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♥ land area
♥ early history
South Korea is Seoul, the
second largest metropolitan
city in the world and a major
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 km of border running along the DMZ. South
Korea is mostly surrounded by water and has 2,413 km 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 Ulleung-do, and Lian court Rocks
(Dokdo in Korean) in the Sea of Japan (also called East Sea).
Geographically, South Korea's land mass is approximately 100,032
square kilometers 290 square kilometers of South Korea are occupied
by water. The approximate coordinates are 37° North, 127° 30 East.
Korean ( 한국어 / 조선말 , see below) is the official language of North Korea
and South Korea. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian
Chosunjok Autonomous Prefecture in China. There are about 78 million Korean
speakers.It was formerly written using Hanja, borrowed Chinese characters
pronounced in the Korean way. In the 15th century a national writing system
was developed by Sejong the Great, nowadays called Hangul.
The genealogical classification of the Korean language is
debated. Some linguists place it in the Altaic language
family, while others consider it to be a language isolate.
It is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.
The South Korea population is around 49 million. This makes the population density 480
per square kilometer. Seoul, the national capital, is one of the most populated cities in
the world with a population of well over 10 million. From1970 to the 1990s the country
went through economic expansion and during this time rapid migrationtook place in urban
areas. The other populated cities in South Korea are Busan,Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon,
Gwangju, and Ulsan. The majority of the South Korean population is concentrated to the
northwest of the country.
The population of South Korea has seen an increase in the
number of the non-Koreans in the country. According to
statistics, there were 378,000 non-Koreans in April 2005. But
more than half of this population had an unauthorized entry
to the country. They are mostly from South and Southeast Asian
countries, Nigeria, and former Soviet Union countries. The birth
rate in South Korea is around 10 births per 1000 population
while the death rate is approximately 5.85 deaths per 1000
A mixture of high quality materials such as clay and kaolin is heated at 800 degrees
Celsius before applying a glaze. It is fired again at 1300 degrees Celsius until fine,
needlelike crystals are formed from clay in a series of chemical reactions. Finally,
recoated with pearl titanium, it takes on the shape of a water droplet.
Pursues the Korean beauty of refined space, which meets the international
Zen trend by applying simple and elegant design.
Made out of nickel or gold plated metal. Its minimum
order is 500EA.
Korea is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, first inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic.
South Korea was established in 1948 and has since become one of the two full democracies in Asia.
Following the Korean War, the South Korean economy grew significantly, transforming the country into a
major global economy. South Korea's economic growth is known as the Miracle on the Han River, and
South Korea today is considered one of the Four Asian Tigers. South Korea has an international outlook
with memberships in the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. It is also a founding
member of APEC and the East Asia Summit, being a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
South Korea is a developed country. It has the fourth-largest economy in Asia and
a High-income OECD member, classified as an Advanced economy by the CIA and
IMF. Today, it is among the world's fastest growing advanced economies and is
leading the Next Eleven nations; its economic success serves as a role model for
many developing countries. South Korea has a high-tech and futuristic infrastructure,
and is a world leader in technologically advanced goods such as electronics,
automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics, headed by Samsung,
LG, and Hyundai-Kia. It is a global leader in the fields of education, having the world's
highest scientific literacy and second highest mathematical literacy. Since the 21 st
century, South Korea's modern culture has become popular in Asia and beyond in a
phenomenon known as the Korean wave.
THE THREE KiNGDOMS
Goguryeo, eventually the largest of the three kingdoms, had several capitals in alternation:
two capitals in the upper Yalu area, and later Nangrang ( 樂浪 : Lelang in Chinese) which is
now part of Pyongyang. At the beginning, the state was located on the border with China;
it gradually expanded into Manchuria and destroyed the Chinese Lelang commandery in
313. The cultural influence of the Chinese continued as Buddhism was adopted as the
official religion in 372.
Baekje absorbed or conquered other Mahan chiefdoms and, at its peak in the 4th
century, controlled most of the western Korean peninsula. Under attack from
Goguryeo, the capital moved south to Ungjin (present-day Gongju) and later further
south to Sabi (present-day Buyeo).Baekje exerted its political influence on Tamna,
a kingdom of Jeju Island. Baekje maintained a close relationship with and extracted
tribute from Tamna. Baekje's religious and artistic culture influenced Goguryeo and Silla.
According to Korean records, in 57 BCE, Seorabeol (or Saro, later Silla) in the southeast
of the peninsula unified and expanded the confederation of city-states known as Jinhan.
Although Samguk Sagi records that Silla was the earliest-founded of the three kingdoms,
other written and archaeological records indicate that Silla was likely the last of the three
to establish a centralized government.Renamed from Saro to Silla in 503, the kingdom
annexed the Gaya confederacy (which in turn had absorbed Byeonhan earlier) in the first
half of the 6th Century. Goguryeo and Baekje responded by forming an alliance
In 1392, the general Yi Seong-gye established the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) with a largely bloodless coup.
The Joseon Dynasty is believed to have been the longest-lived actively ruling dynasty in East Asia. He named
it the Joseon Dynasty in honor of the previous Joseon before (Gojoseon is the first Joseon. "Go", meaning
"old", was added to distinguish between the two).
King Taejo moved the capital to Hanseong (formerly Hanyang; modern-day Seoul) and built the Gyeongbokgung
palace. In 1394 he adopted Confucianism as the country's official religion, resulting in much loss of power and
wealth by the Buddhists. The prevailing philosophy was Neo-Confucianism, which was developed by Zhu Xi.
Joseon experienced advances in science and culture. King Sejong the Great (1418-1450)
promulgated hangul, the Korean alphabet. The period saw various other cultural and
technological advances as well as the dominance of neo-Confucianism over the entire
Peninsula.Between 1592 and 1598, Japan invaded Korea. Toyotomi Hideyoshi led the forces and
tried to invade the Asian continent through Korea, but was eventually repelled before even
getting through Korea. This war also saw the rise of the career of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and his
"turtle ship" or gobukseon. In the 1620s and 1630s Joseon suffered invasions by the Manchu
who eventually also conquered the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
After invasions from Manchuria, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace.
Especially, King Yeongjo and King Jeongjo led a new renaissance of the Joseon dynasty.
However, During the last years of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned
it the name the "Hermit Kingdom", primarily for protection against Western imperialism
before it was forced to open trade beginning an era leading into Japanese colonial rule.
The modern Korean school system consists of 6 years in elementary school, 3 years in middle school,
and 3 years in high school. Students are supposed to go to elementary and middle school, and do not
have to pay for the education, except for a small fee called "School Operation Support Fee" that
differs from school to school.(The teachers are paid from taxes) Most private and public schools have
students wear uniforms, and are not supposed to grow their hair more than a particular length. The
Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks South
Korea's science education as the 3rd best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average.
Korea also ranks 2nd on Maths and literature and 1st in problem solving. Although South Korean students
often rank high on international comparative tests, the education system is sometimes criticized for
its emphasis on passive learning and memorization. The Korean education system is much more strict
and structured than most western societies and Korean students rarely have free time to spend enjoying
themselves as they are under a lot of pressure to perform and gain entrance to a university.
SCiENCE & TECHNOLOGY
One of the best known artifacts of Korea's history of science and technology is Cheomseongdae ( 첨성대 , 瞻星臺 ),
a 9.4-meter high observatory built in 634. It is considered to be one of the world's oldest surviving astronomical
observatories.The world's first metal mechanical movable type printing was developed in Korea in 1234 by
Choe Yun-ui during the Goryeo Dynasty, modeled after widespread Chinese clay (Bi Sheng in 1041), several
hundred years before Johann Gutenberg developed his metal letterset type (Cumings 1997: 65). Though the
block printing was used much earlier, metal movable type printing press marked a significant development in
printing allowing the same tools to be used for more diverse printings. The Jikji is the world's earliest
remaining movable metal printed book, printed in Korea in 1377.The world's earliest known surviving example
of woodblock printing is the Mugujeonggwang Great Dharani Sutra. It is believed to have been printed in
Korea in 750-751 CE which, if correct, would make it older than the Diamond Sutra. Goryeo silk was highly
regarded by China, and Korean pottery made with blue-green celadon was of the highest quality and sought
after by even Arabian merchants. Goryeo had a bustling economy with a capital that was frequented by
merchants from all over the known world.During the Joseon period the Geobukseon (Turtle Ship) were invented,
which were covered by a wooden deck and iron with thorns, as well as other weapons such as the
Bigyeokjincheolloe ( 비격진천뢰 , 飛擊 震天雷 ) and the hwacha. It is also considered to be the world first ship that
is partly made of iron.The Korean alphabet hangul was also invented during this time by Sejong the Great.