Korea Country Information

Korea Country Information

Korea is a country in East Asia divided into two distinct states: North Korea and South Korea. The region is located on the Korean Peninsula bordered by Russia to the northeast, China to the northwest, and Japan to the east. Korea’s terrain is covered with low mountains. The peninsula does not have any active volcanoes but Hallasan and Baekdu Mountain have crater lakes.

Quick Korea Facts

  • Total Area: South Korea: 38,691.29 square miles; North Korea: 46,539.98 square miles
  • Capital City: South Korea: Seoul; North Korea: Pyongyang
  • Largest Cities by Population: South Korea: Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Icheon, and Daegu; North Korea: South Hamyong, Pyongyang, North Hamyong, South Hwanghae Province, and North Hwanghae Province
  • Government: South Korea: Democratic Republic; North Korea: Absolute Monarchy or Hereditary Dictatorship
  • Language: Korean
  • Currency: Korean Won
  • Main Religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Shamanism
  • Weather and Climate: Korea has four seasons, with colder weather often experienced in December until January. The months of June and July are warmer. Northern cities like Incheon and Seoul are colder than southern cities like Daegu and Busan. Jeju Island located at the southern side of the Korean peninsula has its own climate, which is about five to 10 degrees warmer compared with mainland Korea.
  • National Anthem: Aegukga

Society, Language, and Culture

Korea has one of the oldest cultures in the world that has been passed down to in many different ways. Prior to the Joseon Dynasty, Korean shamanism was heavily practiced in the country. However, the division of Korea into two states resulted in a number of cultural differences.

Korean dance has two categories: folk dance and court dance. Court dances like jeongjaemu are performed in formal banquets while the ilmu is commonly performed during Korean Confucian rituals. Koreans are also of performing mask dances and mask dramas where they wear genja, a traditional Korean clothing coloured pink and has varying symbols on the collar. Central to the Korean dance is the Taekkyeon, a traditional martial art made up of an integrated movement.

Hanbok is a traditional dress made up of a jeogori (shirt) and chima (skirt). In olden times, Koreans dress according to their social status. Costumes are typically worn by the royal family and ruling class. Commoners can be seen wearing undyed and plain clothes. There are different classifications of a hanbok depending on their purpose. Today, Koreans still wear hanbok during formal celebrations.

Mass Transportation

South Korea has an effective public transportation system. It is home to 14 airports, eight of which are international airports. It also boasts of the popular KTX high-speed train system and port stations. Traveling is easy in Korea since it has a nice collection of country-to-country transport system. All of the cities in the country have extensive bus routes and there are six major cities that manage subway systems.

Economy and Industry

In the early years after the division of the two states, South Korea was a largely underdeveloped country. After the Korean War, the country underwent rapid growth and development that brought modern education. The country’s major cities attracted commercial and industrial businesses, which in turn, caused people from the rural areas to move in urban areas.

The region’s biggest industries include automobiles, electronics, ship building, telecommunications, steel, and chemicals. The country is also one of the leading manufacturers of semiconductors, with well-known brands such as Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics.

Tourism and Recreation

Korea’s tourism is booming in the past years. Thanks to the growing popularity of Korean pop culture among the millennials. Jeju Island is a popular travel destination for its captivating charm and cool weather.

One great thing about visiting Korea is the abundance of nature. Almost all of the tourist spots in the country are all about experiencing and appreciating nature and its wonders.

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