Geography of South Korea <ul><li>Land Area & Borders </li></ul><ul><li>S. Korea is located on the southern half of Korea in East Asia. The only country that borders S. Korea is N. Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Since S. Korea is a peninsula it is mostly surrounded by water & has 2,413 kilometers of coast line along three seas. The Yellow Sea (west), East China Sea (south), Ulleung-do (east) & Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) </li></ul><ul><li>Jeju-do, a volcanic island and the largest island dominated by Halla-san (Halla Mountain, lies off the southwest corner of the peninsula and has a land area of 1,825 square kilometers. Other important islands include Ulleung in East Sea and Ganghwa Island at the mouth of the Han River. </li></ul><ul><li>The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a boundary formed after the Korean War, is a heavily guarded 4,000-meter-wide strip of land established by the Korean Armistice Agreement. From the east to the west, the DMZ expands for a distance of 241 kilometers. </li></ul>
Geography of South Korea <ul><li>Climate </li></ul><ul><li>S. Korea is part of the East Asian monsoonal region & has a temperate climate with 4 seasons </li></ul><ul><li>Winters are usually long, cold, and dry, whereas summers are short, hot, and humid. Spring and autumn are pleasant but short in duration. </li></ul><ul><li>The country generally has sufficient rainfall to sustain its agriculture. Rarely does less than 750 millimeters (29.5 in) of rain fall in any given year; rainfall is usually over 1,000 millimeters (39.4 in). </li></ul><ul><li>Amounts of precipitation can vary from year to year. Serious droughts occur about once every 8 years, especially in the rice-producing southwestern part of the country. </li></ul><ul><li>S. Korea is less vulnerable to typhoons than Japan, Taiwan, the east coast of China, or the Philippines. About one to three typhoons can be expected per year. They usually pass over S. Korea in late summer, especially in August, and bring torrential rains. </li></ul>
Geography of South Korea <ul><li>Resources and Land Use </li></ul><ul><li>Natural resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tungsten </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Molybdenum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>has potential for hydropower </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Land use: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>arable land: 19% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>permanent crops: 2% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>permanent pastures: 1% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>forests and woodland: 65% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other: 13% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rivers and lakes: 10% (2003 est.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irrigated land: 13,350 km ｲ (1993 est.) </li></ul></ul>
History <ul><li>Early Korean History </li></ul><ul><li>Gojoseon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first Korean kingdom. According to the Samguk Yusa and other Korean medieval-era records, the founding legend of Gojoseon states that the country was founded in 2333 BCE by Dangun, said to be descended from the heavens. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goguryeo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded in 37 BCE by Jumong. Later, King Taejo centralized the government. Goguryeo was also the first Korean kingdom to adopt Buddhism as the state religion in 372, under King Sosurim reign. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reached its zenith in the 5th century, when reign of the King Gwanggaeto and his son, King Jangsu expanded into almost all of Manchuria and part of inner Mongolia, and took the Seoul region from Baekje. Gwanggaeto and Jangsu subdued Baekje and Silla during their times. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, numerous wars with China exhausted Goguryeo and it fell into a weak state. After internal power struggles, it was conquered by an allied Silla-Tang forces in 668. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Baekje </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded by King Onjo in 18 BCE as stated in the Samguk Sagi, followed those of its neighbors and rivals, Goguryeo and Silla. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sanguo Zhi mentions Baekje as a member of the Mahan confederacy in the Han River basin (near present-day Seoul). It expanded into the southwest (Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces) of the peninsula and became a significant political and military power. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baekje played a fundamental role in transmitting cultural developments, such as Chinese characters, Buddhism, iron-making, advanced pottery, and ceremonial burial into ancient Japan. </li></ul></ul>
History <ul><li>Early Korean History (Con’t) </li></ul><ul><li>Silla </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to legend, the kingdom Silla began with the unification of six chiefdoms of the Jinhan confederacy by Bak Hyeokgeose in 57 BCE. It’s territory included the present-day port city of Busan, and Silla later emerged as a sea power responsible for destroying Japanese pirates, especially during the Unified Silla period. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2nd century, Silla existed as a large state, occupying and influencing nearby city states. Silla began to gain power when it annexed Gaya confederacy in 562. Silla often faced pressure from Baekje and Japan, and at various times allied and warred with Baekje and Goguryeo. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goryeo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goryeo was founded in 918 CE and by 936, replaced Silla as the ruling dynasty of Korea. "Goryeo" was named by Wang Geon who deemed the nation as a successor of Goguryeo. The dynasty lasted until 1392, and it is the source of the English name "Korea.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During this period laws were codified, and a civil service system was introduced. Buddhism flourished, and spread throughout the peninsula. The development of celadon pottery flourished in the 12th and 13th century. The publication of Tripitaka Koreana onto 80,000 wooden blocks and the invention of movable-metal-type printing press attest to Goryeo's cultural achievements. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joseon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1392, the general Yi Seong-gye established the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) named in honor of the ancient kingdom Gojoseon and its idealistic Confucianism-based politics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King Taejo moved the capital to Hanyang (modern-day Seoul) and built Gyeongbokgung palace. In 1394 he adopted Neo-Confucianism as the country's official religion, and pursued the creation of a strong bureaucratic state. The following monarchs, King Taejong and King Sejong the Great, implemented numerous administrative, social, and economical reforms and established royal authority in the early years of the dynasty. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joseon's culture was based on the philosophy of Neo-Confucianism, emphasizing morality, righteousness, and practical ethics. Wide interest in scholarly study resulted in the establishment of private academies and educational institutions. Many documents were written about history, geography, medicine, and Confucian principles. The arts flourished in painting, calligraphy, music, dance, and ceramics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most notable cultural event of this era is the promulgation of the Korean alphabet Hangul by King Sejong the Great in 1446. </li></ul></ul>
History <ul><li>Japanese Rule and Division </li></ul><ul><li>Korea was controlled by Japan until Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces, on 15 Aug. 1945, with de jure sovereignty deemed to have passed from Joseon Dynasty to the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. </li></ul><ul><li>After the annexation, Japan set out to repress all Korean tradition and culture, develop and implement reforms for their benefit. European-styled transport and communication networks were established across the nation in order to extract the resources and labor of the Korean people; these were almost all destroyed later during the Korean War. Banking systems was consolidated and the Korean currency abolished. The Japanese removed the Joseon hierarchy, destroyed the palace of Gyeongbokgung and replaced it with office buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>After the outbreaks of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and WWII Japan attempted to exterminate Korea as a nation. The continuance of Korean culture itself began to be illegal. Worship at Japanese Shinto shrines was made compulsory. The school curriculum was radically modified to eliminate teaching in the Korean language and history within Korea. The Korean language was banned and Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese names, and newspapers were prohibited from publishing in Korean. Numerous cultural artifacts were destroyed or taken to Japan. According to an investigation by the South Korean government, 75,311 cultural assets were taken from Korea. </li></ul><ul><li>The unconditional surrender of Japan combined with fundamental shifts in global politics and ideology, led to the division of Korea into two occupation zones effectively starting on Sept. 8, 1945, with the United States administering the southern half of the peninsula and the Soviet Union taking over the area north of the 38th parallel. This division was meant to be temporary and was first intended to return a unified Korea back to its people until the U.S, U.K, Soviet Union, and China could arrange a trusteeship administration. </li></ul><ul><li>Initial hopes for a unified, independent Korea quickly evaporated as the politics of the Cold War and opposition to the trusteeship plan from Korean anti-communists resulted in the 1948 establishment of two separate nations with diametrically opposed political, economic, and social systems. </li></ul><ul><li>In June 1950 the Korean War broke out when N. Korea breached the 38th parallel line to invade the South, ending any hope of a peaceful reunification for the time being. After the war a Geneva conference failed to adopt a declaration for a unified Korea. </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning with Syngman Rhee, a series of oppressive autocratic governments took power in S. Korea, initially with American support and influence. The country eventually transitioned to become a market-oriented democracy in the 1980s, largely due to popular demand for reform. Due to the Soviet occupation of N. Korea, post-independence N. Korea established a communist government, with ties to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China. </li></ul>
People <ul><li>Regional Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Although a variety of different Asian peoples had migrated to the Korean Peninsula in past centuries, very few have remained permanently, so by 1990 both South Korea and North Korea were among the world's most ethnically homogeneous nations. The number of indigenous minorities was negligible. In South Korea, people of foreign origin, including Chinese, Japanese, Westerners, Southeast Asians, South Asians and others were a small percentage of the population whose residence was generally temporary. </li></ul><ul><li>Within South Korea, the most important regional difference is between the Gyeongsang region, embracing Gyeongsangbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do provinces in the southeast, and the Jeolla region, embracing Jeollabuk-do and Jeollanam-do provinces in the southwest. The two regions, separated by the Jirisan Massif, nurture a rivalry said to reach back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea Period, which lasted from the fourth century to the seventh century A.D., when the kingdoms of Baekje and Silla struggled for control of the peninsula. </li></ul><ul><li>South Korea's political elite starting from the 70s, including presidents Park Chung Hee, Chun Doo Hwan, and Roh Tae Woo, have come largely from the Gyeongsang region. As a result, Gyeongsang has been a special beneficiary of government development assistance. By contrast, the Jeolla region has remained comparatively rural, undeveloped, and poor, and has often been a hotbed of political unrest. </li></ul>
People <ul><li>Popular Trends </li></ul><ul><li>South Korea experienced rapid growth of urban areas caused by the migration of large numbers of people from the countryside. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Seoul, by far the largest urban settlement, had a population of about 190,000 people. </li></ul><ul><li>The Korean language is spoken by the vast majority of the population. English is widely taught in primary school, middle school and high school, and continues to be taught in higher education. The Japanese language, a legacy of the Japanese colonial rule of Korea and an official language until 1945, is not used but has given some loan-words to the Korean language, especially for the older generation. </li></ul>
People <ul><li>Popular Trends (con’t) </li></ul><ul><li>South Korea is a relatively homogeneous society with absolute majority of the population of Korean ethnicity. However, with its emergence as an economic powerhouse, opportunities for foreign immigrants increased and in 2007 the number of foreign citizens resident in South Korea passed the million mark for the first time in history. </li></ul><ul><li>440,000 of them came from China, with more than half of them being ethnic Koreans of Chinese citizenship. The next largest group was from the United States with 117,000 residents or 12%, excluding the American troops stationed in the country. Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and other countries followed. </li></ul><ul><li>Large-scale emigration from Korea began around 1904 and continued until the end of World War II. During the Korea under Japanese rule period, many Koreans emigrated to Manchuria (present-day China's northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang), other parts of China, the Soviet Union, Hawaii, and the continental United States. </li></ul>
Sources <ul><li>Wikipedia: South Korea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia . org/wiki/South_korea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia:Geography of South Korea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia .org/wiki/Geography_of_South_Korea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia . org/wiki/Jeju-do </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia: History of Korea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia . org/wiki/History_of_Korea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia: Demographics of South Korea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_South_Korea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia: Korea Under Japanese Rule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_under_Japanese_rule </li></ul></ul>
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