Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, is a country of East Asia, located in the southern part of the Korean peninsula. It is bordered to the north by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. To the east is the Sea of Japan or the East Sea, to the south the Strait of Korea, which separates it from Japan, and to the west the Yellow Sea.
The Republic of South Korea was born on August 15, 1948. Its first president was Syngman Rhee, elected in elections that were held with the presence of US military troops in the territory. For 14 years Rhee ruled the country in an autocratic manner and imposed a Constitution to perpetuate himself in power as a constitutional dictator.
As a country located in Asia according to FRANCISCOGARDENING, South Korea is a military ally of the United States government.
South Korea occupies the southern part of the Korean peninsula, which stretches about 1,100 kilometers from the Asian continent. This mountainous peninsula is flanked by the Yellow Sea to the west and the Sea of Japan to the east. At the southern end are the Korean Strait and the East China Sea. The total area of the country amounts to 100,032 km².
The national territory can be divided into four general regions: the eastern region of high mountains and narrow coastal plains; the western region of broad coastal plains, river basins, and hills; the southwestern region with mountains and valleys and the south-eastern region where the vast basin of the Nakdong River predominates. The relief is mainly mountainous, so most of the soil is not arable. The lowlands, located mainly in the west and southeast, constitute only 30% of the total land area.
South Korea between the 1960s and 1990s had one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In 2009, it was the ninth country with the highest income from its exports.
As a member of the OECD, it is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, by the IMF and the CIA as an advanced economy, and as a developed market by the FTSE group.
The nation is the current president of the member economies of the G-20 and will be the first country in Asia to host the Summit of the G-20. It is one of the 24 members of the OECD selected to integrate the Development Assistance Committee, where the world’s most important donor countries are located, and whose main mission is to contribute to development aid and poverty reduction in the countries Developing. He is also a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the East Asia Summit.
The South Korean economy is led by large conglomerates known as chaebol. These include multinationals like Samsung, LG, and Hyundai-Kia. The ten largest South Korean companies are Samsung Electronics, POSCO, Hyundai Motor Company, KB Finance Group, Korea Power Company, Samsung Life Insurance, Shinhan Finance Group, LG Electronics, Hyundai Mobis, and LG Chem.
Science and Technology
South Korea has launched two satellites, ” Arirang-1 ” in 1999 and ” Arirang-2 ” in 2006, as part of its space partnership with Russia. The Naro Space Center, the first of its kind in the country, was completed in 2008, in Goheung. In 2009, a South Korean launch vehicle took off from Naro, but failed to complete its mission. In April 2008, Yi So-yeon became the first Korean to fly into space, aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-12. In June 2010, a second launch vehicle was launched, but like its predecessor, it failed shortly after being launched.
Since 2003 robotics has been included in the list of the top national research and development projects in Korea. In 2009, the government announced plans to build robot theme parks in Inchon and Masan, with a mix of public and private funds. In 2005, the Korea Institute of Advanced Science and Technology developed the world’s second humanoid robot, HUBO. In May 2006, a team from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology developed the first Korean android, EveR-1. Since then, several more complex models have been created in the country, with greater capacity for movement and vision.
Since the 1980s, the South Korean government has actively invested in the development of a national biotech industry, as this sector is projected to grow close to $ 6 million in 2010. The medical sector is the recipient of a large part of the production of this industry, including the production of vaccines and antibiotics. Recently, research and development in genetics and cloning has received increased attention, from the first successful cloning of a dog, Snuppy, and the cloning of two females of an endangered species of wolves by Seoul National University in 2007. The rapid growth of the biotechnology industry has been an important test for the regulation of professional ethics, as happened with the famous case of scientist Hwang Woo-Suk.
South Korea is notable for its population density which, with 487.7 residents per square kilometer, is more than ten times the world average. Most South Koreans live in urban areas, due to massive migration from the countryside during the rapid economic expansion of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The capital, Seoul, is the most populous city and one of the main industrial centers of the country, with a population of 9 million residents. The Seoul National Capital Area (Sudogwon) has 24 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan area in the world. Other major cities are Busan (3.5 million residents), Inchon (2.5 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Daejeon (1.4 million), Gwangju (1.4 million) and Ulsan (1 million).
The population has also been shaped by international migration. After the division of the Korean peninsula, after World War II, about four million North Koreans crossed the border to the south. This growth trend was reversed in the next forty years due to emigration, especially to the United States and Canada. In 1960, the total population was 25 million. The current population is approximately 49,540,000.
The South Korean birth rate is the lowest in the world. If this trend continues, the population is expected to decline by 13% in 2050, that is, to 42.3 million people. In 2008, the annual birth rate was 9 births per 1,000 people, while life expectancy at birth was 79.10 years, which is the 40th highest in the world.
The official language of the country and the one most spoken by South Koreans is the Korean language, a language whose classification is still debated, since some authors affirm that it belongs to the Altaic family and others believe that it is an isolated language. Korean has its own alphabet, Hangul, which was invented around the 15th century. Although it may look like a pictographic alphabet by its appearance, it is actually a phonetic system organized in syllabic blocks.
Although it is also the official language of its northern neighbor, the Korean spoken in South Korea differs in some respects from that spoken by North Koreans, such as pronunciation, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. For its part, English is widely used as the second language by the majority of the population, in addition to being compulsory in secondary schools.