Portal:South Korea

The South Korea Portal

South Korea (Korean: 한국/韓國, RR: Hanguk; literally 남한/南韓, RR: Namhan, or 남조선, MR: Namchosŏn in North Korean usage), officially the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: 대한민국/大韓民國, RR: Daehan Minguk), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and sharing a land border with North Korea. 25 million people, around half of the country's population of more than 51 million people, live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the world.

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 into the Empire of Japan in 1910. After World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S.-administered zones, with the latter becoming the Republic of Korea in August 1948. In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War and after its end in 1953, the country's economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. The June Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now the most advanced democracy and has the second-highest level of press freedom in Asia, after Cyprus. However, corruption and political scandals remains a serious problem, with half of all living former South Korean presidents currently in prison for various crimes ranging from abuse of authority, bribery and embezzlement.

South Korea is a highly developed country, ranking as the third-highest country on the Human Development Index in Asia. It is a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, the G20 and the Paris Club. Its economy ranks as the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP. Its citizens enjoy one of the world's fastest Internet connection speeds. The country is the world's fifth-largest exporter and eigth-largest importer. South Korea was in 2017 the world's 7th largest emitter of carbon emissions and the 5th largest emitter per capita. Since the 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean Wave. (Full article...)

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Seoul, the capital of South Korea.jpg

Seoul (/sl/, like soul; Korean: 서울 [sʌ.ul] (About this soundlisten); lit. 'Capital'), officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. Seoul has a population of 9.7 million people, and forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area with the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province. Considered to be a global city, Seoul was the world's 4th largest metropolitan economy in 2014 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. In 2017, the cost of living in Seoul was ranked 6th globally.

With major technology hubs centered in Gangnam and Digital Media City, the Seoul Capital Area is home to the headquarters of 14 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, and Hyundai. The metropolis exerts a major influence in global affairs as one of the five leading hosts of global conferences. Seoul has hosted the 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup (with Japan), and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit.

Seoul was the capital of various Korean states, including Baekje, Joseon, the Korean Empire, Goryeo (as a secondary capital), and presently South Korea. Strategically located along the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BC by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The city was later designated the capital of Korea under the Joseon dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city. As with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul received over 10 million international visitors in 2014, making it the world's 9th most visited city and 4th largest earner in tourism. (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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"Gangnam Style" (Korean: 강남스타일, IPA: [kaŋ.nam sɯ.tʰa.il]) is a song by South Korean singer Psy, released on July 15, 2012 by YG Entertainment as the lead single of his sixth studio album, Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. A K-pop and dance-pop song, the term "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song received mixed reviews, with praise for its catchy beat and Psy's amusing dancing (which has itself become a phenomenon) in the music video and during live performances in various locations around the world.

"Gangnam Style" debuted at number one on South Korea's Gaon Chart. The song and its music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture worldwide. In the United States, "Gangnam Style" peaked at number two on Billboard Hot 100. By the end of 2012, "Gangnam Style" had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

A music video was released the same day, attracting global media attention and a public audience. In September 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video on YouTube at the time. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held that year. It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different individuals, groups and organizations. On December 21, 2012, "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. The song's music video has since been viewed over 3.7 billion times on YouTube, and was the most viewed video on YouTube from November 24, 2012, when it surpassed the music video for "Baby" by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, to July 10, 2017, when it was surpassed by the music video for "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. (Full article...)

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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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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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