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CIA - The World Factbook -- Korea, South
 

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  Korea, South  
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This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


Map of Korea, South



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Korea, South Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Korea was an independent kingdom for much of the past millennium. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Yo'ng-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il.
   Geography    Korea, South Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
37 00 N, 127 30 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 98,480 sq km
land: 98,190 sq km
water: 290 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Indiana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 238 km
border countries: North Korea 238 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,413 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 16.58%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.41% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
8,780 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location on Korea Strait
   People    Korea, South Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
48,846,823 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 18.9% (male 4,844,083/female 4,368,139)
15-64 years: 71.9% (male 17,886,148/female 17,250,862)
65 years and over: 9.2% (male 1,818,677/female 2,678,914) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 35.2 years
male: 34.2 years
female: 36.3 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.42% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.85 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 77.04 years
male: 73.61 years
female: 80.75 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.27 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,300 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
no affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 99.2%
female: 96.6% (2002)
   Government    Korea, South Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Korea
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-min'guk
local short form: Han'guk
abbreviation: ROK
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
name: Seoul
geographic coordinates: 37 34 N, 127 00 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 7 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural)
provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto (North Cholla), Cholla-namdo (South Cholla), Ch'ungch'ong-bukto (North Ch'ungch'ong), Ch'ungch'ong-namdo (South Ch'ungch'ong), Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto (North Kyongsang), Kyongsang-namdo (South Kyongsang)
metropolitan cities: Inch'on-gwangyoksi (Inch'on), Kwangju-gwangyoksi (Kwangju), Pusan-gwangyoksi (Pusan), Soul-t'ukpyolsi (Seoul), Taegu-gwangyoksi (Taegu), Taejon-gwangyoksi (Taejon), Ulsan-gwangyoksi (Ulsan)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
15 August 1945 (from Japan)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
17 July 1948
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
19 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister HAN Myeong-sook (since 19 April 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers KIM Woo-sik (since 3 January 2006) and KWON O-kyu (since 3 July 2006)
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 19 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2007); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by president on prime minister's recommendation
election results: ROH Moo-hyun elected president; percent of vote - ROH Moo-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; LEE Hoi-chang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 243 in single-seat constituencies, 56 by proportional representation)
elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008; byelections held on 30 April 2005 and on 26 October 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, DP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 144, GNP 127, DP 11, DLP 9, ULD 3, independents 5
note: percent of vote is for 2004 general election; seats by party reflect results of April and October 2005 byelections involving six and four seats respectively; MDP became DP in May 2005; United Liberal Democrats (ULD) merged with GNP in February 2006. (2006)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (justices appointed by president with consent of National Assembly); Constitutional Court (justices appointed by president based partly on nominations by National Assembly and Chief Justice of the court)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Labor Party or DLP [MOON Seong-hyun]; Democratic Party or DP [HAHN Hwa-kap]; Grand National Party or GNP [KANG Jae-sup]; People-Centered Party or PCP [SHIN Kook-hwan]; Uri Party [KIM Geun-tae]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador LEE Tae-sik
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
consulate(s): Agana (Guam), New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
embassy: 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
mailing address: US Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550
telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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    Korea, South Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies. Today its GDP per capita is equal to the lesser economies of the EU. 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 longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. GDP plunged by 6.9% in 1998, then recovered 9.5% in 1999 and 8.5% 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 had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 7%, despite anemic global growth. Between 2003 and 2005, growth moderated to about 4%. A downturn in consumer spending was offset by rapid export growth. In 2005, the government proposed labor reform legislation and a corporate pension scheme to help make the labor market more flexible, and new real estate policies to cool property speculation. Moderate inflation, low unemployment, an export surplus, and fairly equal distribution of income characterize this solid economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$965.3 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$801.2 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20,400 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 40.3%
services: 56.3% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23.53 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6.4%
industry: 26.4%
services: 67.2% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.7% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
15% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 25% (2005 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
35.8 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.8% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $195 billion
expenditures: $189 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
342.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
321.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.061 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
645,200 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.263 million bbl/day (2004)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.09 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.11 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$16.56 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$288.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 21.8%, US 14.6%, Japan 8.5%, Hong Kong 5.5% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$256 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 18.5%, China 14.8%, US 11.8%, Saudi Arabia 6.2% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$210.4 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$153.9 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $423.3 million (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
South Korean won (KRW)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
South Korean won per US dollar - 1,024.1 (2005), 1,145.3 (2004), 1,191.6 (2003), 1,251.1 (2002), 1,291 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Korea, South Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26,595,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
36,586,100 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: country code - 82; 10 fiber-optic submarine cables - 1 Korea-Russia-Japan, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong, 3 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-China-Europe, 1 Korea-Japan-China-US-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 3 Inmarsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 61, FM 150, shortwave 2 (2005)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
terrestrial stations 43; cable operators 59; relay cable operators 190 (2005)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.kr
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,433,591 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.9 million (2005)
   Transportation    Korea, South Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
107 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 69
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 21
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 20 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 35 (2006)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
540 (2006)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 1,433 km; refined products 827 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,472 km
standard gauge: 3,472 km 1.435-m gauge (1,361 km electrified) (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 97,252 km
paved: 74,641 km (including 3,060 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,611 km (2004)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,608 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 669 ships (1000 GRT or over) 8,634,188 GRT/13,733,624 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 157, cargo 193, chemical tanker 98, container 81, liquefied gas 22, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 24, petroleum tanker 57, refrigerated cargo 17, roll on/roll off 6, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 6
foreign-owned: 22 (France 12, Japan 1, UK 2, US 7)
registered in other countries: 365 (Belize 4, Cambodia 23, China 2, Cyprus 1, Georgia 1, Honduras 6, Hong Kong 6, Indonesia 1, Liberia 3, Malaysia 1, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 291, Singapore 17, unknown 2) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Inch'on, Masan, P'ohang, Pusan, Ulsan
   Military    Korea, South Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (coast guard)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
20-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 24-28 months, depending on the military branch involved; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; some 4,000 women serve as commissioned and noncommissioned officers, approx. 2.3% of all officers; women, in service since 1950, are admitted to seven service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 20-49: 12,483,677
females age 20-49: 12,014,462 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 20-49: 10,115,817
females age 20-49: 9,721,914 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 344,943
females age 20-49: 312,720 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$21.06 billion FY05 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.6% FY05 (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Korea, South Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with North Korea over the Northern Limit Line; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954

This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


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