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About Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea is one of recent times' greatest success stories. Get to know why and much more here.

Naejangsa Temple
Changgyeonggung Palace. Photo by Korea Tourism Organization.
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Geography

Capital: Seoul
Area: 99.678 km2
Population: 51 millioner (2017)
Annual increase in population: 0.39% (2017)
Language: Korean
Time difference: +7/+8 (summertime/wintertime)

Government

Head of State: President H.E. Moon Jae-in
Head of Government: Prime Minister H.E. Lee Nak-yeon
Minister of Foreign Affairs: H.E. Kang Kyung Wha
Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy: H.E. Paek Un-Gyu

Domestic Political Situation

In May 2017, the South Korean people chose its new President. Centre-left candidate Moon Jae took office after former President Park Geun-hye was impeached, ousted and later convicted for abuse of power and bribery following the so-called ‘Candlelight Revolution’. 
 
Domestically, President Moon Jae-in’s political platform is focused on addressing some of the structural challenges in South Korean society, including promoting good governance and a constitutional reform following the Park corruption scandal, addressing rising inequality, youth unemployment, creating more jobs and fostering income-led growth.

In foreign policy, increasing security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and improving the ties to North Korea are highest on President Moon’s political agenda, as set out in the important 2017 Berlin Speech.

To read more about the work of the Moon-administration click
here.

Foreign Policy

The predominant foreign policy priority for South Korea is the relationship to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), maintaining peace on the peninsula and containing the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic programmes.

Economic Situation

Founded on Confucian virtues of education, discipline and hard work, and through close ties between state and industry, South Korea has managed to maintain consistently high economic growth rates. In only a few decades South Korea has undergone a transformation from being one of the poorest countries in the world to being the fourth largest economy in Asia and the 12th largest in the world according to the International Monetary Fund (2018).

The rapid development has mainly been based on the Korean family owned business conglomerates – so called “chaebols” – which to this day still make up the core of South Korea’s export economy in their respective sectors (Hyundai, Samsung, LG, Kia, Daewoo etc.). For more information about the economy and economic development of South Korea, please visit the IMF, OECD or World Bank by following the links below:

Korea in Figures

The figures on these pages are imported from the World Bank Open Data site. By clicking “Link to source” you will see figures covering previous years.

  Value  Unit  Source 
Surface area   100,280   sq. kim  Link to source
Population total  51,466,201  Link to source 
Population growth 0.429 annual %  Link to source 
Life expectancy at birth 82  years  Link to source 
GDP growth  3.0623  annual %  Link to source 
Mortality rate, under 5 3.4  per 1000 live births  Link to source 
School enrollment, primary  98  % gross  Link to source 

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