Portal:South Korea

환영합니다! / Welcome To The South Korea Portal!

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), Korea Republic, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. South Korea claims to be the sole legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. It has a population of 51.75 million, of which roughly half live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Other major cities include Incheon, Busan, and Daegu.

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The succeeding Korean Empire (1897–1910) was annexed in 1910 into the Empire of Japan. Japanese rule ended following Japan's surrender in World War II, after which Korea was divided into two zones; a northern zone occupied by the Soviet Union and a southern zone occupied by the United States. After negotiations on reunification failed, the latter became the Republic of Korea in August 1948 while the former became the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea the following month.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive American-led United Nations intervention in support of the South, while China intervened to support the North, with Soviet assistance. After the war's end in 1953, the country entered into a military alliance with the U.S., and its devastated economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. Despite lacking natural resources, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers based on international trade and economic globalization, integrating itself within the world economy with export-oriented industrialization; currently being one of the largest exporting nations in the world, along with having one of the largest foreign-exchange reserves in the world. The June Democratic Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now considered among the most advanced democracies in Asia, with the highest level of press freedom on the continent. (Full article...)

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BoA at Incheon Airport on May 15, 2019 (2).png
BoA in May 2019

Kwon Bo-ah (Korean권보아; born November 5, 1986), known professionally as BoA, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer and actress. One of the most successful and influential Korean entertainers, she has been dubbed the "Queen of K-pop."

Born and raised in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, BoA was discovered by SM Entertainment talent agents when she accompanied her older brother, a music video director, to a talent search in 1998. She was trained for two years and made her debut in August 2000. BoA has released twenty studio albums, including ten in Korean, nine in Japanese, and one in English. On television, she appeared as a judge on the reality competition show K-pop Star (2011–2013), as an actress on the television drama Listen to Love (2016), as a host for the second season of Produce 101 (2017), and as a coach for the third season of The Voice of Korea (2020).

BoA's ability to sing in Japanese, English and Mandarin has helped her find commercial success beyond South Korea, in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. With the release of her debut Japanese studio album, Listen to My Heart (2002), BoA became the first South Korean pop star to break through in Japan following the fall of barriers that had restricted the import and export of entertainment between the countries since the end of World War II. She is the only foreign artist with three albums that have sold more than one million copies in Japan and one of only three female artists with six consecutive number-one studio albums on the Oricon charts since her debut, the others being Japanese singers Ayumi Hamasaki and Hikaru Utada. (Full article...)

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Geography of South Korea
Credit: original taken from NASA's Visible Earth

South Korea is located in East Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass. The only country with a land border to South Korea is North Korea, lying to the north with 238 kilometres (148 mi) of border running along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. South Korea is mostly surrounded by water and has 2,413 kilometres (1,499 mi) of coast line along three seas; to the west is the Yellow Sea, to the south is the East China Sea, and to the east is the East Sea. Geographically, South Korea's land mass is approximately 100,032 square kilometres (38,623 sq mi). 290 square kilometres (110 sq mi) of South Korea are occupied by water. The approximate coordinates are 37° North, 127° 30 East. Notable islands include Jeju Island (Jejudo), Ulleung Island (Ulleungdo), and Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo).

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In the news

3 December 2022 –
Former South Korean national security director Suh Hoon is arrested on charges of tampering with evidence related to the killing of a Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries official by North Korean agents near the Northern Limit Line in September 2020. (AP)
27 November 2022 –
Five people are killed in a helicopter crash in Yangyang County, Gangwon, South Korea. (Yonhap)
2 November 2022 – 2021–2022 North Korean missile tests
North Korea fires 23 ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea, one of which crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime boundary between North and South Korea, for the first time. Air raid sirens were activated on the South Korean island of Ulleungdo and South Korean fighter jets fired three air-to-surface missiles across the NLL in response to the missile launches. (Yonhap News Agency) (Yonhap News Agency 2) (Reuters)
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol calls for "swift action" to punish North Korea in response to the latest missile launches. (Yonhap News Agency)
29 October 2022 – Seoul Halloween crowd crush
At least 151 people are killed and 82 others injured in a crowd crush during Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea. (The Hankyoreh)
28 October 2022 – Russia–South Korea relations
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol denies that his country is sending weapons to Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin made a reference to South Korea during a conference yesterday. (Al Jazeera)

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Kim Ki-young (October 10, 1919 – February 5, 1998) was a South Korean film director, known for his intensely psychosexual and melodramatic horror films, often focusing on the psychology of their female characters. Kim was born in Seoul during the colonial period, raised in Pyongyang, where he became interested in theater and cinema. In Korea after the end of World War II, he studied dentistry while becoming involved in the theater. During the Korean War, he made propaganda films for the United States Information Service. In 1955, he used discarded movie equipments to produce his first two films. With the success of these two films Kim formed his own production company and produced popular melodramas for the rest of the decade.

Kim Ki-young's first expression of his mature style was in his The Housemaid (1960), which featured a powerful femme fatale character. It is widely considered to be one of the best Korean films of all time. After a "Golden Age" during the 1960s, the 1970s were a low-point in the history of Korean cinema because of governmental censorship and a decrease in audience attendance. Nevertheless, working independently, Kim produced some of his most eccentric cinematic creations in this era. Films such as Insect Woman (1972) and Iodo (1977) were successful at the time and highly influential on the younger generations of South Korean filmmakers both at their time of release, and with their rediscovery years later. By the 1980s, Kim's popularity had gone into decline, and his output decreased in the second half of the decade. Neglected by the mainstream during much of the 1990s, Kim became a cult figure in South Korean film Internet forums in the early 1990s. Widespread international interest in his work was stimulated by a career retrospective at the 1997 Pusan International Film Festival. He was preparing a comeback film when he and his wife were killed in a house fire in 1998. The Berlin International Film Festival gave Kim a posthumous retrospective in 1998, and the French Cinémathèque screened 18 of Kim's films, some newly rediscovered and restored, in 2006. Through the efforts of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), previously lost films by Kim Ki-young continue to be rediscovered and restored. Many current prominent South Korean filmmakers, including directors Im Sang-soo, Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook, claim Kim Ki-young as an influence on their careers. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various South Korea-related articles on Wikipedia.

Did you know (auto-generated)

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  • ... that Zico's "Any Song" dance challenge went viral on TikTok after several South Korean celebrities including Hwasa, Chungha, and Lee Hyori participated in the trend?
  • ... that social activist Lee Hyo-jae's efforts helped abolish South Korea's patriarchal naming system, allowing people to use both parents' surnames?
  • ... that Binggrae, a South Korean food and beverage company, was the official ice cream supplier of the 1988 Seoul Olympics?
  • ... that the song "Come Back Home" by Seo Taiji and Boys made teenage runaways in South Korea return home?
  • ... that after Goo Hara's mother abandoned her and Goo died young, South Korean law was changed to prevent such parents from claiming inheritance?
  • ... that while the title track of Crazy features the signature sound of South Korean girl group 4Minute—a hip hop– and trap-infused dance number—its lead single was a ballad?

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See WikiProject Korea for collaborating on South Korea topics, and more broadly, on all things Korea-related.

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