|대한민국 – Daehan-minguk|
|Road network length||64,808 km|
|Length of highway network||5,003 km|
|Motorway name||고속도로 Gosok Doro|
|License plate code||SKIRT|
South Korea, formally the Republic of Korea (Korean: 대한민국 Daehan Minguk), is a country in eastern Asia. More than 51 million people live in an area of 100,140 km², which makes the country one of the most densely populated in the world. The capital is Seoul, which has a population of 10 million. About half of all South Koreans live in and around Seoul.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, South Korea is located on the southern part of the Korean peninsula and borders one country, which is North Korea. The country is located on the Yellow Sea which separates it from China and the Sea of Japan which separates it from Japanseparates. South Korea has numerous offshore islands, and one larger island, Jeju, about 90 kilometers south of the country. The country measures approximately 435 kilometers from north to south and 300 kilometers from east to west. The east of South Korea is mountainous, the west hilly with wide river valleys and limited coastal plains. A large part of the country can be described as mountainous, with the Hallasan on the island of Jeju being the highest point of the country at 1,950 meters. The country has a number of major rivers such as the Nakdong, Han and Geum.
South Korea lies on the border of a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate, with fairly warm summers but also cold winters. The average maximum temperature in Seoul ranges from 1°C in winter to 30°C in summer. There is a monsoon climate, in summer there is a lot of precipitation, but in winter considerably less. Seoul has an average annual rainfall of 1450 mm. The country is prone to tropical cyclones, although they rarely reach the magnitude of Japan or China.
In 1950 South Korea had 20 million inhabitants. The population then doubled in 40 years to more than 40 million inhabitants in 1990. Population growth has slowed down somewhat since then. The country reached the limit of 50 million inhabitants around 2015. South Korea’s birth rate is one of the lowest in the world. The country has been experiencing a population decline since 2020. See South Korea population density.
The largest city is Seoul, which has more than 10 million inhabitants and an urban area of 24 million inhabitants, the largest in the world after Tokyo. Other major cities include Busan in the southeast, Incheon in the northwest, Daegu in the south, Daejeon in the center, Gwangju in the southwest, Ulsan in the southeast and Suwon in the northwest, all cities with more than 1 million inhabitants.
South Korea is a homogeneous country, by far the largest part of the population consists of Koreans, who make up about 96% of the population. However, the largest group of foreigners are ethnic Koreans with Chinese nationality. Vietnamese and Americans make up the next largest groups.
Korean is spoken in the country. English is taught but knowledge of English is relatively limited compared to other industrial powers.
South Korea has a highly developed economy with a high standard of living. The country is a member of the G20 and the OECD. South Korea is an industrial superpower, both in electronics and heavy industry. South Korea is one of the largest exporters of ships, steel products and cars in the world. The country has remarkably large companies for its size, with powerhouses such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG, POSCO and Kia. Companies like Samsung and Hyundai are active in many industries, not just consumer goods. The Samsung company accounts for 17% of South Korea’s total economy.
The Korean peninsula has consisted of several Korean kingdoms that merged into one dynasty in AD 668. A series of dynasties alternated power on the peninsula. The peninsula was annexed by Japan in 1910.
By the end of World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the north and the United States occupied the south of Korea. In 1943 there were plans to reunify the two countries, but the Cold War created two separate countries in 1948. In 1950, North Korea attacked the south in an attempt to unite the two countries by force. The United Nations assisted South Korea after it emerged that the north was superior to the south in the early stages of the Korean War. An armistice was signed in 1953, but peace has never been officially concluded since then. 2.5 million people died in the 3-year war.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, South Korea experienced various authoritarian regimes, with several coups d’état. From 1987, South Korea became more open and a period of rapid economic growth began. The 1990s saw a rapid modernization of the country, and South Korea was hit by the economic crisis of 1997, but quickly resumed growth. It is now an industrial powerhouse.