환영하다 / Welcome To 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. Its western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. South Korea claims to be the sole legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. It has a population of 51.75 million, of which roughly half live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth largest metropolis in the world. Other major cities include Incheon, Busan, and Daegu.

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 (1897–1910) was annexed in 1910 into the Empire of Japan. Japanese rule ended following the former's surrender in World War II, after which 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 the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea the following month.

In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War, which saw extensive American-led United Nations intervention in support of the South, while China intervened to support the North, with Soviet assistance. After the war's end in 1953, the country entered into a military alliance with the U.S., and its devastated economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. Despite lacking natural resources, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers based on international trade and economic globalization, integrating itself within the world economy with export-oriented industrialization; currently being one of the largest exporting nations in the world, along with having one of the largest foreign-exchange reserves in the world. The June Democratic 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 on the continent. (Full article...)

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The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), established in 1989, is the aeronautics and space agency of South Korea. Its main laboratories are located in Daejeon, in the Daedeok Science Town. KARI's vision is to continue building upon indigenous launch capabilities, strengthen national safety and public service, industrialize satellite information and applications technology, explore the moon, and develop environmentally-friendly and highly-efficient cutting-edge aircraft and core aerospace technology. Current projects include the KSLV-2 launcher. Past projects include the 1999 Arirang-1 satellite. The agency was founded in 1989. Prior to South Korea's entry into the Institute for Advanced Engineering (IAE) in 1992, it focused primarily on aerospace technology. (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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In the news

6 September 2022 – 2022 Pacific typhoon season
Ten people are killed in South Korea by Typhoon Hinnamnor. Seven of the victims died in a flooded underground car park. In addition, 2,900 people are evacuated and 66,000 homes are damaged. (BBC News)
23 August 2022 –
South Korea registers a population decrease for the second consecutive year, due to having the world's lowest birth rate. (Xinhua)
12 August 2022 –
South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol pardons former Samsung executive Lee Jae-yeong, who was on parole for bribery. (Reuters)
9 August 2022 – 2022 South Korean floods
Nine people are killed by flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall in Seoul, South Korea. (AP)
5 August 2022 –
Five people are killed and 44 others injured in a fire at a hospital in Icheon, South Korea. (Korea Times)
2 August 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea

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The Third Battle of Seoul, also known as the Chinese New Year's Offensive, the January–Fourth Retreat (Korean: 1•4 후퇴) or the Third Phase Campaign Western Sector (Chinese: 第三次战役西线; pinyin: Dì Sān Cì Zhàn Yì Xī Xiàn), was a battle of the Korean War, which took place from December 31, 1950, to January 7, 1951, around the South Korean capital of Seoul. In the aftermath of the major Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) victory at the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, the United Nations Command (UN) started to contemplate the possibility of evacuation from the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong ordered the Chinese People's Volunteer Army to cross the 38th Parallel in an effort to pressure the UN forces to withdraw from South Korea.

On December 31, 1950, the Chinese 13th Army attacked the Republic of Korea Army (ROK)'s 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Infantry Divisions along the 38th Parallel, breaching UN defenses at the Imjin River, Hantan River, Gapyeong and Chuncheon in the process. To prevent the PVA forces from overwhelming the defenders, the US Eighth Army now under the command of Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway evacuated Seoul on January 3, 1951.

Although PVA forces captured Seoul by the end of the battle, the Chinese invasion of South Korea galvanized the UN support for South Korea, while the idea of evacuation was soon abandoned by the UN Command. At the same time, the PVA were exhausted after months of nonstop fighting since the start of the Chinese intervention, thereby allowing the UN forces to regain the initiative in Korea. (Full article...)

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