive public demonstrations from November 2016 and she was removed from office after the fallout of president park’s impeachment and dismissal new elections were held in moon jae and of the Democratic Party won the presidency assuming office on the 10th of May 2017 his tenure so far has seen 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 plunk Chang topic geography climate and environment you topic geography South Korea occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula which extends some 1,100 kilometers 680 miles from the Asian mainland this mountainous peninsula is flanked by the Yellow Sea to the west and the Sea of Japan to the east its southern tip lies on the Korea Strait and the East China Sea the country including all its islands lies between latitudes 33 degrees and 39 degrees north and longitudes 124 degrees and 130 degrees east its total area as one hundred thousand thirty two square kilometers thirty-eight thousand six hundred twenty two point five seven square miles 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 south western region of mountains and valleys and a south eastern region dominated by the broad basin of the Nakdong River South Korea’s terrain is mostly mountainous most of which is not arable lowlands located primarily in the west and southeast make up only 30% of the total land area about 3,000 islands mostly small and uninhabited lie off the western and southern coasts of South Korea jeju-do is about 100 kilometres 62 miles off the southern coast of South Korea it is the country’s largest island with an area of 1845 square kilometres 712 square miles Jeju is also the site of South Korea’s highest point palace on an extinct volcano reaches 1950 meters 6,400 feet above sea level the easternmost islands of South Korea include Elango and Liancourt rocks Dokdo Takeshima while morado and socotra rock are the southernmost islands of south korea south korea has 20 national parks and popular nature places like the bosun tea fields Suncheon Bay ecological Park and the first national park of jerison topic climate 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 Jang ma janma which begins end of June through the end of July winters can be extremely cold with the minimum temperature dropping below minus 20 degrees Celsius minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the inland region of the country in Seoul the average January temperature range as minus 7 to 1 degree Celsius nineteen to thirty four degrees Fahrenheit and the average August temperature range is 22 to 30 degrees Celsius 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit winter temperatures are higher along the southern coast and considerably lower in the mountainous interior summer can be uncomfortably hot and humid with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius 86 degrees Fahrenheit in most parts of the country South Korea has four distinct seasons spring summer autumn and winter 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 rainfall is concentrated in the summer months of June through September the southern coast is subject to late summer typhoons that bring strong winds heavy rains and sometime floods the average annual precipitation varies from 1370 millimetres 54 in in Seoul to 1470 millimetres 58 in in Busan topic environment during the first 20 years of South Korea’s growth search little effort was made to preserve the environment unchecked industrialization and urban development have resulted in deforestation and the ongoing destruction of wetlands such as the Songdo tidal flat however there have been recent efforts to balance these problems including a government-run 84 billion dollars five-year green growth project that aims to boost energy efficiency in green technology the green based economic strategy is a comprehensive overhaul of South Korea’s economy utilizing nearly 2 percent of the national GDP the greening initiative includes such efforts as a nationwide bike network solar and wind energy lowering oil-dependent vehicles backing daylight savings and extensive usage of environmentally friendly technologies such as LEDs and electronics and lighting 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 the renewable portfolio standard program with renewable energy certificates runs from 2012 to 2022 quota systems favor large vertically integrated generators and multinational electric utilities if only because certificates are generally denominated in units of one megawatt hour they are also more difficult to design and implement than a feed-in tariff around 350 residential micro combined heat and power units were installed in 2012 Seoul’s tap water recently became safe to drink with city officials branding it arisu in a bid to convince the public efforts have also been made with the forestation projects another multi-billion dollar project was the restoration of chonghaejin a stream running through downtown Seoul that had earlier been paved over by a motorway one major challenge is air quality with acid rain sulfur oxides and annual yellow dust storms being particular problems 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 is a member of the Antarctic environmental protocol Antarctic Treaty biodiversity treaty Kyoto Protocol forming the environmental integrity Group II IG regard UNFCCC with Mexico and Switzerland desert if ocation endangered species 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 topic government under its current Constitution the state is sometimes referred to as the sixth Republic of South Korea like many democratic states South Korea has a government divided into three branches executive judicial and legislative the executive and legislative branches operate primarily at the national level although various ministries in the executive branch also carry out local functions local governments are semi-autonomous and contain executive and legislative bodies of their own the judicial branch operates at both the national and local levels South Korea as a constitutional democracy the South Korean government structure is determined by the Constitution of the Republic of Korea this document has been revised several times since its first promulgation in 1948 at Independence 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 the first direct election was also held in 1948 although South Korea experienced a series of military dictatorship from the 1960s up until the 1980s it has since developed into a successful liberal democracy today the CIA world factbook describes South Korea’s democracy as a fully functioning modern democracy South Korea is ranked 37th on the Corruption Perceptions Index with moderate control on corruption topic administrative divisions 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 metropolitan autonomous city a revised romanization BC names of Seoul see may is of 2018 topic demographics in April 2016 South Korea’s population was estimated to be around fifty point eight million by National Statistical Office with continuing decline of working age population and total fertility rate the country is noted for its population density which was an estimated five hundred five per square kilometers in 2015 more than ten times the global average 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 the capital city of Seoul is also the country’s largest city and chief industrial center according to the 2005 census Seoul had a population of 10 million inhabitants the Seoul National Capital Area has 24 point 5 million inhabitants about half of South Korea’s entire population making it the world’s second largest metropolitan area other major cities include Busan million incheon million Daegu million Daejeon million Gwangju million and Olson million the population has also been shaped by international migration after World War two and the division of the Korean Peninsula about 4 million people from North Korea crossed the border to South Korea this trend of net entry reversed over the next 40 years because of emigration especially to the United States and Canada South Korea’s total population in 1955 was million and has more than doubled to 50 million by 2010 South Korea is considered one of the most ethnically homogeneous societies in the world with ethnic Koreans representing approximately 96 percent of total population precise numbers are difficult since statistics do not record ethnicity and given many immigrants are ethnically Korean themselves whilst some Korean citizens are not ethnically Korean South Korea is nevertheless becoming a more multi-ethnic society over time due to immigration the percentage of foreign nationals has been growing rapidly as of 2016 South Korea had 1 million four hundred thirteen thousand 758 foreign residents to point seven five percent of the population however many of them are ethnic koreans with a foreign citizenship for example migrants from China PRC make up 56.5% of foreign nationals but approximately 70 percent of the Chinese citizens in Korea are Joseon jock Joseon jogged PRC citizens of Korean ethnicity regardless of the ethnicity there are twenty eight thousand five hundred u.s.
Military personnel serving in South Korea most serving a one-year unaccompanied tour though approximately 10 percent served longer tours accompanied by family according to the Korea National Statistical Office in addition about forty three thousand English teachers from english-speaking countries reside temporarily in Korea currently South Korea has one of the highest rates of growth of foreign-born population with about thirty thousand foreign-born residents obtaining South Korean citizenship every year since 2010 South Korea’s birthrate was the world’s lowest in 2009 if this continues its population is expected to decrease by 13 percent to forty two point three million in 2050 South Korea’s annual birth rate is approximately nine births per 1000 people however the birth rate has increased by percent since 2010 and Korea no longer has the world’s lowest birth rate according to a 2011 report from the Chosun Ilbo South Korea’s total fertility rate one point two three children born per woman is higher than those of Taiwan in Japan the average life expectancy in 2008 was seventy nine point one zero years which was thirty fourth in the world but by 2015 it had increased to around eighty one South Korea has the steepest decline in working age population of the OECD nations in 2015 National Statistical Office estimated that the population of the country will have reached its peak by 2035 topic education 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 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 the schedules are not uniformly standardized and vary from school to school most South Korean middle schools and high schools have school uniforms modeled on western-style uniforms boys uniforms usually consist of trousers and white shirts and girls wear skirts and white shirts this only applies in middle schools in high schools the country adopted a new educational program to increase the number of their foreign students through 2010 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 is one of the top performing OECD countries in reading literacy maths and Sciences with the average student scoring 542 and has one of the world’s most highly educated labor forces among OECD countries the country is well known for its highly feverish outlook on education where its national obsession with education has been called education fever 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 higher education as a serious issue in South Korea society where it is viewed as one of the fundamental cornerstones of South Korean life education is regarded with a high priority for South Korean families as success in education holds a cultural status as well as a necessity to improve one’s socio-economic position in South Korean society academic success is often a source of pride for families and within South Korean society at large South Koreans view education as the main propeller of social mobility for themselves in their family as a gateway to the South Korean middle class graduating from a top university as the ultimate marker of prestige high socioeconomic status promising marriage prospects and a respectable career path an average South Korean child’s life revolves around education as pressure to succeed academically as deeply ingrained in South Korean children from an early age not having a university degree carries a major cultural stigma as those who lack a formal university education face social prejudice and are often looked down upon by others in 2015 the country spent percent of its GDP on all levels of education roughly equal to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD average of percent also 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’s zeal for education and its students desires to get into a prestigious university as one of the highest in the world as 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 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 the top three universities in South Korea often referred to as sky are Seoul National University Korea University and Yonsei University 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 yet with only so many places at 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 there is a major cultural taboo in South Korean society attached to those who have not achieved formal university education where those who don’t 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 socio-economic position and prospects for marriage international opinion regarding the South Korean education system has been divided it has been praised for various reasons including its comparatively high test results in its major role in assuring South Korea’s economic development creating one of the world’s most educated workforces South Korea’s highly Envia Bilecki demek 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 in high educational achievement former US 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 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 bachelor’s degrees are held by 68 percent of South Koreans aged 25 to 34 the most in the OECD 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 to 19 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 former South Korean hagwon teachers say 1ku wrote that the South Korean education system amounts to child abuse and that it should be reformed and restructured without delay the system has also been criticized for producing an excess supply of university graduates creating and over educated and underemployed labor force in the first quarter of 2013 alone nearly million South Korean university graduates were jobless leaving many graduates overqualified for jobs requiring less education further criticism has been stumped for causing labor shortages in various skilled blue-collar labor and vocational occupations where many go unfilled is the negative social stigma associated with vocational careers and not having a university degree continues to remain deep-rooted in South Korean society topic language Kurian is the official language of South Korea and is classified by most linguists as a language isolate Korean is not related to any Chinese languages although it incorporates a number of words that are Chinese in origin additionally Korean spoken in South Korea uses a significant number of lone words from English and other European languages Korean uses an indigenous writing system called Hangul created in 1446 by King Sooyoung to provide a convenient alternative to the classical Chinese honja characters that were difficult to learn and did not fit the Korean language well South Korea still uses some Chinese honja characters in limited areas such as print media and legal documentation the Korean language in South Korea has a standard dialect known as Seoul after the capital city with an additional four Korean language dialect groups in use around the country almost all South Korean students today learn English throughout their education with some optionally choosing Japanese or Mandarin as well topic religion according to the results of the census of 2015 more than half of the South Korean population 56.9% declared themselves not affiliated with any religious organizations Korean shamanism also known as Sindhu or mu ISM is the native religion of the Koreans and it may represent a large part of the unaffiliated indeed according to a 2012 survey only 15% of the population declared themselves not religious in the sense of atheism of the people who are affiliated with a religious organization most are Christians and Buddhists according to the 2015 census 27 point six percent of the population were Christians 19.7% identified themselves as Protestants seven point nine percent as Roman Catholics and fifteen point five percent were Buddhists 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 one Buddhism and a variety of indigenous religions including John Doe ISM a Confucian izing religion Jung’s anism de Jong ISM days on general ho and others freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution and there is no state religion 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% Christianity as South Korea’s largest organized religion accounting for more than half of all South Korean adherents of religious organisations there are approximately million Christians in South Korea today about two-thirds of them belonging to Protestant churches and the rest to the Roman Catholic Church the number of Protestants has been stagnant throughout the 1990s and the 2000s but increased to a peak level throughout the 2010s Roman Catholics increased significantly between the 1980s and the 2000s but declined throughout the 2010s Christianity unlike in other East Asian countries found fertile ground in ker 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 the weakness of Korean sin dough 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 Christianity similarity to native religious narratives has been studied as another factor that contributed to its success in the peninsula the Japanese colonization of the first half of the 20th century further strengthened the identification of Christianity with Korean nationalism as the Japanese co-opted native Korean sin dough into the Nippon ik Imperial Shinto that they tried to establish in the peninsula widespread Christianisation 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 Cinda among Christian denominations Presbyterianism is the largest about 9 million people belonged to one of the hundred different Presbyterian churches the biggest ones are the HAP dong Presbyterian Church Tong HAP Presbyterian Church the koushin Presbyterian Church South Korea is also the second largest missionary sending nation after the United States Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the 4th century 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 in the other states of the Three Kingdoms period goguryeo and beki ah it was made the state religion respectively in 372 and 528 it remained the state religion in later silla north-south states period in Goryeo it was later suppressed throughout much of the subsequent history under the unified kingdom of Joseon 1392 to 1897 which officially adopted a strict Korean Confucianism today South Korea has about 7 million Buddhists most of them affiliated to the Jogi order most of the national treasures of South Korea are Buddhist artifacts topic health South Korea has a universal health care system suicide in South Korea as a serious and widespread problem in the country ranks poorly on world happiness reports for a high-income state the suicide rate was the highest in the g20 in 2015 twenty four point one deaths per 100,000 persons South Korean hospitals have advanced medical equipment and facilities readily available ranking fourth for MRI units per capita and sixth for CT scanners per capita in the OECD it also had the OECD’s second largest number of hospital beds per 1000 people at nine point five six beds life expectancy has been rising rapidly in South Korea ranked 11th in the world for life expectancy at eighty two point three years by the w-h-o in 2015 topic foreign relations you South Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 188 countries 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 on January 1st 2007 former South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki moon served as UN secretary-general from 2007 to 2016 it has also developed links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as both a member of a.cian + 3 a body of observers and the East Asia Summit EAS 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 hosted the g20 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 went on to sign of free trade agreements with Canada and Australia in 2014 and another with New Zealand in 2015 topic North Korea both North and South Korea claim complete sovereignty over the entire peninsula and outlying islands despite mutual animosity reconciliation efforts have continued since the initial separation between North and South Korea political figures such as Kim Koo work to reconcile the two governments even after the Korean War with long-standing animosity following the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 North Korea and South Korea signed an agreement to pursue peace on October 4th 2007 ROH moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim jong-il signed an 8-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 despite the sunshine policy and efforts at reconciliation the progress was complicated by North Korean missile tests in 1993 1998 2006 2009 and 2013 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 in the United States not to interfere with a satellite launch at at planned 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 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 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 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 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 the backtracked on its threats and decided to continue its ties with South Korea despite the continuing ties Kaesong Industrial Zone has seen a large decrease in investment and manpower as a result of this military conflict 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 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 topic China historically Korea had close relations with the dynasties in China and some Korean kingdoms were members of the Imperial Chinese tributary system the Korean kingdoms also ruled over some Chinese kingdoms including the Khitan people and the Manchurians before the Ching dynasty and received tributes from them in modern times before the formation of South Korea Korean independence fighters worked with Chinese soldiers during the Japanese occupation however after World War two the People’s Republic of China embraced Maoism while South Korea sucked close relations with the United States 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 relations thought gradually in South Korea in the PRC re-established formal diplomatic relations on August 24 1992 the two countries sought to improve bilateral relations and lifted the 40-year old trade embargo and South Korean Chinese relations have improved steadily since 1992 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 doesn’t recognize Taiwan sovereignty China has become South Korea’s largest trading partner by far sending 26% of South Korean exports in 2016 worth 124 billion dollars as well as an additional 32 billion dollars worth of exports to Hong Kong South Korea is also China’s fourth largest trading partner with 93 billion dollars of Chinese imports in 2016 the 2017 deployment of thaa 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 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 the situation was largely resolved by South Korea making significant military concessions to China in exchange for DHA d including not deploying anymore anti-ballistic missile systems in South Korea and not participating in an alliance between the United States and Japan topic Japan 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 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 Japan is today South Korea’s third largest trading partner with twelve percent forty six billion dollars of exports in 2016 there were no formal diplomatic ties between South Korea and Japan directly after independence the end of World War two in 1945 South Korea and Japan eventually signed the treaty on basic relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1965 to establish diplomatic ties 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 during World War two more than 100,000 Korean served in the Imperial Japanese Army 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 long-standing issues such as Japanese war crimes against Korean civilians the negation istari writing of Japanese textbooks relating Japanese atrocities during World War two the territorial disputes over the Liancourt rocks known in South Korea’s 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 continued to trouble Korean Japanese relations the Liancourt rocks were the first Korean territories to be forcibly colonized by Japan in 1905 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 in response to then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visits to the Yasukuni Shrine former President Roh moo-hyun suspended all summit talks between South Korea and Japan in 2009 a summit between the nation’s leaders was eventually held on February 9th 2018 during the Korean held Winter Olympics topic European Union 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 the free trade agreement was approved in September 2010 and took effect on July 1st 2011 South Korea as the –use 10th largest trade partner and the EU has become South Korea’s fourth largest export destination EU trade with South Korea exceeded 90 billion euros in 2015 and has enjoyed an annual average growth rate of percent between 2003 and 2013 the EU has been the single largest foreign investor in South Korea since 1962 and accounted for almost forty five percent of all FDI inflows into Korea in 2006 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 both in its regular bilateral contacts with South Korea and through its FTA with Korea the EU is seeking to improve this situation topic United States the close relationship began directly after World War two when the United States temporarily administrated Korea for three years mainly in the south with the Soviet Union engaged in North Korea after Japan upon the onset of the Korean War in 1950 US forces were sent to defend against an invasion from North Korea of the south and subsequently fought as the is the largest contributor of UN troops 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 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 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 the US has over 23,000 troops stationed in South Korea including the u.s. 8th army 7th Air Force and u.s.
Naval forces Korea 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 there had also been strong anti-american sentiment during certain periods which has largely moderated in the modern day the two nations also share a close economic relationship with the u.s. being South Korea’s second largest trading partner receiving 66 billion dollars in exports in 2016 in 2007 a free trade agreement known as the Republic of Korea United States free trade agreement Korus FTA was signed between South Korea in the United States but it’s formal implementation was repeatedly delayed pending approval by the legislative bodies of the two countries on October 12 2011 the US Congress passed the long-stalled trade agreement with South Korea it went into effect on March 15 2012 topic military the unresolved tension with North Korea have prompted South Korea to allocate percent of its GDP and 15 percent of all government spending to its military government share of GDP fourteen point nine six seven percent while maintaining compulsory conscription for men consequently South Korea has the world’s seventh largest number of active troops six hundred thirty thousand in 2017 the world’s highest number of reserve troops seven million five hundred thousand in 2017 and the tenth largest defense budget the South Korean military consists of the army Roka the Navy ROK n the Air Force ROK AF and the Marine Corps ROK MC and reserve forces many of these forces are concentrated near the Korean Demilitarized Zone all South Korean males are constitutionally required to serve in the military typically 21 months previous exceptions for South Korean citizens of mixed race no longer apply since 2011 in addition to male conscription in South Korea’s sovereign military 1,800 Korean males are selected every year to serve 21 months in the KATUSA program to further augment the United States forces Korea USFK in 2010 South Korea was spending one point six eight trillion won in a cost-sharing agreement with the u.s.
To provide budgetary support to the US forces in Korea on top of the twenty nine point six trillion won budget for its own military the South Korean army has 2,500 tanks in operation including the k1 a 1 and K 2 black panther which formed the backbone of the South Korean Army’s mechanized armor and infantry forces a sizeable arsenal of many artillery systems including 1700 self-propelled K 55 and k-9 thunder howitzers and 680 helicopters and UAVs of numerous types are assembled to provide additional fire reconnaissance and logistic support South Korea’s smaller but more advanced artillery force and wide range of airborne reconnaissance platforms are pivotal in the counterbattery suppression of North Korea’s large artillery force which operates more than 13,000 artillery systems deployed in various date of fortification and mobility the South Korean navy has made its first major transformation into a Bluewater Navy through the formation of the strategic mobile fleet which includes a battle group of Cheung magong yi sun-sin class destroyers Dokdo class amphibious assault ship AIP driven type 214 submarines and King Sooyoung 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 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 kei f-16 CD and the indigenous fa 50 supported by well-maintained fleets of older fighters such as f4 e and k f5 EF that still effectively served the air force alongside the more modern aircraft in an attempt to gain strength in terms of not just numbers but also modernity the commissioning of four Boeing 737 aew and C aircraft under project psi for centralized intelligence gathering and analysis on a modern battlefield will enhance the fighters and other support aircrafts ability to perform their missions with awareness and precision in May 2011 Korea aerospace industries limited South Korea’s largest plane maker signed a four hundred million dollars deal to sell 16 t-50 Golden Eagle trainer jets to Indonesia making South Korea the first country in Asia to export supersonic jets from time to time South Korea has sent its troops overseas to assist American forces it has participated in most major conflicts that the United States has been involved in the past 50 years South Korea dispatched 320 5517 troops to fight alongside American Australian Filipino New Zealand and South Vietnamese soldiers in the Vietnam War with a peak strength of 50,000 in 2004 South Korea sent 3,300 troops of the Zeiten division to help rebuilding in northern Iraq and was the third largest contributor in the coalition forces after only the US and Britain beginning in 2001 South Korea had so far deployed 24,000 troops in the Middle East region to support the war on terrorism a further 1,800 were deployed since 2007 to reinforce UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon topic United States contingent the United States has stationed a substantial contingent of troops to defend South Korea there are approximately 28,000 500 US military personnel stationed in Korea most of them serving one year unaccompanied tours the American troops which are primarily ground in air units are assigned to USFK and mainly assigned to the 8th United States Army of the US Army and 7th Air Force of the US Air Force they are stationed in installations at Osan Kunsan Yongsan donggu Chien Samba Camp Humphreys and Daegu as well as at Camp boniface in the DMZ joint security area a fully functioning UN Command is at the top of the chain of command of all forces in South Korea including the US forces in 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 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 this transition to a South Korean command has been slow and often postponed although it is currently scheduled to occur in the early 2020s topic conscientious objection 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 the vast majority of these are young men from the Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian denomination see conscription in South Korea topic economy South Korea’s mixed economy ranks 11th nominal and 13th purchasing power parity GDP in the world identifying it as one of the g20 major economies it is a developed country with a high income economy and as the most industrialized member country of the OECD 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 its massive investment in education has taken the country from mass illiteracy to a major international technological powerhouse 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’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 Koreans referred to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River 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 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 belligerents of North Korea in times of deep military crises which has an adverse effect on South Korean financial markets the International Monetary Fund complements 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 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 furthermore South Korea was one of the few developed countries that were able to avoid a recession during the global financial crisis its economic growth rate reached percent in 2010 the growth for eight years after significant growth by percent in 2002 a sharp recovery from economic growth rates of percent in 2008 and percent in 2009 when the global financial crisis hit the unemployment rate in South Korea also remained low in 2009 at percent South Korea became a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD in 1996 the following list includes the largest South Korean companies by revenue in 2017 who are all listed as part of the Fortune Global 500 topic transportation energy and infrastructure 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 Korea expressway corporation operates the toll highways and service amenities on route Correll provides frequent train services to all major South Korean cities to rail lines Gyeonggi and Donghae but blue line to North Korea are now being reconnected the Korean high speed rail system KTX provides high-speed service along Gyeongju and Honam line major cities including Seoul Busan Incheon Daegu Daejeon and Gwangju have urban rapid transit systems Express bus terminals are available in most cities South Korea’s main gateway and largest airport as Incheon International Airport serving 58 million passengers in 2016 other international airports include Gimpo busan and jeju there are also a large number of airports that were built as part of the infrastructure boom but are barely used there are a large number of heliports the national carrier korean air served over 26 million eight hundred thousand passengers including almost 19 million international passengers in 2016 a second carrier Gionta Airlines also serves domestic and international traffic combined South Korean Airlines served 297 international routes smaller airlines such as Jeju air provide domestic service with lower fares South Korea as the world’s fifth largest nuclear power producer and the second largest in Asia as of 2010 nuclear power in South Korea supplies 45 percent 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 fuel production and waste handling technologies have also been developed locally it is also a member of the ITER project South Korea as an emerging exporter of nuclear reactors having concluded agreements with the UAE to build and maintain for advanced nuclear reactors with Jordan for a research nuclear reactor and with Argentina for construction and repair of heavy water nuclear reactors as of 2010 South Korea and Turkey are in negotiations regarding construction of two nuclear reactors South Korea is also preparing to bid on construction of a light water nuclear reactor for Argentina 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 this impediment to South Korea’s indigenous nuclear industrial undertaking has sparked occasional diplomatic rows between the two allies 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 has sought unique technologies such as pyroprocessing to circumvent these obstacles and seek a more advantageous competition 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 as 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 ranked number 10 overall in the 2014 and RI ranking up from 11 in 2013 topic tourism 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 Korean tourism is driven by many factors including the popularity of South Korean pop music and television dramas known as Korean Wave Hallyu throughout East Asia traditional culture cuisine and natural environment 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 among Asian countries China was the most receptive investing billion in South Korea with much of the investment within its service sector a sevenfold increase from 2001 according to an analysis by economist han sangwon a 1% increase in the exports of Korean cultural content pushes consumer goods exports up 0.083 percent while a 1% increase in Korean pop content exports to a country produces a 9% bump in tourism topic South Korean national pension system 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 nation’s welfare state South Korea’s pension system structure is primarily based on taxation and as income related in 2007 there was a total of 18 million 367,000 insured individuals with only around 511 thousand persons excluded from mandatory contribution the current pension system is divided into four categories distributing benefits to participants through national military personnel governmental and private school teacher pension schemes the National Pension Scheme is the primary welfare system providing allowances to the majority of persons 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 anyone 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 the National Pension Scheme is divided into four categories of insured persons the workplace based insured the individually ensured the voluntarily in shirt and the voluntarily and continuously insured employees between the ages of 18 to 59 are covered under the workplace based pension scheme and contribute percent of their gross monthly earnings 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 employers are also covered under the workplace based pension scheme and help cover their employees obligated 9% contribution by providing the remaining percent 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 persons covered by the individually insured pension scheme are in charge of paying the entire nine percent contribution themselves voluntarily insured persons are not subjected to mandatory coverage but can choose to be this category comprises retire 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 like the individually insured persons they too are in charge of covering the full amount of the contribution 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 excluding the workplace based insured persons all the other insured persons personally cover their own nine percent contribution 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 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 there also is an active old-age pension scheme that covers individuals aged 60 to 65 engaged in activities yielding earned income individuals age of 55 in younger than 60 who are not engaged in activities yielding earned income are eligible to be covered under the early old-age pension scheme 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 basic old-age pension schemes covered individuals 65 years of age who earned below an amount set by presidential order in 2010 that ceiling was 700 o-o KRW for a single individual in 1 million 120,000 for a couple equivalent to around $600 and $960 topic science and technology you 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 it wasn’t until the 1960s under the dictatorship of Park chung-hee where South Korea’s economy rapidly grew from industrialization and the chaebol corporations such as Samsung and LG 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 Korean corporations Samsung and LG were ranked first and third largest mobile phone companies in the world in the first quarter of 2012 respectively an estimated 90% of South Koreans owned a mobile phone 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 over 1 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 has the fastest internet download speeds in the world with an average download speed of twenty five point three megabits per second South Korea leads the OECD in graduates in science and engineering the country ranks first among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg innovation index additionally South Korea today is known as a launch pad of amateur mobile market where developers can reap benefits of a market where very few technology constraints exist 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 has today the infrastructures to meet a density of population and culture that has the capability to create strong local particularity topic cyber security 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 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 in late September 2013 a computer security competition jointly sponsored by the Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service was announced the winners were announced on September 29 2013 and shared a total prize pool of 80 million 174 thousand dollars topic aerospace engineering South Korea has sent up ten satellites from 1992 all using foreign rockets and overseas launch pads notably Arirang one in 1999 and Arirang two in 2006 as part of its space partnership with Russia Arirang one was lost in space in 2008 after nine years in service in April 2008 Yi cen became the first Korean to fly in space aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA 12 in June 2009 the first space board of South Korea Naro Space Center was completed at go hyung jeollanam-do the launch of morrow 1 in August 2009 resulted in a failure the second attempt in June 2010 was also unsuccessful however the third launch of the Naro one in January 2013 was successful the government plans to develop narrowed to by the year 2018 South Korea’s efforts to build an indigenous space launch vehicle as marred because of persistent political pressure of 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 has sought the assistance of foreign countries such as Russia through MTCR commitments to supplement its restricted domestic rocket technology the two failed KS lvi launch vehicles were based on the universal rocket module the first stage of the russian angora rocket combined with a solid fueled second stage built by south korea topic robotics robotics has been included in the list of main national R&D projects in Korea since 2003 in 2009 the government announced plans to build robot theme parks in Incheon and Mawson with a mix of public and private funding in 2005 Korea advanced Institute of Science and Technology KAIST developed the world’s second walking humanoid robot hooba a team in the Korea Institute of industrial technology developed the first Korean Android ever one in May 2006 ever’one has been succeeded by more complex models with improved movement and vision 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 in kindergartens by 2013 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 topic biotechnology since the 1980s the Korean government has invested in the development of a domestic biotechnology industry and the sector is projected to grow to billion dollars by 2010 the medical sector accounts for a large part of the production including production of hepatitis vaccines and antibiotics 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 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 topic culture 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 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 its rich and vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO intangible cultural Heritage’s of humanity the third largest in the world along with 12 World Heritage Sites the South Korean Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism actively encourages the traditional arts as well as modern forms through funding and education programs the industrialization and urbanization of South Korea have brought many changes to the way modern koreans live 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 a 2014 Euromonitor study found that South Koreans drink the most alcohol on a weekly basis compared to the rest of the world South Koreans drink thirteen point seven shots of liquor per week on average and of the 44 other countries analyzed Russia the Philippines and Thailand follow topic art 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 Korean pottery and porcelain such as joseon’s Beca and bunching and Goryeo celadon are well known throughout the world the Korean tea ceremony pon Sri talcum and Beckham are also notable Korean performing arts post-war modern Korean arts started to flourish in the 1960s and 1970s when South Korean artists took interest in geometrical shapes and intangible subjects establishing a harmony between man and nature was also a favorite of this time because of social instability social issues appeared as main subjects in the 1980s art was influenced by various international events and exhibits in Korea and with it brought more diversity the Olympic sculpture garden in 1988 the transposition of the 1993 edition of the Whitney Biennial to Seoul the creation of the Gwangju BNL and the Korean Pavilion at the venice bienalle in 1995 were notable events topic architecture because of South Korea’s tumultuous history construction and destruction has been repeated endlessly resulting in an interesting melange of architectural styles and designs Korean traditional architecture is characterized by its harmony with nature ancient architects adopted the bracket system characterized by thatched roofs and heated floors called undal people of the upper classes built bigger houses with elegantly curved tiled roofs with lifting eaves traditional architecture can be seen in the palaces and temples preserved old houses called hanok and special sites like hahoe folk village yang dong village of Gyeongju and Korean folk village traditional architecture may also be seen at the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Korea Western architecture was first introduced to Korea at the end of the 19th century churches offices for foreign legislation schools and university buildings were built in new styles 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 the anti-japanese sentiment and the Korean War led to the destruction of most buildings constructed during that time Korean architecture entered a new phase of development during the post Korean War reconstruction incorporating modern architectural trends and styles stimulated by the economic growth in the 1970s and 1980s active redevelopments on new horizons in architectural design 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 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 topic cuisine Korean cuisine hagakure Hanoi ali-han Guo Liang Liang hansik Pentagon she has evolved through centuries of social and political change ingredients and dishes vary by province there are many significant regional dishes that have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day the Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family meals consumed both by the royal family and ordinary Korean citizens have been regulated by a unique culture of etiquette Korean cuisine is largely based on rice noodles tofu vegetables fish and meats traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes mansion mansion which accompanies steamed cooked short grain rice every meal is accompanied by numerous banshan kimchi kimchi of fermented usually spicy vegetable dish is commonly served at every meal and is one of the best-known Korean dishes Korean cuisine usually involves heavy seasoning with sesame oil dan jonathan jeong a type of fermented soybean paste soy sauce salt garlic ginger and gochujang gochujang a hot pepper paste other well-known dishes are bulgogi bulgogi grilled marinated beef kimbap gimbab and took bow Keith took bokya spicy snack consisting of rice cake seasoned with gochujang or a spicy chili paste soups are also a common part of the Korean meal and are served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal soups known as gook GUG are often made with meats shellfish and vegetables similar to Guk Tang Tang Tang has less water and is more often served in restaurants another type as jjigae GJ of stew that is typically heavily seasoned with chili pepper and served boiling hot popular Korean alcoholic beverages include soju maka Lee and bak bun Jeju Korea is unique among Asian countries in its use of metal chopsticks metal chopsticks have been discovered in goguryeo archaeological sites topic entertainment 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 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 until the 1990s trot and traditional Korean folk based ballads dominated South Korean popular music the emergence of the South Korean pop group seotaiji and boys in 1992 marked a turning point for South Korean popular music also known as kpop 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 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 k-pop stars and groups are well known across Asia and have found international fame making millions of dollars in export revenue many kpop acts have also been able secure a strong overseas following following using online social media platforms such as the video-sharing website YouTube South Korean singer psy became an international sensation when his song Gangnam style topped global music charts in 2012 since the success of the film shiri in 1999 the Korean film industry has begun to gain recognition internationally domestic film has a dominant share of the market partly because of the existence of scream quotas requiring cinemas to show Korean films at least 73 days a year South Korean television shows have become popular outside of Korea South Korean television dramas known as K dramas have begun to find fame internationally 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 son my love from the star healer descendants of the Sun and Guardian the lonely and great God historical dramas have included faith Dae Jang Geum the legend dong Yi moon embracing the Sun and Sungkyunkwan scandal topic holidays there are many official public holidays in South Korea Korean New Year’s Day or seollal is celebrated on the first day of the Korean lunar calendar Korean Independence Day falls on March 1st and commemorates the March 1st movement of 1919 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 Constitution Day is on July 17th and it celebrates the promulgation of Constitution of the Republic of Korea Liberation Day on August 15th celebrates Korea’s liberation from the Empire of Japan in 1945 every 15th day of the 8th lunar month Koreans celebrate the madam festival in which Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and eat a variety of traditional Korean foods on October 1st Armed Forces Day is celebrated honoring the military forces of South Korea October 3rd is National Foundation day Hangul day on October 9th commemorates the invention of Hangul the native alphabet of the Korean language topic sports the martial art Taekwondo originated in Korea in the 1950s and 1960s modern rules were standardized with Taekwondo becoming an official Olympic sport in 2000 other Korean martial arts include Taecyeon Hapkido Tang Soo Do Kuk Sool won kundo and soo bahk football and baseball have traditionally been regarded as the most popular sports in Korea recent polling indicates that a majority 41 percent of South Korean sports fans continue to self-identify as football fans with baseball ranked second at 25 percent of respondents however the polling did not indicate the extent to which respondents follow both sports 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 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 semifinalist Uruguay in the round of 16 at the 2012 Summer Olympics South Korea won the bronze medal for football 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 recent years have been characterized by increasing attendance and ticket prices for professional baseball games the Korea professional baseball league a-10 team circuit was established in 1982 the South Korean national team finished third in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and second in the 2009 tournament 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 in the 2008 Summer Olympics South Korea won the gold medal in baseball also in 1982 at the baseball World Cup Korea won the gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games the Korean national baseball team won the gold medal several Korean players have gone on to play in Major League Baseball basketball is a popular sport in the country as well South Korea has traditionally had one of the top basketball teams in Asia and one of the continents strongest basketball divisions Seoul hosted the 1967 and 1995 Asian Basketball Championship the Korea national basketball team has won a record number of 23 medals at the event to date South Korea hosted the Asian Games in 1986 Seoul 2002 busan and 2014 Incheon it also hosted the Winter Universiade in 1997 the Asian Winter Games in 1999 and the summer universe I ate in 2003 2015 in 1988 South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in Seoul coming forth with 12 gold medals 10 silver medals and 11 bronze medals South Korea regularly performs well in archery shooting table tennis badminton short-track speedskating handball hockey freestyle wrestling greco-roman wrestling baseball judo Taekwondo speed skating figure skating and weightlifting the seoul olympic museum is a museum in seoul south korea dedicated to the 1988 Summer Olympics on July 6 2011 Pyeongchang was chosen by the IOC to host the 2018 Winter Olympics 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 at the 2010 Winter Olympics South Korea ranked fifth in the overall medal rankings South Korea is especially strong in short-track speedskating however speed skating and figure skating are very popular too and ice hockey as an emerging sport with Anyang hala winning their first ever asia league ice hockey title in march 2010 seoul hosted a professional triathlon race which is part of the International Triathlon Union itu world championship series in May 2010 in 2011 the South Korean city of daegu hosted the 2011 IAAF World Championships in athletics in October 2010 South Korea hosted its first Formula One race at the Korea International Circuit in the on about 400 kilometres 250 miles south of Seoul the Korean Grand Prix was held from 2010 to 2013 but was not placed on the 2014 f1 calendar domestic horse racing events are also followed by South Koreans and Seoul race Park in guassian gyeonggi-do is located closest to Seoul out of the country’s three tracks competitive video gaming also called eSports sometimes written eSports has become more popular South Korea in recent years particularly among young people the two most popular games are League of Legends and Starcraft the gaming scene of South Korea is managed by the Korean eSports Association KeSPA for short and has become something of a career for many players they can make a living out of their activity and top players can even make a significant amount of money with some high-end Starcraft 2 players ending up making six-figure salaries Korean eSports Association Korea professional sports league International Championship hosts topic C also outline of South Korea index of South Korea related articles