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Countries > Korea (South) Korea (South) Flag
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Languages   One language is spoken in Korea (South). We have 238 products available for that language.

Capital: Seoul
Population: 46,000,000
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Korea (South) Map


Location: Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, south of North Korea

Geographic coordinates: 37 00 N, 127 30 E

Map references: Asia

total: 98,480 sq km
land: 98,190 sq km
water: 290 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Indiana

Land boundaries:
total: 238 km
border countries: North Korea 238 km

Coastline: 2,413 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf : not specified
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm; 3 nm in the Korea Strait

Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter

Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point : Halla-san 1,950 m

Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 17%
permanent crops : 2%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 65%
other: 13% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 11,590 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; earthquakes in southwest

Environment - current issues: air pollution in large cities; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Desertification


Population: 48.324 million (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.4% (male 5,488,808; female 4,875,379)
15-64 years: 71% (male 17,404,645; female 16,894,361)
65 years and over : 7.6% (male 1,434,873; female 2,225,934) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.85% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 14.55 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.11 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 7.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.88 years
male : 71.2 years
female: 78.95 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean

Ethnic groups: homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)

Religions: Christianity 49%, Buddhism 47%, Confucianism 3%, pervasive folk religion (shamanism), Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way), and other 1%

Languages: Korean, English widely taught in high school

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99.3%
female: 96.7% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Republic of Korea
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-min'guk
local short form: none
note : the South Koreans generally use the term "Hanguk" to refer to their country
abbreviation: ROK

Data code: KS

Government type: republic

National capital: Seoul

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 6 special cities* (gwangyoksi, singular and plural); Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-gwangyoksi*, Kangwon-do, Kwangju-gwangyoksi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto, Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-gwangyoksi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*, Taegu-gwangyoksi*, Taejon-gwangyoksi*

Independence: 15 August 1948

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1948)

Constitution: 25 February 1988

Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President KIM Dae-jung (since 25 February 1998)
head of government : Prime Minister YI Han-tong (since 23 May 2000)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
elections:president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18 December 1997 (next to be held 19 December 2002); prime minister appointed by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
election results: KIM Dae-jung elected president; percent of vote - KIM Dae-jung (MDP) 40.3% (with ULD partnership), YI Hoe-chang (GNP) 38.7%, YI In-che (NPP) 19.2%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections : last held 13 April 2000 (next to be held NA April 2004)
election results:percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - GNP 133, MDP 115, ULD 17, other 8; note - the distribution of seats as of January 2002 is: GNP 136, MDP 118, ULD 15, DPP 2, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly)

Political parties and leaders: Democratic People's Party or DPP [CHO Sun, chairman]; Grand National Party or GNP [YI Hoe-chang, president]; Millennium Democratic Party or MDP [leader NA]; United Liberal Democrats or ULD [KIM Chong-p'il, honorary chairman, KIM Chong-ho, acting president]
note: on 20 January 2000, the National Congress for New Politics or NCNP was renamed the Millennium Democratic Party or MDP

Political pressure groups and leaders: Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations

International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, BIS (pending member), CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE (partner), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador YANG Song-chol
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas C. HUBBARD
embassy: 82 Sejong-Ro, Chongro-ku, Seoul
mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-0001
telephone : [82] (2) 397-4114
FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
consulate(s): Pusan

Flag description: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field


Economy - overview: As one of the Four Tigers of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth. Three decades ago GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is seven times India's, 17 times North Korea's, and comparable to the lesser economies of the European Union. This success through the late 1980s was achieved by a system of close government/business ties, including directed credit, import restrictions, sponsorship of specific industries, and a strong labor effort. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-99 exposed certain longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. Growth plunged by 6.6% in 1998, then strongly recovered to plus 10% in 1999 and 9% in 2000. Growth fell back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the slowing global economy, falling exports, and the perception that much-needed corporate and financial reforms have stalled.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $865 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 44%
services: 51% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 4.3% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 22 million (2001)
by occupation: sservices 69%, industry 21.5%, agriculture 9.5% (2001)

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (2001)

revenues: $69 billion $118.1 billion
expenditures : $95.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $22.6 billion (2000)

Industries: electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: 1.8% (2001 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 31.67 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 273.204 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 254.08 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish catch of 2.9 million metric tons, seventh largest in world

total value : $168.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: electronic and electrical equipment, machinery, steel, automobiles, ships; textiles, clothing, footwear; fish
partners: US 21.8%, Japan 11.9%, China 10.7%, Hong Kong 6.2%, Taiwan 4.7% (2000)

total value: $152.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities : machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains
partners: Japan 19.8%, US 18.2%, China 8%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Australia 3.7% (2000)

Debt - external: $120.5 billion (2001)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 South Korean won (KRW) = 100 chun (theoretical)

Exchange rates: South Korean won per US dollar - 1,317.01 (January 2002), 1,290.99 (2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82 (1999), 1,401.44 (1998), 951.29 (1997)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 24 million (2000)

Telephone system: excellent domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: fiber-optic submarine cable to China; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean Region)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 104, FM 136, shortwave 5 (2001)

Radios: 47.5 million (2000)

Television broadcast stations: 121 (plus 850 repeater stations and the eight-channel American Forces Korea Network) (1999)

Televisions: 15.9 million (1997)


total: 3,124 km
standard gauge : 3,124 km 1.435-m gauge (661 km electrified) (2000)

total: 87,534 km
paved: 65,388 km (including 1,996 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,146 km (1999)

Waterways: 1,609 km; use restricted to small native craft

Pipelines: petroleum products 455 km; note - additionally, there is a parallel petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) pipeline being completed

Ports and harbors: Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan, Mokp'o, P'ohang, Pusan, Ulsan, Yosu

Merchant marine:
total: 501 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,679,171 GRT/9,172,403 DWT
ships by type: bulk 104, cargo 160, chemical tanker 47, combination bulk 6, container 52, liquefied gas 16, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 73, refrigerated cargo 25, roll on/roll off 5, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 5, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Bulgaria 1, China 1, Greece 1, Japan 1, Malaysia 1, Norway 1, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 102 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total :68
over 3,047 m:2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 20 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m:32 (2001)

Heliports: 203 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 14,194,960 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 8,990,488 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 394,397 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $12.8 billion (FY00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:2.8% (FY00)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Demarcation Line with North Korea; Liancourt Rocks claimed by Japan

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