1. South Korea

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  1. About South Korea

    South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: 대한민국, tɛː.han.min.ɡuk̚), KO-Daehanminguk.ogg|listen) is an East Asian country occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. To the north, it is bordered by North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), with which it was united until 1945. To the west, across the Yellow Sea, lies China and to the southeast, across the Korea Strait, lies Japan. The Republic of Korea in Korean means "The Great Nation of the Korean People" and is sometimes referred to as the "Land of the Morning Calm", originating from the peaceful Joseon Dynasty. The capital and largest city of South Korea is Seoul, the world's 2nd largest metropolitan city. The official language of South Korea is Korean and is currently the 10th most spoken language in the world.

    The Korean people trace their nation's founding back to 2333 BCE by the legendary Dangun Wanggeom. Archaeological research shows that the first Korean settlers have occupied the peninsula since the Lower Paleolithic period with territories expanding as far as mainland China and eastern Russia during the Gojoseon period, the first nation established by Koreans. Following the era of the Three Korean Kingdoms and the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's history has been turbulent at times with the last emperor of Korea dating back to the age of the Korean Empire. Since the establishment of the modern republic in 1948, South Korea has struggled with the aftermath of Japanese exploitation (1910-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and decades of authoritarian regimes in favour of the strong pursuit on the industrialization and economic development of South Korea. However, as the standard of living and income of South Korean citizens rose considerably in the late 1980s, nationwide demonstrations lead to the collapse of the authoritarian government in 1987 and since then, direct and fair elections were held every 5 years in South Korea. Today, South Korea is an established pioneer of stable democracy in Asia, with South Korean citizens enjoying one of the highest level of poltical freedom and social rights in Asia.

    South Korea is a major global industrial power and had one of the fastest growing economies in the world since the 1960s. The South Korean economy is now developed and the 3rd largest in Asia and the 12th largest in the world. South Korea is one of the Top 10 exporters in the world, having the 6th largest foreign exchange reserves in the world. South Korea is also an international military power, having the 6th largest armed forces in the world and being one of the Top 10 highest military expenditure countries in the world. In the late 20th century, many people referred to South Korea as a Newly Industrialized Country and an Asian Tiger due to its reputation for exponential economic growth. To this date, South Korea is still among the world's fastest growing developed countries and at current pace, it will be the world's 3rd richest country by 2025 with a GNP per capita of $52,000. South Korea was one of the founding members of APEC and in 1996, South Korea became a member of the OECD, a milestone in its development history. Today, South Korea forms the G20 industrial nations, being the only developed Next Eleven state with many developing countries referring to its economic success as the "Miracle on the Han River," using South Korea's success story as a role model. South Korea has a "High" HDI of 0.921 and is part of both the CIA and IMF lists of advanced economies, being defined as a High Income Nation by the World Bank. International recognition of the country and its goods & services was enhanced by the hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and further boosted by the co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

    South Korea is one of the world's most technologically and scientifically advanced countries, having the most intelligent population in the world with a National IQ of 106 along with a heated focus on education, being directly linked with its strong performance in mathematics and science — it is a major driving factor behind the South Korean economy and its high-tech industries. It is the only country in the world having state of the art nationwide DMB Digital Mobile TV, WiBro High-Speed Wireless Broadband, 100Mbit/s Fibre-Optic Cable Broadband, full HDTV Broadcasting and 3G HSDPA. It is currently the most wired nation in the world, with more than 95% of all homes connected to high speed broadband internet. South Korea is a global leader in electronics, computers, digital displays, semiconductor devices, mobile phones and hightech gadgets, lead by the two chaebols, Samsung and LG. South Korea also boasts the world's 3rd largest steel producer, POSCO and is the world's 5th largest automobile manufacturing nation, headed by Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. South Korea is the world's largest shipbuilder, lead by several multinational corporations such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries. Other important industries of South Korea include robotics and biotechnology, with the world's first walking humanoid robot, HUBO, the world's second female android EveR-1, and the world's first cloned dog, Snuppy.

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