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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.


Capital: Seoul

Area: 99.678 km2

Population: 51.7 million (2019)

Annual increase in population: 0.2% (2019)

Language: Korean

Time difference: +7/+8 (summertime/wintertime)


Head of State: President H.E. Moon Jae-in

Head of Government: Prime Minister H.E. Kim Boo-kyum

Minister of Foreign Affairs: H.E. Chung Eui-yong

Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy: H.E. Sung Yun-mo


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





Surface area


sq. kim

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Population total


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Population growth


annual %

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Life expectancy at birth



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GDP growth


annual %

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Mortality rate, under 5


per 1000 live births

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School enrolment, primary


% gross

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