South Korea – Южная Корея

South Korea is located in East Asia. South Korea is East of China and West of Japan. South Korea is roughly the size of Indiana, United States of America.

From the 7th century to the 20th century Korea acted as a single independent single country. In 1905 after the Russo-Japanese War Korea became a protectorate of Japan. In 1945 Japan surrendered Korea to the United States in WWII. After gaining control of their country Korea split into two countries. The Republic of Korea was set up in the lower half of the Korean Peninsula and a Communist-style government was set up in the northern half. A war broke out between the two neighboring countries. The attacks stopped in 1953 when an armistice was signed. This split the two Koreas into North Korea and South Korea. The split runs along a demilitarized zone along the 38th parallel.

As South Korea flourished in all aspects such as economy and socialization North Korea struggled.

The population of South Korea as of July 2007 is 49, 44,790. The median age is approximately 35 years old, making this country a fairly young country. Religion is divided among two major religions, Christianity and Buddhist.

Christianity edges Buddhist but a large portion of the population, almost 50%, have no religion. English is an important part of Korean education. Especially now with the appointment of the new leader, President Lee Myung-bak, learning English has become a priority.

South Korea is also known as the Republic of Korea (ROK) thus identifying itself as a republic government. The current president is Lee Myung-bak. The president is elected from a popular vote and is president for 5 years. The government is very similar to the European Government system. They have a president, prime minister, the legislative branch and judicial branch.

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Since the separation of North and South Korea, South Korea has grown economically at an astronomical rate. The GDP per capita when they split was comparable to poor countries but now their GDP per capita is comparable to Greece and Spain. South Korea is constantly growing and is way ahead of the curve in terms of technology. Their unemployment rate is at an acceptable rate of 3.2%. They have recently moved from a manufacturing to a service economy.

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