Portal:South Korea

The South Korea Portal

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), 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. About 25 million people, around half of the country's population of 51 million, live in the Seoul Capital Area.

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 was annexed in 1910 into the Empire of Japan. Japanese rule in Korea ended following the former'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 North Korea.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive United States-led U.N. 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's economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. The June Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now considered among the most advanced democracies in Asia, with the highest level of press freedom. However, corruption and political scandals have become growing problems in recent years; both living former South Korean presidents have been sentenced to prison for various crimes ranging from abuse of authority to bribery and embezzlement and are still serving their sentences. (Full article...)

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Songdo's central park and the NEATT, Incheon, South Korea.jpg

Incheon (Korean인천; Hanja仁川; Korean pronunciation: [intɕʰʌ̹n]; McCune-Reischauer romanization Inch'ŏn; literally "kind river"), formerly Jemulpo (제물포; McCune-Reischauer: Chemulp'o) until the period after 1910, officially the Incheon Metropolitan City (인천광역시), is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. Inhabited since the Neolithic, Incheon was home to just 4,700 people when it became an international port in 1883. Today, about 3 million people live in the city, making it South Korea's third most-populous city after Seoul and Busan.

The city's growth has been assured in modern times with the development of its port due to its natural advantages as a coastal city and its proximity to the South Korean capital. It is part of the Seoul Capital Area, along with Seoul itself and Gyeonggi Province, forming the world's fourth largest metropolitan area by population.

Incheon has since led the economic development of South Korea by opening its port to the outside world, ushering in the modernization of South Korea as a center of industrialization. In 2003, the city was designated as South Korea's first free economic zone. Since then, large local companies and global enterprises have increasingly invested in the Incheon Free Economic Zone, including Samsung which chose Songdo International City as its new investment destination for its bio industry. (Full article...)

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South Korean pop group Girls' Generation
Credit: LG Electronics

Girls' Generation (Korean소녀시대; RRSonyeo Sidae), also known as SNSD, is a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment. Its nine original members were (pictured, from left to right): Taeyeon, Hyoyeon, Seohyun, Sooyoung, Yoona, Jessica, Tiffany, Sunny, and Yuri. Jessica later departed from the group in September 2014.

In the news

4 December 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
South Korea reports a record 5,352 new cases and 70 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, thereby bringing the nationwide total of confirmed cases to 467,907 and the nationwide death toll to 3,809. (Yonhap News Agency)
2 December 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
South Korea reports a record for the second consecutive day of 5,266 new cases of COVID-19, thereby bringing the nationwide total of confirmed cases to 457,612. (Anadolu Agency)
1 December 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
South Korea reports a record 5,123 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total of confirmed cases to 452,530. (CNBC)

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Jay Park in October 2012

Jay Park (Korean name: Park Jae-beom (Hangul: 박재범; Hanja: 朴載範); born April 25, 1987) is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and entrepreneur of Korean descent. He is a member of the Seattle-based b-boy crew Art of Movement (AOM), and founder and CEO of the independent hip hop record labels AOMG and H1ghr Music. Park initially rose to fame as the leader of South Korean boy band 2PM, formed by record label JYP Entertainment in 2008, after having previously been a trainee for four years. In September 2009, Park returned home to Seattle after comments he wrote about Korea in 2005 as a teenager were publicized by the Korean media, officially leaving the group. Park returned to South Korea in June 2010 for the filming of Hype Nation, and in July, Park signed a contract with SidusHQ, one of the largest entertainment agencies in South Korea. Rebranding and re-debuting as both a solo singer and a rapper, Park's musical identity would lend to him partaking in the underground hip hop culture in South Korea, a rarity for both active and former K-Pop idols.

Known for his charismatic performances and stage presence, Park has been described as a "born entertainer" by Korean pop singer Patti Kim, and The New York Times quoted the president of digital music distributor DFSB Kollective illustrating Park as "not just an artist, but also his own PR agent, fan club president, and TV network." An influential figure in the Korean hip hop scene, Park has been described as the "scene stalwart" of Korean R&B, and has been credited as one of the main figures responsible for the increased commercial acceptance and mainstream popularization of K-hip hop in South Korea. (Full article...)

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


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



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Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Web resources

  • The official website of the Republic of Korea (Korea.net)
  • The Official Korea Tourism Guide Site
  • Korea National Statistical Office
  • Video on South Korea-US Relations from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
  • "South Korea". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • A Country Study: South Korea in the Library of Congress
  • South Korea at Curlie
  • South Korea from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • Korea OECD
  • South Korea profile from the BBC News
  • South Korea Encyclopædia Britannica entry
  • The War Memorial of Korea
  • Key Development Forecasts for South Korea from International Futures



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