The South Korea or Korea-of-South (rare), officially the Republic of Korea or Pays of the morning calms , is a country of Asia which covers the southern half of the Korean peninsula. Its Capitale is Seoul. The Official language is the Korean whose writing is the hangul or hangeul and the currency the won.
Its single terrestrial Border length a 238 km with the democratic Popular republic of Korea , is made up in north by the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which is in fact, the most militarized in the world.
The name that the South-Koreans give to their country is Hanguk , which literally means Pays of Hans (in Hangeul: 한국; in Hanja: 韓國), of the name of a prehistoric tribe which lived the south of the Korean peninsula (not to be confused with Chinese Han).
The media North-Korean use Nam Chosŏn , literally South Korea (남조선; 南朝鮮).
Daehan Minguk is also used, which means République of Korea or literally Grande republic Han (대한민국; 大韓民國).
See also: History of South Korea
The first foundation of a State in Korea goes back to Since then, this country survived after a fashion between the China and the Japan without however losing its identity. Korea still keeps a rich culture which is its own.
The contemporary division of Korea goes up with the continuations of the Japanese occupation started starting from 1905. At the end of the Second world war in 1945, the Korea was divided into two zones by the world powers, the the United States and the the USSR. In 1948, the South and North constituted each one in an independent State, a communist North, and a South under étatsunienne influence. In June 1950, the Guerre of Korea started. The South was supported by the United States, North by the China. The agreement of Cease-fire of Panmunjeom (signed in 1953), put an end to the engagements. But to date, the war still is not officially finished. Since, the peninsula is divided by a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the neighborhoods of the parallel 38e, which is paradoxically, the most militarized world.
After the war, the Republic of Korea, authoritarian regime under the autocratic government of Syngman Rhee then under the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee, knew a fast economic growth. It is in the Années 1980 that the demonstrations put an end to the dictatorship to install a democratic capacity. Kim Dae-jung is the first president profiting from a true democratic legitimacy.
The possibility of a reunification remains an important subject of the peninsular political life: no peace treaty was signed with North, but the South Korean government announced at the beginning of 2006 its intention to sign such a treaty. South Korea maintains efforts in order to improve the situation, in spite of the threats around the nuclear program of North.
See the detailed article Reunification of Korea.
See also: Political of South Korea
The Head of State of the Republic of Korea is the president, who is elected by direct poll for one 5 years period. First representative of the Republic and chief of the armies, the president has moreover an important executive power; he names the Prime Minister with the approval of the Parliament. He chairs and names also the Council of State.
The Korean Parliament is called National Assembly or the Kukhoe ; its members are elected for a four years mandate. It currently counts 273 seats, with which 227 are provided for the direct suffrage and the remainder distributed proportionally among the parties having five seats or more. The judicial body highest is the Supreme court, whose judges are named by the president with the assent of the Parliament.
The Joint Declaration the North-South, signed on June 15th, 2000 enters the president Kim Dae-jung and its counterpart North-Korean Kim Jong-Il, mark the beginning of a dialog between the two Korea (see the article detailed on the Relations inter-Corées).
The current president Roh Moo-hyun was elected President of the Republic of Korea in December 2003, at the time of the sixteenth presidential elections with 48,9 % of the voices vis-a-vis its adversary Lee Hoi-chang (GPN). It took its functions the February 25th, 2003.
The South Korean Parliament adopted, the March 12th, 2004, a motion without precedent which suspended its functions president Roh Moo-hyun. The Constitutional court cancelled this dismissal the May 14th, 2004. The president had given in February 2004 his support for the Parti uri (for the elections of April), which is an infringement with the electoral code. See the business of the dismissal of February 2004
End October 2004, the Constitutional court declared that the localization of the national capital with Seoul was implicitly constitutional field. Consequently, the law of delocalization of the Seoul capital towards the province of Southern Chungcheong (in the center of the country) voted in December 2003 by the Left uri president Roh and the opposition of GNP of Park Geun-hye was invalidated. It would be necessary so that the delocalization is effective that the amendment of delocalization is voted like a constitutional modification sanctioned on the one hand by a vote in the majority of the 2/3 with the Parliament, on the other hand by a national Référendum. That concerns the challenge in the actual position because the GNP changed position on the question and the majority of the two-thirds seems impossible to reach and, moreover, the approval of this measurement by the population is far from being acquired.
This reverse is felt all the more hard at the blue House, sits of the Presidency, that the President had made this promise one of the flagship measures of his countryside.
In a context of strong unpopularity of the Head of the State, the local elections (municipal and provincial) of May 31st, 2006 resulted in a strong retreat of the governmental majority, with the profit of the conservative opposition of the Grand national party, whereas the abstention was very high (close to 49 %).
The South Korean army is one of most powerful of the Far East, with the Armée S Chinese, Japanese and North-Korean. Its manpower are of 672 000 men in army of active, and 4 500 000 men in reserve.
According to the international Research institute for the peace of Stockholm, the military expenditure of South Korea reached 21,9 billion US dollars in 2006, classifying it with the eleventh world rank. In 2003, South Korea had devoted 14,5 billion dollars to its budget of defense, that is to say approximately 15 % of the global budget of the State (in comparison, the France spent, at the same time 45,2 billion dollars US for its defense, that is to say 11,35 % of the budget of the State).
The Korean Space agency or KARI ( Korea Aerospace Research Institute ) develops a family of launchers KSLV ( Korea Space Launch Vehicle ), in collaboration with the Russia. Inaugural flight of the basic launcher, the KSLV-1, initially envisaged in 2007, from now on is announced for 2008.
A limited national sovereignty
More 30 000 American soldiers are stationed in South Korea since the end of the Guerre of Korea. The number of American soldiers in Korea should decrease with 25 000 from here 2008 within the framework of a redeployment of the forces. In the event of war, the United States would exert the military command in South Korea. This military subordination to the the United States, which limits the national sovereignty of South Korea, rises from the agreement of defense between the two countries.
The South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun has however " recently; reaffirmed (…) its hope to complete the negotiations with the United States on the recovery of the operational military command in time of war near the American troops in Korea from here end 2006". In its speech of beginning of year 2007, Roh Moo-hyun reaffirmed her wish to reduce " the dépendance" of Seoul towards Washington while allowing South Korea to cover control with its forms armed in the event of war. These declarations echo the disputes, by part of the South Korean opinion, American presence in South Korea. Demonstrations against the American presence took place in May 2006.
Moreover, whereas American soldiers on several occasions were implied in rape cases or of died of Koreans (killed accidentally by the drivers of vehicles), they profit from a privilege of Extraterritorialité : the legal affairs implying of the American soldiers in South Korea for acts made in Korea are judged by American courts, and not by Korean courts.
The relations intercoréennes
The foreign policy of South Korea remains dominated by the question of the relations intercoréennes and the Réunification of Korea. The Joint Declaration the North-South, signed on June 15th, 2000 between the president Kim Dae-jung and its counterpart North-Korean Kim Jong-il, marked the deepening of the dialog between the two Korea.
A second top intercoréen, between the leader of North Kim Jong-il and the South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun, initially envisaged to Pyongyang from August 28th to 30th 2007, was deferred from October 2nd to 4th after most serious Inondations in North Korea for forty years has involved 600 died and disappeared and touched a million people. The intercoréen agreement signed on October 4th, 2007 underlined the common engagement of the two States to promote peace and economic prosperity in the peninsula.
Alliance with the United States
In addition, South Korea is an ally of the the United States of which more 30 000 soldiers station on his territory. South Korea brought one of the most important foreign quotas, after that of the United States, at the time of the Guerre of Vietnam.
It also sent troops in Iraq; November 28th, 2006, the South Korean government however announced its intention to decrease by half (from 2.300 to 1.200 men) the size of the quota present in Iraq. Part of the deputies of the majority however wishes a withdrawal of all the South Korean troops stationed in Iraq after the defeat of the republicans to the elections of November 2006.
Relations between South Korea and Japan
After the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945, South Korea and the Japan, where always a Korean minority of 600.000 people resides, established diplomatic relations only in 1965. The agreement of December 18th, 1965, signed under the impulse of the president Park Chung-hee with the encouragement of the United States, in spite of big demonstrations of opposition in South Korea, involved the payment of an economic aid during ten years (1965-1975) of Japan in South Korea, of which the major part in the form of gifts.
However, the whole of the historical dispute related to the Japanese occupation remain present in the relations between Koreans and Japanese, these tensions having consequences on the diplomatic relations. Thus, of the initiatives were taken so that the Japanese government recognizes the sexual slavery of the Femmes of comfort during the Second world war. The Revisionism in Japan, being in particular the presentation of the Japanese occupation in the handbooks of Japanese history, is very strongly felt by the South Korean opinion. Lastly, the visits of Japanese the Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi with the Sanctuary of Yasukuni, on the tombs of the Japanese generals of the Second world war, made weigh risks of cancellation of the bilateral tops between the two States, with the autumn 2005.
The sovereignty of the island of Rochers of Liancourt (Dokdo/Takeshima) is a subject of dispute between the two countries.
The role of South Korea in the United Nations
The Foreign Minister nomination former Ban Ki-moon at the position of secretary general of the United Nations constituted a success for the South Korean diplomacy. South Korea takes an active part also in the maintenance missions of the peace of UNO: November 28th, 2006, the South Korean government announced that 400 soldiers would be deployed with the Lebanon under mandate of UNO.
The rise of the exchanges sino-Korean and nippo-Korean
The China and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations in 1992.
Whereas China became one of the principal business partners of South Korea, the meeting of the president Roh Moo-hyun with her Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, in September 2005, testified to a community of sights in the diplomatic field. The South Korean president then greeted the steps achieved by China to promote the dialog intercoréen.
January 14th, 2007, with Cebu (Filipino), in margin of the forum of ASEAN, was held the seventh trilateral meeting between the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean heads of state and government. These exchanges must look further into the co-operation between the three States on questions of shared interest, in particular in the fields economic, cultural and of environmental protection.
The diversification of the foreign relations
The first diplomatic relations between France and Korea were established in 1886. Ceremonies were organized in 2006 in France and South Korea to celebrate the 120e birthday of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Within this framework, the museum of Louvre lent to the National museum of Korea, until March 2007, several French and foreign tables of XVIe at the XIXe centuries, of which Diane leaving the bath of François Boucher, Médée furious of Eugene Delacroix, the Raft of the Jellyfish of Theodore Géricault and Binders of hay of Jean-François Millet.
Association Korean Racines was created in 1995 by adopted French of Korean origin, France being the European country who counts the greatest number of adoptees (10 000) of Korean origin.
The first festival free-Korean of film was organized from December 6th to 12th 2006.
Wishing to diversify its foreign relations, South Korea engaged, in September 2006, to triple its assistance in Africa. In particular, South Korea must finance in 2007 a project of fight against meningitis in Ivory Coast which relates to a million people.
See also: Geography of South Korea, Peninsula of Korea
See also: Provinces of South Korea
South Korea is divided into nine provinces ( C , 도, 道), six cities metropolitan ( gwangyeogsi , 광역시, 廣域市), and a special city, the capital Seoul, ( teukbyeolsi , 특별시, 特別市). Administratively, the cities have the same statute as the provinces. They are marked by a star in the following list:
Busan * ( Pusan on the chart) (부산광역시; 釜山廣域市)
- Chungcheong of North (충청북도; 忠清北道)
- Chungcheong of the South (충청남도; 忠清南道)
- Daegu * (대구광역시; 大邱廣域市)
- Daejeon * (대전광역시; 大田廣域市)
- Gangwon (강원도; 江原道)
- Gwangju * (광주광역시; 光州廣域市)
- Gyeonggi (경기도; 京畿道)
- Gyeongsang of North (경상북도; 慶尚北道)
- Gyeongsang of the South (경상남도; 慶尚南道)
- Incheon * (인천광역시; 仁川廣域市)
- Jeju Coil-governing (제주도; 濟州道)
- Jeolla of North (전라북도; 全羅北道)
- Jeolla of the South (전라남도; 全羅南道)
- Seoul * (서울특별시; 漢城特別市)
- Ulsan * (울산광역시; 蔚山廣域市)
See also: Towns of South Korea
On the 47 million Koreans, more than 20 million live in the mégapole of Seoul including 10,3 in the capital even. Its subway connects it to cities like Suwon in the South or Gimpo (interior airport) and especially Incheon in the West (the connection with the international Aéroport will be buckled in 2006).
If the country has a very high density, the main cities are on a North-western/South-eastern axis, between Seoul - Incheon and Busan while passing by Daejeon and Daegu. The North-eastern quarter of the country counts only Chuncheon like big city, without this one really radiating on the area.
- the axis Seoul - Daejeon - Busan
- a South-western axis connecting Daejeon Western to Mokpo and Gwangju (the main city of South-west), but without crossing Jeonju directly (the second).
Cities with more 750 000 inhabitants in 2005 (intramurally, in thousands of inhabitants):
- Seoul (10 350)
- Busan (3 680)
- Incheon (2 580)
- Daegu (2 565)
- Daejeon (1 475)
- Gwangju (1 415)
- Suwon (1 240)
- Goyang (1 200)
- Seongnam (1 030)
- Ulsan (960)
- Bucheon (830)
Project of a new capitalIn order to stop the hypertrophy of Seoul, likely to unbalance the entire country, the Korean government had been committed changing capital, going until indicating in 2004 the town of Yeongi, with a score of kilometers in the west of Cheongju and to about thirty in north Daejeon. But the project was considered to be anticonstitutional. This is why, at the end of September 2005, the government again announced its decision to build, this time of any part, a new capital, with 160 kilometers in the south of Seoul. The site of the new city, whose name was not chosen yet, covers a surface of some 71 km ². It is located in the province of Chungcheong of the South, close to the towns of Daejeon and Gongju. Its construction would begin in 2007. The installation of the ministries - Defense, Finances, Education, Foreign affairs, Relations with the North Korea… - and other government agencies is considered for 2012.
Chemin de iron
The South Korean railway network counted in 2002,3 127 km of railways (including 675 km of electrified ways). The March 31st 2004 was inaugurated LGV (line at high speed) between Seoul and Daegu of 235 km for KTX (using same technology as TGV) with an improvement of the traditional line until Pusan (Busan on the chart) is a total of 412 km. This LGV comprises 83 tunnels - including two of 17 and 20 km - and 148 viaducts.
Truck driverSouth Korea has a network of 88 775 km of roads, of which 1 889 km of Highway S, on which circulate more than 14 million vehicles registered.
The tiger, which would have disappeared from the south of Korea in 1922, was reintroduced in South Korea in 1986.
Movements of defense of the environment developed in South Korea since the years 1980.
In addition, the Hibiscus syriacus is one of the emblems of South Korea, this flower being originating in Korea.
See also: Economy of South Korea
One of the four Asian dragons (not to be confused with the 5 Asian Tigers), South Korea knew a spectacular phase of growth and integration in the modern worldwide economy. In the years 1970, GDP per capita was comparable with that of the poorest countries of Africa and Asia. Today, its GDP per capita is roughly 20 times that of North Korea and competes with certain economies of the European Union. South Korea is the 11th world economic power. The number of patents deposited (150.000 per annum) the place with the fourth world rank.
This success, at the end of the years 1980, was obtained grace a mode of close links between the government and the business world, envisaging a system of directed credit in particular, restrictions on the imports, the financing of some industries ; he is also explained by very an important quantity of work. The government supported the importation of raw materials and technology at the expense of the consumer goods and encouraged the saving and the investment with the detriment of consumption. The Asian Economic crisis of 1997 exposed old weaknesses of the development model of South Korea, including raised ratios debts/stockholders' equity, the dependence with respect to massive foreign loans, the lack of rigor of the financial sector.
The growth fell of 6,6 % in 1998, then strongly recovered: 10,8 % in 1999 and 9,2 % in 2000. The growth fell again to 3,3 % in 2001 because of the total deceleration of the economy, which involves falls of export, and perception which the reforms so much necessary stagnated. Carried out by industry and construction, the growth in 2002 found a dynamic rate of 5,8 % in spite of the feeble global growth.
Having made the choice of a model of economy turned towards exports, South Korea diversified its commercial partnerships. She thus announced that she had become, in 2005, the second supplier of the China: its exports bound for China reached 76,8 billion euros (in rise of 23,5 %), exceeding for the first time those of Taiwan (74,6 billion euros) and of the European Union (73,6 billion euros), behind Japan (100,5 billion euros). In 2004, China had become the first destination of South Korean exports, preceding the the United States.
South Korea belongs to the Economic cooperation Pacific Asia (APEC).
See also: List of the South Korean companies
South Korean population
See also: Demography of South Korea
The Korean population is one of most homogeneous in the world, ethniquement and linguistically, with like only minority a small Chinese community. The Koreans lived in the Mandchourie during many centuries, and are now a minority in China. Joseph Stalin sent thousands of Koreans, against their will, in Central Asia (old Soviet Union) since Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. The majority of the Korean population to the Japan is there since the colonial period.
See also: Korean Diaspora
The town of Seoul east one of the greatest metropolitan zones of the world. Its density enabled him to become one of the “numerical” cities more in the economy connected overall of today.
LanguagesThe Korean language is member of a broader linguistic family of the altaïques languages. The Korean written form, the Hangul, was invented in 1446 by the king Sejong Large the to facilitate the education of its subjects - indeed, the Chinese characters were considered to be too difficult and too long to learn for an average individual - by the royal proclamation of Hunminjeongeum (훈민정음, 訓民正音), which means “the suitable sounds literally to teach with the people”. It is different from the Chinese form of written communication (hanja) because it is based on phonetics.
Many fundamental words of Korean were borrowed from the Chinese via the Hanja, and the older Koreans always prefer to write words in Hanja, identical to the Sinogramme S Chinese and the Kanji Japanese, because it was strictly interdict studied and of speaking Korean during the Japanese domination. The Koreans are the only people in the world who entirely include/understand how, when and why their written language was created, by the transcriptions of the innovating contribution of king Sejong.
In 2000, the government decided to present a new system of romanisation, employed by this article. One teaches the English like second language in the majority of the elementary schools. One also teaches with the college during 2 years the Chinese, Japanese, French, German or Spanish.
ReligionsThe Christianity (49 % of the believers, of which 36 % of Protestant and 13 % of Catholic) and the Buddhism (47 % of the believers) are the two dominant religions of South Korea. Although only 3 % of the population declare Confucianists, the company is strongly impregnated values and beliefs confucéennes. The remainder of the Koreans practices the Chamanisme (traditional worship of the spirit) and the Cheondogyo (“divine manner”), a traditional religion, still popular.
See also: Korean Shamanism
Culture and company
See also: Culture of South Korea
See also: South Korean Cinema
See also: Korean Kitchen
South Korea shares its traditional culture with that of the North Korea. The Korean culture is influenced by that of China and Japan but is primarily distinct. The traditional culture was also influenced by the Bouddhisme and the Confucianisme.
Among the industrialized States members of OECD, South Korea is the country where the rate of Suicide S (24,7 suicides for 100.000 people in 2005) is highest: the suicide is the first cause of death between 20 and 40 years.
Since its division in two separated States, both Korea developed contemporary forms distinct from culture.
See also: the legend of the Vixen
Both principal Syndicat S are FKTU and KCTU (see also the detailed article Syndicalisme in South Korea).
The Koreans of the South must receive the permission of their government to visit the North Korea ; failing this, they can be imprisoned on their return, pursuant to the Loi of national security.
Cultural heritage and tourism
Several South Korean sites are registered with the world heritage of UNESCO:
- the cave of Seokguram and the temple of Bulguksa (two religious sites in mountain);
- the sanctuary of Jongmyo (a sanctuary confucéen into full Seoul);
- the temple of Haeinsa and the Tripitaka Koreana (high place of Buddhism in Korea);
- the whole of the palate of Changdeokgung (most remarkable of the five royal large palaces of Seoul);
- the fortress of Hwaseong (six kilometers of ramparts in a big city);
- the site of the dolmens of Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa (three prehistoric cemeteries);
- historical zones of Gyeongju (of the royal tumuli and an accumulation of religious buildings).
SportThe Olympic Games of summer of 1988 were organized with Seoul.
South Korea, associated with the Japan, accommodated the Football world cup 2002 ; during this competition, the results of the national team involved a passion of the population for the Football without precedent. Indeed, South Korea reached in semi-final by beating the Poland, the Portugal, the Italy and the Spain, before being eliminated by the Germany. It did not renew its exploit in Germany at the time of the World cup 2006, failing the first turn.
In 2000,2004 and 2006 at the time of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games both Corées ravelled together but were separate for the sporting tests. The delegations of North and the South again ravelled together at the time of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games of Turin on February 12th, 2006. It is planned to constitute only one national team common to the both Corées with the Olympic Games of 2008, like with the Asian Jeux. A meeting between the Olympic committees of both Corées took place, in Lausanne, on September 5th, 2006, in the objective to constitute only one Korean team with the Olympic Games of Beijing. On this occasion, " the CIO is pleased that the sport and the Olympic ideal can bring to the constitution of a unified team and would wish to thank the two delegations for their engagement and their efforts to reach this objectif" .
international Movement scout
- 1991: 17th world Jamboree scout with National Soraksan Park
- electric tension: 220 V
- standard of taken: type C
CodesSouth Korea has as codes:
- KOR, according to the standard ISO 3166-1, code alpha-3 (code list country),
- KR, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 (code list country), code alpha-2,
- ROK, according to the international Code list of the number plates,
- KOR, according to the Code list country of the CIO,
- KOR, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-3,
- KS, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-2,
The access of the South-Koreans to the Consumer society resulted in a diversification of the leisures: whereas the walks in the parks remain one of the favorite pastimes in end of the week, the South-Koreans young people appreciate the exits with the coffee or the cinema, while the rate of access to Internet counts among highest in the world.
MediaThe written press is dominated by three Quotidien S of preserving sensitivity: the Chosun Ilbo , the Tong-A Ilbo , the Dong-A Ilbo . The other principal titles are the Hankook Ilbo , the Chungang Ilbo , the Hangyore Sinmun , the Naiel Shinmun , the financial newspaper Hanguk Kyeongje Sinmun and, in English language, The Korea Herald . Three magazines of opinion play a big role: the Sisajonol , the News and People and the Jajuminbo .
The two principal television channels, public, are the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and the Société Munhwa de Radiotélédiffusion (acronym English: MBC).
Whereas South Korea is one of the countries best connected to the world, the site Ohmynews is influential.
- National office of Korean Tourism
- Site of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs with cards of information on the country, data economic, political and different, diplomatic relations with France T the European Union
- a data bank on South Korea and a bibliography with accompanying notes
- Photographs on South Korea
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