South Korea (Taehanmin-Guk, Republic of Korea) is a presidential republic of the Far East, located in the southern part of the Korean peninsula. The country which is washed in the east by the Sea of Japan and in the west by the Yellow Sea faces the Strait of Korea in the south. It also borders North Korea to the north. The capital is the big city of Seoul. Other important cities include Pusan, Taegu (or Daegu), Incheon, Kwangju and Taejon. South Korea also includes many islands along the western and southern coasts of the Korean peninsula. Among these, the largest is the island of Jeju-do (1,845 sq km), a high volcanic island located in the Strait of Korea between Korea and Japan. The island’s volcano, the Halla-san (1,950 meters) it is the highest mountain in South Korea.
The territory of the country is largely mountainous, crossed by three chains. Along the east coast are the Taebaek Mountains, which are a southern extension of the North Korean chain. In the central part of the country is the Sobaek mountain range (Seoraksan, 1,708 meters). While at the southern end rises the Jirisan chain (Cheonhwangbong, 1,915 meters).
South Korea presents some flat areas along the west coast and in the valleys of the rivers, the most important lowlands are the Han River valley, where is Seoul, the coastal plain of Byeongtaek, south-west of the capital, the Geum and Nakdong rivers plains and the Yeongsan and Honam planis in the south-west. The Nakdong river (521 km) is the longest in the country.
A FLORID ECONOMY
South Korea has one of the most flourishing economies in the Far East, at the base of South Korean economy is the industrial sector, the South Korean industry is in fourth place in Asia after the Japanese, Chinese and Indian, are particularly developed the industries of food, engineering (automobiles), electronic, chemical, petrochemical, textile, steel and shipbuilding. Develop are also agriculture (rice, barley, soybeans, corn, millet, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, tobacco, cotton, ginseng), forestry, farming (cattle, pigs, bachicultura), and of great importance is fishery. The subsoil resources include coal, nickel, graphite, tungsten, gold, silver, iron ores and copper.
- Area: 99,237 sqkm. (Arable 21%, Pastures 1%, Forests and Woodlands 65%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 13%)
- Population: 49,268,000 (2007 data)
- State Capital: Seoul.
- Languages: The official language is Korean.
- Religion: Christian 30% (Protestant 19%, Catholic 11%), Buddhist 23%, Confucian 1%.
- Currency: Won (KRW)
- Time: UTC +9 hours.