About Korea

  • South Korea: Democracy
  • North Korea: Communism

South Korea

flag of Korea

Country name: South Korea or Republic of Korea
Location: Eastern Asia
Climate: 4 seasons, Temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Terrain: Mostly hills and mountains

Population: about 50.95 million (2014 est.) Foreign residents: 1.4 million
Capital: Seoul (about 10.2 million)
Languages: Korean, English widely taught in elementary, middle and high school
Ethnic groups: Homogeneous
Size: about half the size of Minnesota or slightly larger than Indiana
Religions: Buddhism – 23.3%, Christianity – 19.7%, Roman Catholicism – 6.6%, Confucianism – 0.5%, Won Buddhism – 0.2%, Cheon-do-gyo religion 0.1%

Government type: Democratic Republic
President: Park Geun-hye since 2013
Independence: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)

GDP: $1.271 trillion (2014 est.), the 3rd largest in Asia and the 15th largest in the world.
GDP per capita: $25,189 (2014 est.)
Currency: Korean Won (KRW)
Exchange rates: KRW per USD – 1,020 (June 2014)

Six major cities: Busan (3.5 million), Incheon (2.8 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Daejeon (1.5 million), Gwangju (1.5 million), Ulsan (1.1 million)
Travel convenience: Seoul to Tokyo (2.5 hours) / Seoul to Shanghai (1 hour)
Global companies: Samsung, LG, Hyundai Kia Automotive group, POSCO, Hyundai Heavy Industries