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East & Southeast Asia :: Korea, South
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Korea, South
  • Introduction :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. In 1910, Tokyo formally annexed the entire Peninsula. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a democratic-based government (Republic of Korea, ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a communist-style government was installed in the north (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside ROK soldiers to defend South Korea from a DPRK invasion supported by China and the Soviet Union. A 1953 armistice split the Peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. PARK Chung-hee took over leadership of the country in a 1961 coup. During his regime, from 1961 to 1979, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to roughly 17 times the level of North Korea. South Korea held its first free presidential election under a revised democratic constitution in 1987, with former ROK Army general ROH Tae-woo winning a close race. In 1993, KIM Young-sam (1993-98) became the first civilian president of South Korea's new democratic era. President KIM Dae-jung (1998-2003) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his contributions to South Korean democracy and his "Sunshine" policy of engagement with North Korea. President PARK Geun-hye, daughter of former ROK President PARK Chung-hee, took office in February 2013 and is South Korea's first female leader. South Korea held a non-permanent seat (2013-14) on the UN Security Council and will host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Discord with North Korea has permeated inter-Korean relations for much of the past decade, highlighted by the North's attacks on a South Korean ship and island in 2010, multiple nuclear and missile tests, and a five-month closure of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2013.
  • Geography :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
    37 00 N, 127 30 E
    Asia
    total: 99,720 sq km
    land: 96,920 sq km
    water: 2,800 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 109
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; slightly larger than Indiana
    Area comparison map:
    total: 237 km
    border countries (1): North Korea 237 km
    2,413 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: not specified
    temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter; cold winters
    mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
    lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
    highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
    coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
    agricultural land: 18.1%
    arable land 15.3%; permanent crops 2.2%; permanent pasture 0.6%
    forest: 63.9%
    other: 18% (2011 est.)
    8,804 sq km (2003)
    69.7 cu km (2011)
    total: 25.47 cu km/yr (26%/12%/62%)
    per capita: 548.7 cu m/yr (2003)
    occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
    volcanism: Halla (elev. 1,950 m) is considered historically active although it has not erupted in many centuries
    air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location on Korea Strait
  • People and Society :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • noun: Korean(s)
    adjective: Korean
    homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
    Korean, English (widely taught in junior high and high school)
    Christian 31.6% (Protestant 24%, Roman Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%, other or unknown 0.9%, none 43.3% (2010 survey)
    49,039,986 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    0-14 years: 14.1% (male 3,603,943/female 3,328,634)
    15-24 years: 13.5% (male 3,515,271/female 3,113,257)
    25-54 years: 47.3% (male 11,814,872/female 11,360,962)
    55-64 years: 12.4% (male 3,012,051/female 3,081,480)
    65 years and over: 12.7% (male 2,570,433/female 3,639,083) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 37.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 19.9%
    elderly dependency ratio: 17.2%
    potential support ratio: 5.8% (2014 est.)
    total: 40.2 years
    male: 38.7 years
    female: 41.6 years (2014 est.)
    0.16% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    8.26 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    6.63 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    urban population: 82.4% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.66% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    SEOUL (capital) 9.775 million; Busan (Pusan) 3.237 million; Incheon (Inch'on) 2.659 million; Daegu (Taegu) 2.25 million; Daejon (Taejon) 1.55 million; Gwangju (Kwangju) 1.523 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    30.3 (2011 est.)
    27 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    total: 3.93 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.13 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    total population: 79.8 years
    male: 76.67 years
    female: 83.13 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    1.25 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    80%
    note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2009)
    7.2% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    2.14 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    10.3 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    improved:
    urban: 99.7% of population
    rural: 87.9% of population
    total: 97.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.3% of population
    rural: 12.1% of population
    total: 2.2% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved:
    urban:: 0% of population
    rural:: 0% of population
    total:: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    6.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    0.6% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    4.9% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    total: 17 years
    male: 18 years
    female: 16 years (2012)
    total: 9%
    male: 9.7%
    female: 8.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
  • Government :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • conventional long form: Republic of Korea
    conventional short form: South Korea
    local long form: Taehan-min'guk
    local short form: Han'guk
    abbreviation: ROK
    republic
    name: Seoul
    geographic coordinates: 37 33 N, 126 59 E
    time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    9 provinces (do, singular and plural), 6 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural), 1 special city, and 1 special self-governing city
    provinces: Chungbuk (North Chungcheong), Chungnam (South Chungcheong), Gangwon, Gyeonggi, Gyeongbuk (North Gyeongsang), Gyeongnam (South Gyeongsang), Jeju, Jeonbuk (North Jeolla), Jeonnam (South Jeolla)
    metropolitan cities: Busan (Pusan), Daegu (Taegu), Daejeon (Taejon), Gwangju (Kwangju), Incheon (Inch'on), Ulsan
    special city: Seoul
    special self-governing city: Sejong
    15 August 1945 (from Japan)
    Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
    effective 17 July 1948; amended several times, last in 1987 (2013)
    mixed legal system combining European civil law, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    19 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President PARK Geun-hye (since 25 February 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister HWANG Kyo-ahn (since 18 June 2015); Deputy Prime Ministers HWANG Woo-yea (since 7 November 2014) and CHOI Kyung-hwan (since 13 June 2014)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 19 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2017); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly
    election results: PARK Geun-hye elected president; percent of vote - PARK Geun-hye (NFP) 51.6%, MOON Jae-in (DUP) 48%, others 0.4%
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Kuk Koe (300 seats; 246 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 54 directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 11 April 2012 (next to be held in April 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NFP 42.8%, DUP 36.5%, UPP 10.3%, LFP 3.2%, others 7.2%; seats by party - NFP 152, DUP 127, UPP 13, LFP 5, independents 3
    note: seats by negotiation group as of March 2015 - NFP 157, NPAD 130, Justice Party 5, Independents 2; note - 6 seats are vacant
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of South Korea (consists of a chief justice and 13 justices); Constitutional Court (consists of a court head and 8 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; other justices appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the chief justice and consent of the National Assembly; position of the chief justice is a 6-year non-renewable term; other justices serve 6-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court justices appointed - 3 by the president, 3 by the National Assembly, and 3 by the Supreme Court chief justice; court head serves until retirement at age 70, while other justices serve 6-year renewable terms with mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Branch Courts (organized under the District Courts); specialized courts for family and administrative issues
    Justice Party [CHEON Ho-sun]
    Liberty Forward Party or LFP (merged with NFP in October 2012)
    New Frontier Party (NFP) or Saenuri (formerly Grand National Party) [KIM Moo-sung]
    New Politics Alliance for Democracy or NPAD [MOON Jae-in] (merger of the Democratic Party or DP (formerly DUP) [KIM Han-gil] and the New Political Vision Party or NPVP [AHN Cheol-soo] in March 2014)
    Unified Progressive Party or UPP (disbanded in December 2014)
    Catholic Priests' Association for Justice
    Christian Council of Korea
    Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice
    Federation of Korean Industries
    Federation of Korean Trade Unions
    Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
    Korean Veterans' Association
    Lawyers for a Democratic Society
    National Council of Churches in Korea
    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
    ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CICA, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador AHN Ho-young (since 7 June 2013)
    chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
    FAX: [1] (202) 797-0595
    consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Anchorage (AK), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mark William LIPPERT (since 21 November 2014)
    embassy: 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
    mailing address: US Embassy Seoul, Unit
    telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
    FAX: [82] (2) 725-0152
    white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field; the South Korean national flag is called Taegukki; white is a traditional Korean color and represents peace and purity; the blue section represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin, while the red symbolizes the opposite positive forces of the yang; each trigram (kwae) denotes one of the four universal elements, which together express the principle of movement and harmony
    taegeuk (yin yang symbol), Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon); national colors: red, white, blue, black
    name: "Aegukga" (Patriotic Song)
    lyrics/music: YUN Ch'i-Ho or AN Ch'ang-Ho/AHN Eaktay
    note: adopted 1948, well-known by 1910; both North Korea's and South Korea's anthems share the same name and have a vaguely similar melody but have different lyrics
  • Economy :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • South Korea over the past four decades has demonstrated incredible economic growth and global integration to become a high-tech industrialized economy. In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion-dollar club of world economies. A system of close government and business ties, including directed credit and import restrictions, initially made this success possible. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods, and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios and massive short-term foreign borrowing. GDP plunged by 7% in 1998, and then recovered by 9% in 1999-2000. South Korea adopted numerous economic reforms following the crisis, including greater openness to foreign investment and imports. Growth moderated to about 4% annually between 2003 and 2007. South Korea's export focused economy was hit hard by the 2008 global economic downturn, but quickly rebounded in subsequent years, reaching over 6% growth in 2010. The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement was ratified by both governments in 2011 and went into effect in March 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, the economy experienced slow growth due to sluggish domestic consumption and investment. The administration in 2015 is likely to face the challenge of balancing heavy reliance on exports with developing domestic-oriented sectors, such as services. The South Korean economy's long-term challenges include a rapidly aging population, inflexible labor market, dominance of large conglomerates (chaebols), and the heavy reliance on exports, which comprise about half of GDP. In an effort to address the long term challenges and sustain economic growth, the current government has prioritized structural reforms, deregulation, promotion of entrepreneurship and creative industries, and the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.
    $1.781 trillion (2014 est.)
    $1.724 trillion (2013 est.)
    $1.676 trillion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $1.41 trillion (2014 est.)
    3.3% (2014 est.)
    2.9% (2013 est.)
    2.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    $35,400 (2014 est.)
    $34,400 (2013 est.)
    $33,500 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 47
    34.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    34.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    34.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    household consumption: 50.4%
    government consumption: 15.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 29.1%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 50.6%
    imports of goods and services: -45.3%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.3%
    industry: 38.3%
    services: 59.4% (2014 est.)
    rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
    electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
    0% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    26.27 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    agriculture: 5.7%
    industry: 24%
    services: 70.4% (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2014 est.)
    3.1% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    14.6% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 6.8%
    highest 10%: 37.8% (20150622_ECON_EFF_DATES]![EFF_)
    30.2 (2013 est.)
    35.8 (2000)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    revenues: $350.7 billion
    expenditures: $337.9 billion (2014 est.)
    24.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    0.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    34.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    33.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    calendar year
    1.3% (2014 est.)
    1.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    2% (31 December 2014)
    2.5% (31 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    4.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    4.64% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    $556.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $470.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $1.973 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.754 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    $1.187 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.055 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    $1.269 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.193 trillion (31 December 2013)
    $1.121 trillion (28 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $89.22 billion (2014 est.)
    $81.15 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    $572.7 billion (2014 est.)
    $559.6 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers
    China 26.1%, US 11.1%, Japan 6.2%, Hong Kong 5% (2013)
    $525.5 billion (2014 est.)
    $515.6 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    crude oil/petroleum products, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemical, textiles
    China 16.1%, Japan 11.6%, US 8.1%, Saudi Arabia 7.3%, Qatar 5%, Australia 4% (2013)
    $363.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $346.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    $425.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $423.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $152.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $140.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    $278.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $254.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    South Korean won (KRW) per US dollar -
    1,053 (2014 est.)
    1,095 (2013 est.)
    1,126.47 (2012 est.)
    1,108.29 (2011 est.)
    1,156.1 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • 517.1 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    474.8 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    86.97 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    69.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    26.8% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    1.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    1.9% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    2.949 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    0 bbl
    country comparison to the world: 154
    2.745 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    2.261 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    1.182 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    911,700 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    515 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    53.15 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    46.26 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    5.748 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    688.3 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • 30.1 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    53.625 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    general assessment: excellent domestic and international services featuring rapid incorporation of new technologies
    domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services widely available with a combined telephone subscribership of roughly 170 per 100 persons; rapid assimilation of a full range of telecommunications technologies leading to a boom in e-commerce
    international: country code - 82; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 66 (2011)
    multiple national TV networks with 2 of the 3 largest networks publicly operated; the largest privately owned network, Seoul Broadcasting Service (SBS), has ties with other commercial TV networks; cable and satellite TV subscription services available; publicly operated radio broadcast networks and many privately owned radio broadcasting networks, each with multiple affiliates, and independent local stations (2010)
    AM 96, FM 322, shortwave 1 (2008)
    57 (plus 103 cable operators and 119 relay cable operators) (2008)
    .kr
    315,697 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    39.4 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 10
  • Transportation :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • 111 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    total: 71
    over 3,047 m: 4
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 13
    under 914 m: 23 (2013)
    total: 40
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    38 (2013)
    466 (2013)
    gas 2,216 km; oil 16 km; refined products 889 km (2013)
    total: 3,381 km
    standard gauge: 3,381 km 1.435-m gauge (1,843 km electrified) (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    total: 104,983 km
    paved: 83,199 km (includes 3,779 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 21,784 km (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    1,600 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    total: 786
    by type: bulk carrier 191, cargo 235, carrier 8, chemical tanker 130, container 72, liquefied gas 44, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 15, petroleum tanker 55, refrigerated cargo 15, roll on/roll off 10, vehicle carrier 6
    foreign-owned: 31 (China 6, France 2, Japan 14, Taiwan 1, US 8)
    registered in other countries: 457 (Bahamas 1, Cambodia 10, Ghana 1, Honduras 6, Hong Kong 3, Indonesia 2, Kiribati 1, Liberia 2, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 41, North Korea 1, Panama 373, Philippines 1, Russia 1, Singapore 3, Tuvalu 1, unknown 8) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    major seaport(s): Incheon, Pohang, Busan, Ulsan, Yeosu
    container port(s) (TEUs): Busan (16,163,842), Kwangyang (2,061,958), Incheon (1,924,644)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Incheon, Kwangyang, Pyeongtaek, Samcheok, Tongyeong, Yeosu
  • Military :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • Republic of Korea Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force (2011)
    20-30 years of age for compulsory military service, with middle school education required; conscript service obligation - 21 months (Army, Marines), 23 months (Navy), 24 months (Air Force); 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; women, in service since 1950, admitted to 7 service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps; HIV-positive individuals are exempt from military service (2012)
    males age 16-49: 13,185,794
    females age 16-49: 12,423,496 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 10,864,566
    females age 16-49: 10,168,709 (2010 est.)
    male: 365,760
    female: 321,225 (2010 est.)
    2.8% of GDP (2012)
    2.77% of GDP (2011)
    2.8% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 25
  • Transnational Issues :: KOREA, SOUTH

  • Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km-wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic incidents with North Korea in the Yellow Sea over the Northern Limit Line, which South Korea claims as a maritime boundary; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954
    stateless persons: 204 (2014)
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