Portal:South Korea

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The South Korea Portal

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and sharing a land border with North Korea. About 25 million people, around half of the country's population of 51 million, live in the Seoul Capital Area.

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The succeeding Korean Empire was annexed into the Empire of Japan in 1910. After World War II, Korea was divided into two zones; a northern zone occupied by the Soviet Union and a southern zone occupied by the United States. After negotiations on reunification failed, the latter became the Republic of Korea in August 1948 while the former became North Korea.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive U.S.-led U.N. intervention in support of the South, while the North received support from China and from the Soviet Union. After the war's end in 1953, the country's economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. The June Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now considered among the most advanced democracies in Asia, with the highest level of press freedom. However, corruption and political scandals remain serious problems; all four living former South Korean presidents have been sentenced to prison for various crimes ranging from abuse of authority to bribery and embezzlement; with two still currently serving their sentences. ( Full article...)

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Haedong Yonggungsa, Busan.jpg

Busan (Korean pronunciation:  [pusan]), formerly romanized as Pusan and now officially known as Busan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's second-most populous city after Seoul, with a population of over 3.4 million inhabitants. It is the economic, cultural and educational center of southeastern South Korea, with its port—Korea's busiest and the sixth-busiest in the world. The surrounding "Southeast Economic Zone" (including Ulsan and South Gyeongsang) is South Korea's largest industrial area.

Busan is divided into 15 major administrative districts and a single county, together housing a population of approximately 3.6 million. The full metropolitan area, the Southeastern Maritime Industrial Region, has a population of approximately 8 million. The most densely built-up areas of the city are situated in a number of narrow valleys between the Nakdong and the Suyeong Rivers, with mountains separating most of the districts. The Nakdong is Korea's longest river and Busan's Haeundae Beach is also the country's largest.

Busan is a center for international conventions, hosting APEC in 2005. It is also a center for sports tournaments in Korea, having hosted the 2002 Asian Games and FIFA World Cup. It is home to the world's largest department store, the Shinsegae Centum City. Busan was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a "City of Film" in December 2014. ( Full article...)

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Geography of South Korea
Credit: original taken from NASA's Visible Earth

South Korea is located in East Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass. The only country with a land border to South Korea is North Korea, lying to the north with 238 kilometres (148 mi) of border running along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. South Korea is mostly surrounded by water and has 2,413 kilometres (1,499 mi) of coast line along three seas; to the west is the Yellow Sea, to the south is the East China Sea, and to the east is the East Sea. Geographically, South Korea's land mass is approximately 100,032 square kilometres (38,623 sq mi). 290 square kilometres (110 sq mi) of South Korea are occupied by water. The approximate coordinates are 37° North, 127° 30 East. Notable islands include Jeju Island (Jejudo), Ulleung Island (Ulleungdo), and Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo).

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Lion Heart is the fifth Korean studio album and the eighth overall by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. It marked their first record as an eight-member group since the departure of member Jessica in September 2014. Produced by Lee Soo-man, Lion Heart musically encompasses styles of electropop and bubblegum pop. It was released in two parts throughout August 18 and August 19, 2015 by S.M. Entertainment; another version with a different cover titled You Think was distributed on August 26, 2015. This is the group's first Korean studio album without former member Jessica who left the group on September 30, 2014.

The album spawned three singles. Its lead single, " Party", was released on July 7, 2015, and peaked atop the Gaon Digital Chart, further reaching number ten on the Japan Hot 100. It was followed up by " Lion Heart" and " You Think" in August 2015, charting at number four and thirty on the Gaon Digital Chart, respectively. In order to promote the record, Girls' Generation appeared on several South Korean music programs, such as Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo, where they performed material from the album. The group additionally embarked on a concert tour named Girls' Generation's Phantasia, which commenced on November 21, 2015 in Seoul and visited East and Southeast Asia. ( Full article...)

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The following are images from various South Korea-related articles on Wikipedia.


See WikiProject Korea for collaborating on South Korea topics, and more broadly, on all things Korea-related.

In the news

14 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
South Korea eases COVID-19-related restrictions at large concerts and sports events, with up to 4,000 people allowed to attend K-pop concerts and other cultural shows, as well as allowing sport stadiums to operate at 30% to 50% capacity depending on the district as the country continues its vaccination campaign. (CNA)
9 June 2021 –
Nine people are killed and eight more wounded as a five-storey building being demolished in Gwangju, South Korea, collapses onto a bus. Authorities are concerned that people may have been buried in the demolition site or on the nearby pavement. (CNA)
8 June 2021 –
The Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority announces that Iraq is seeking to build eight nuclear reactors capable of producing 11 gigawatts combined to address increasing electricity demand, which is predicted to rise 50% from roughly 28GW today to 42GW by 2030. Average electrical power output currently stands at about 18.4GW, of which 1.2GW is imported. The Authority says that they are in discussions with Korean, Russian, U.S., and French officials on how to implement the plan. (Bloomberg News)
8 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, COVID-19 vaccination in South Korea
South Korea reports a new single-day record of 857,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered. (CNA)



Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Web resources

  • The official website of the Republic of Korea (Korea.net)
  • The Official Korea Tourism Guide Site
  • Korea National Statistical Office
  • Video on South Korea-US Relations from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
  • "South Korea". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • A Country Study: South Korea in the Library of Congress
  • South Korea at Curlie
  • South Korea from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • Korea OECD
  • South Korea profile from the BBC News
  • South Korea Encyclopædia Britannica entry
  • The War Memorial of Korea
  • Key Development Forecasts for South Korea from International Futures


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