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Facts and Figures of Korea

 
· Country Name: Republic of Korea
· Capital City: Seoul (10.1 million)
· National flag: Taegeukgi
· National flower: Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon)
· Currency: won
· Language: Korean (Written form: Hangeul)
 
· Location: Strategically located at the crossroads of Northeast Asia. Korea lies between Japan, the Russian Far East and China.
· Territory: 223,098km2 (South Korea: 99,678km2)
· Highest mountains: Baekdusan 2744m, Hallasan 1950m
· Longest rivers: Amnokgang 790km, Nakdonggang 521.5km, Dumangang 521km, Hangang 481.7km
· Major cities: Seoul (10.1 million), Busan (3.5 million), Incheon (2.6 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Daejeon (1.5 million), Gwangju (1.4 million), Ulsan (1.1 million)
· Climate: Temperate with four distinct seasons
 
· Population: 48.46 million (2007)
※ Foreign residents: 1.1 million
· Median Age: 36.1 years (2007)
· Economically active population
 
: 24.2 million (2007)
· Population increase rate: 0.33% (2007)
· Life Expectancy: Males 75.7 years, females 82.4 years (2006)
· Religion: A 2005 census showed half of the population actively practices religion. Among this group, Buddhism (43.0%), Protestantism (34.5%) and Catholicism (20.6%) comprise the three dominant religions.
 
· Political System: Democracy with president elected to a single 5-year term by direct popular vote. Division of power among the executive, legislature (unicameral National Assembly) and judiciary
· President: Lee Myung-bak since 2008
· Suffrage: Universal at 19 years of age
· Elections
- Presidential: every 5 years
- National Assembly: every 4 years
- Local Councils: every 4 years
· Political parties: Grand National Party, United Democratic Party, Liberal Forward Party, Democratic Labor Party, Pro-Park Geun-hye Alliance, Renewal of Korea Party
· AID: Korea contributed $455 million in Official Developmental Aid (ODA) in 2006.
· Peacekeeping: Korea began participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations with the dispatch of a battalion of military engineers to Somalia in 1993. It has since joined peacekeeping efforts in India, Pakistan, Liberia, Burundi, Sudan, Georgia, East Timor, Lebanon and Afghanistan and sent the Zaytun forces to Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region.
 
· Gross Domestic Product: $969.9 billion (2007)
· Per Capita GNI: $20,045 (2007)
· GDP Growth Rate: 5.0 percent (2007)
· Foreign Exchange Reserves: $262.2 billion (2007)
· Exports: $371.5 billion (2007)
· Imports: $356.8 billion (2007)
· Major Industrial Products: Semiconductors, automobiles, ships, consumer electronics, mobile telecommunication equipment, steel and chemicals
· FTAs: Korea has signed free trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), ASEAN and the U.S. - 16 countries in all. Currently, negotiations with the EU, Canada and India are under way with the aim of concluding these FTAs negotiations by the end of 2008.
 
· World Heritage  
* Haeinsa Temple Janggyeongpanjeon,
  the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana
  Woodblocks (1995)

* Jongmyo Shrine (1995)

* Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (1995)

* Changdeokgung Palace Complex (1997)

* Hwaseong Fortress (1997)

* Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (2000)

* Gyeongju Historic Areas (2000)

* Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (2007)

· Intangible Cultural Heritage  
* The Royal Ancestral Ritual at the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music (2001)

* The Pansori Epic Chant (2003) 

* The Gangneung Danoje Festival (2005)
· Memory of the World Register
* The Hunminjeongeum Manuscript (1997)

* Joseonwangjosillok, the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty (1997)

* Seungjeongwonilgi, the Diaries of the Royal Secretariat (2001)

* Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol (vol. II), the second volume of The Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings (2001)

* Printing woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and miscellaneous Buddhist scriptures (2007)

* Uigwe, The Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty (2007)
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  General Information of Korea  
   Facts and Figures of Korea
· Country Name : Republic of Korea · Capital City : Seoul (10.1 million) · National flag : Taegeukgi · National flower : Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) · Currency : won · Language : Korean (Written form: Hangeul) · Location : Strategically located at the crossroads of …
   Geography
Korea is situated on the Korean Peninsula, which spans 1,100 kilometers north to south. The Korean Peninsula lies on the northeastern section of the Asian continent, where Korean waters are joined by the western-most parts of the Pacific. The peninsula shares its northern border with China and Russia. To the east is the East Sea, beyond which neighboring Japan lies. To the west is the Yellow Sea. In addition to the mainland, Korea includes some 3,200 i…
   Climate
Korea has four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are rather short, summer is hot and humid, and winter is cold and dry with abundant snowfall, especially in the mountainous regions, but not along the southern coast. Temperatures differ widely from region to region within Korea, with the average being between 6°C (43°F) and 16°C (61°F). In early spring, Siberian winds pick up "yellow dust" from thawin…
   Population
As of the end of 2007, South Korea's total population was estimated to be 48,456,369 with a density of 498 people per square kilometer. The population of North Korea was estimated to be 23,200,238. Korea saw its population grow by an annual rate of 3 percent during the 1960s, but growth slowed to 2 percent over the next decade. In 2005, the rate stood at 0.21 percent and is expected to further decline to 0.02 percent by 2020. In the 19…
   Language
All Koreans speak and write the same language, which has been a decisive factor in forging their strong national identity. Korean has several different dialects in addition to the standard variety used in Seoul. Only the dialect of Jeju-do Province, however, is so different that it is difficult for others to understand. Linguistic and ethnological studies have classified the Korean language in the Altaic language family, which includes the T…
   National Symbols
National Flag The Korean flag is called Taegeukgi. Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Asian philosophy. The circle in the center of the flag is divided into two equal parts. The upper red section represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang. Conversely, the lower blue section represents the responsive cosmic forces of the yin. The two forces embody the concepts of continual movement, balance, and harmony that characteriz…
   Constitution

manuscript of the first Constitution of the Republic of Korea On July 17, 1948, the first Constitution of the Republic of Korea was adopted. As the nation underwent political upheavals in pursuit of democratic development, the Korean Constitution has been amended nine times, the last time on October 29, 1987. The current Constitution represents a major advancement in the direction of full democratization. Apart from a legitimate process of revision, a number of substantive changes are notable. They include the curtailment of presidential powers, the strengthening of the power of the legi…

   Executive Branch
The President Cheongwadae (Office of the President) The President of the Republic of Korea, elected by nationwide, equal, direct and secret ballot, stands at the apex of the executive branch. The President serves a single five-year term, with no additional terms being allowed. This single-term provision is a safeguard for preventing any individual from holding the reins of government power for a protracted period of time. In the event of…
   Legislature

The National Assembly Legislative power is vested in the National Assembly, a unicameral legislature. The Assembly is composed of 299 members serving four-year terms. Out of 299 members, 245 are elected by popular vote from local constituencies, while the remaining 54 members obtain their seats through a proportional representation system in which seats are allocated to each political party that has gained 3 percent or more of all valid votes or five or more seats in the local constituency election. The system is aimed at reflecting the voices of people from different walks of life whil…

   Judiciary

The Supreme Court The Judiciary of Korea consists of the Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts, Patent Court, Family Court, Administrative and Local Courts. The courts exercise jurisdiction over civil, criminal, administrative, electoral, and other judicial matters, while also overseeing affairs related to real estate registrations, family registrations, financial holdings, and court officials. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial tribunal. It hears appeals on cases rendered by lower courts. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President with the consent …

   Independent Organizations
The Constitutional Court The Constitutional Court The Constitutional Court was established in September 1988 as a key part of the constitutional system. The Constitution of the Sixth Republic, based on the Korean people's deep enthusiasm for democracy, adopted a new judicial review system ― the Constitutional Court ― to safeguard the Constitution and to protect the people's basic rights by establishing special procedures for …
   Local Government
Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall The Constitution of the Republic of Korea states in Article 117 that "Local governments deal with matters pertaining to the welfare of local residents, manage properties and may, within the limit of laws, enact provisions relating to local autonomy regulations." Local government heads manage and supervise administrative affairs except as otherwise provided by law. The local…
   Organization Chart
Korean Government Organization Chart
   Presidency

The President is the head of state and represents the state in international affairs. The President is also the head of the executive branch, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In case of the President's death or disability, the Prime Minister will temporarily act as the President according to an order of succession provided by law. The President is elected for a single five-year term by popular vote through universal, equal, direct, secret balloting. The power and duties of the President are defined in the following six areas. First, the President, as head of state…

   Presidents of the ROK
Presidents of the ROK 1st, 2nd and 3rd President (1948 - 1960) 4th President (1960 - 1962) 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th President (1963 - 1979) 10th President (1979 - 1980) Chun Doo-hwan 11th, 12th President (1980 - 1988) Roh Tae-woo 13th President (1988 - 1993) Kim Young-sam 14th Pr…
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