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by The Korean Kingdom of Kamchakta. . 58 reads.

Encyclopedia 백과 사전

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한국의 왕국
The Kingdom of Korea
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K O R E A
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The Kingdom of Korea
Korean: 한국
Hanja: 韓國

The National Flag

National Emblem


Motto:
홍익인간


National Anthem:
"애국가"("愛國歌")
"Aegukga"
"Patriotic Song"



The Kingdom of Korea


Population (2020 Census): 134,302,734
Size : 2.154 million km
Density: 62.5 /km


Capital:
✭ Seoul 서울시
37.5665 N, 126.9780 E


Official Language: Korean


Government:
- Taewang 태왕: 이태현 Yi Tae-Hyun
- Prime Minister: 문재인 Moon Jae-In
- Speaker of the Assembly: 차종열 Chup Jong-Yul


System: Constituitional Monarchy
Category: Unitary State


Legislature:
- National Assembly 대한민국국회 : 552 Members


Establishment: 15 August 1945


Elevation
Highest Elevation: 2,744m
Highest Point: 백두산 Paektu Mountain
4200′20″N 12803′19″


GDP (nominal): US$ 7.51 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: US$55,919


GINI: 35.2 medium


HDI: 0.912 very high


Currency: Korean Won (₩) (KW)


Time Zone: UTC + 9


Drives on the: Left


Calling code: + 82


Internet TLD: .kr

Kingdom of Korea


The Kingdom of Korea is an independent constitutional monarchy located in the Far East of the Asian continent and extends southwards from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the East Sea and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water. The nation has a population of 134.3 million and is an industrial powerhouse. Korea is largely homogenous. 95.3% are ethnically Korean and 86.3% staying in urban environments with the remaining residing in the rural countryside. 19.3 million citizens stay in the capital city Seoul and Greater Seoul Area is home to 35.1 million people. The King's title is Taewang.

Etymology



The name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name. The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo and thus inherited its name, which was pronounced by the visiting Persian merchants as "Korea".

History


Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Imperial
The unification of the Three Kingdoms by Silla in 676 led to the North-South States Period, in which much of the Korean Peninsula was controlled by Later Silla. Yi Seong-gye declared the new name of Korea as "Joseon" in reference to Gojoseon, and moved the capital to Hanseong (one of the old names of Seoul). The first 200 years of the Joseon dynasty were marked by peace and saw great advancements in science and education as well as the creation of Hangul by Sejong the Great 세종대왕 to promote literacy. Taewang Yeongjo 영조 and Jeongjo 정조 particularly led a new renaissance of the Joseon dynasty during the 18th century. In 1897, King Gojong started the Korean Empire which fell to Japan in 1910.

Modern

The initial Korean economy picked up with the North in the 1970s with manufacturing and mining respectively which supplied the factories in the manpower rich South. Korea's economy grew while maintaining high alert to the border with Communist China in the North amid Cold War tensions. In 1992, officially normalised relations with China were established, further unlocking the potential for growth and trade and creating an economic boom. The Korean grew rapidly as the tech-sector in Korea started to boom. Taewang Yi Kang passed away in 1955 and his son Crown Prince Yi Seok 이석 ascended the throne in 1956. Taewang Yi Seok abdicated in 2008 and his son, 이태현 Yi Tae-Hyun was enthroned in 2009.

Geography


Topography of Korea

The highest mountain in Korea is Mount Paektu or Paektusan 백두산 (2,744 m or 9,003 ft) which The is an extension of a highland called the Kaema Heights 개마고원. Significant mountains include Mount Jiri (1,915 m) in the northwest. Because the mountainous region is mostly on the eastern part of the peninsula, the main rivers tend to flow westwards. The southern and southwestern coastlines of the peninsula form a well-developed ria coastline, known as Dadohae-jin in Korean. Its convoluted coastline provides mild seas, and the resulting calm environment allows for safe navigation, fishing, and seaweed farming. Vast tidal flats have been developing on the south and west coastlines.

About three thousand islands, mostly small and uninhabited, lie off the western and southern coasts of Southern Korea. Jeju-do 제주도 is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) off the southern coast of Korea. It is the country's largest island, with an area of 1,845 square kilometres (712 square miles). Jeju is also the site of Korea's highest point: Hallasan 한라산, an extinct volcano, reaches 1,950 meters (6,400 feet) above sea level. The easternmost islands of Korea include Ulleungdo 울릉도 and Dokdo 동도, while Marado and Socotra Rock are the southernmost islands of Korea. Korea has 42 national parks and popular nature places like the Boseong Tea Fields, Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, and the first national park of Jirisan.

Climate

The Korean Peninsula has a temperate climate with comparatively fewer typhoons than other countries in East Asia. Due to the peninsula's position, it has a unique climate influenced from Siberia in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and the rest of Eurasia in the west. The peninsula has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. As influence from Siberia weakens, temperatures begin to increase while the high pressure begins to move away. If the weather is abnormally dry, Siberia will have more influence on the peninsula leading to wintry weather such as snow.

During June at the start of the summer, there tends to be a lot of rain due to the cold and wet air from the Sea of Okhotsk and the hot and humid air from the Pacific Ocean combining. When these fronts combine, it leads to a so-called rainy season with often cloudy days with rain, which is sometimes very heavy. There is less rain and this is known as midsummer later; temperatures can exceed 30 C (86 F) daily at this time of year. Usually, in autumn, high pressure is heavily dominant during autumn leading to clear conditions. Furthermore, temperatures remain high but the humidity becomes relatively low. The weather becomes increasingly dominated by Siberia during winter causing a drop in temperature. This season is relatively dry with some snow falling at times.

Politics


Government

The Korean government's structure is determined by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Korea. Like many democratic states, The Kingdom of Korea has a government divided into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The executive and legislative branches operate primarily at the national level, although various ministries in the executive branch also carry out local functions. Local governments are semi-autonomous and contain executive and legislative bodies of their own. The judicial branch operates at both the national and local levels. Korea is a constitutional monarchy. Statutory law originates in Korea's legislature. Her court system is independent and the highest authority is the Supreme Court.


Korea Proper Provinces

The Korean Hinterland

Administrative Divisions

Korea is divided into 22 provinces (도 Do) and 13 metropolitan cities (광역시 Gwangyeoksi). Provinces (도) are the highest-ranked administrative division in Korea along with the Metropolitan cities. Governors and mayors to the respective first-level administrative divisions are elected every 4 years. The most populated province is that of Gyeonggi and the least is Yanggang. Meanwhile, the most populated city is Seoul in central Korea and the least with the status of being a metropolitan city is Ulsan in Southern Korea. 17 provinces are part of Korea proper while the remaining are known collectively as the Korean Hinterland. They are the provinces of Heilungjang, Gilim, Songjang, Dongjin, and Yeonlag. While considered 'hinterlands', they actually have large sizeable Korean populations.

Foreign Relations
Korea has diplomatic relations with all independent nations of the region 21st Century Rome and has been an active member of the World Assembly since March 1 1945. It has friendly relations with nation-states in regions with embassies with the region and on April 19, 2019, became the World Assembly delegate for the region. Korea now has close ties with MineLegotia and Equestria and her Commonwealth. Despite having fought 3 devastating wars that soured relations for many years, much of the conflict has past and over the years trade has increased between the two nations despite MineLegotia and Equestria practising a policy of Autarky. Both nations have been striving to have closer ties to one another. Nations like Japhetia, Kyrata, Salcanceacy and Calant all have close ties with the nation. These 4 countries along with MineLegotia and Equestria are highly popular tourist destinations among their citizens and Korean tourist alike. Sharing common belief systems and similar ideologies has made these nations stand out as close allies of Korea despite several of them leaving to different regions.

Demographics


Population

Seoul 서울시 Montage of Photos

In April 2016, Korea's population was estimated to be around 134.3 million by the National Statistical Office, with a continuing decline of the working-age population and total fertility rate. In practice, the population density in much of Korea is higher than the national one, as most of the country's land is uninhabitable due to being used for other purposes such as farming. Most Koreans live in urban areas. The urbanization rate is 86.3%. The capital city of Seoul is also the country's largest city and chief industrial center. According to a recent census, Seoul had a population of 19.3 million inhabitants. The Seoul National Capital Area has 29.1 million inhabitants. Korea is ethnically homogeneous at 95.6% of the total population being Korean. The percentage of foreign nationals has been growing.

Language
Korean is the official language of Korea. Korean is not related to any Chinese language, although it incorporates a number of words that are Chinese in origin. Korean uses a significant number of loan words from English and other European languages. Korean uses an indigenous writing system called Hangul, created in 1446 by King Sejong to provide a convenient alternative to the Classical Chinese Hanja characters that were difficult to learn and did not fit the Korean language well. The Korean language in Korea has a standard dialect known as Seoul, with an additional 7 Korean language dialect groups in use around the country. Most are bilingual in English, Chinese or Japanese.

Education
A centralized administration in Korea oversees the process for the education of children from kindergarten to the third and final year of high school. The school year is divided into two semesters, the first of which begins at the beginning of March and ends in mid-July, the second of which begins in late August and ends in mid-February. The schedules are not uniformly standardized and vary from school to school. Most Korean middle schools and high schools have school uniforms, modeled on western-style uniforms. Boys' uniforms usually consist of trousers and white shirts, and girls wear skirts and white shirts (this only applies in middle schools and high schools).

The Kingdom of Korea is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, mathematics, and sciences with the average student scoring 519, compared with the OECD average of 492, placing it ninth in the world and has one of the world's most highly educated labor forces among OECD countries. The country has one of the world's highest-educated labor forces among OECD countries and is well known for its highly feverish outlook on education, where its national obsession with education has been called "education fever". This obsession with education has catapulted the nation consistently atop the global education rankings. The government has been investing into more vocational work as the number of unemployed university graduates increases.


Largest Cities in Korea

Rank

City

Province

Pop.

1

서울 Seoul

Seoul Gwangyeoksi 서울광역시

19,311,754

2

평양 Pyeongyang

Pyeongyang Gwangyeoksi 평양광역시

9,012,992

3

인천 Incheon

Incheon Gwangyeoksi 인천광역시

5,771,052

4

대련 Daelyeon

Daelyeon Gwangyeoksi 대련광역시

5,651,524

5

부산 Busan

Busan Gwangyeoksi 부산광역시

3,301,826

6

개성 Gaeseong

Gaeseong Gwangyeoksi 개성광역시

2,901,044

7

대구 Daegu

Daegu Gwangyeoksi 대구광역시

2,665,009

8

광주 Gwangju

Gwangju Gwangyeoksi 광주광역시

1,542,271

9

남포 Nampo

Nampo Gwangyeoksi 남포광역시

1,477,575

10

대전 Daejeon

Daejeon Gwangyeoksi 대전광역시

1,415,196

11

수원 Suwon

Gyeonggi Province 경기도

1,333,009

12

원산 Wonsan

Wonsan Gwangyeoksi 원산광역시

1,204,411

13

나선 Naseon

Naseon Gwangyeoksi 나선광역시

1,134,551

14

울산 Ulsan

Ulsan Gwangyeoksi 울산광역시

1,109,336

15

창원 Changwon

South Gyeongsang Province 경상남도

1,015,107

16

고양 Goyang

Gyeonggi Province 경기도

993,505

17

용인 Yongin

Gyeonggi Province 경기도

987,229

18

해주 Haeju

South Hwanghae Province 황해남도

973,054

19

성남 Seongnam

Gyeonggi Province 경기도

970,301

20

사리원 Sariwon

North Hwanghae Province 황해북도

957,086

Security


Military

KAAFs Multirole F-15K in formation

The Kingdom of Korea military consists of the Army (ROKA), the Navy (ROKN), the Air Force (ROKAF), and the Marine Corps (ROKMC), and reserve forces. The defence of Korea is trusted in these Armed Forces. Korea's technological prowess also has allowed it to have the most advanced military in the region. With excellent radar jamming and electronic warfare capabilities. Some domestic equipment designs include the K-2 Black Panther and KF-35, an adaptation of the F-35 stealth multirole. The Korean Navy has made its first major transformation into a blue-water navy through the formation of the Strategic Mobile Fleet in 1982 which include Dokdo class amphibious assault ships, AIP-driven Type 214 submarines, and King Sejong the Great class destroyers. Furthermore, the country is known to have a conscription law. Every Male aged 18 to 35 is required to serve in the Military for a minimum of 20 months or the usual 2 years.

Domestic Law Enforcement

Domestic security in Korea is provided mainly by the Provincial Police Departments, under the oversight of the National Policing Agency and supervised by the Criminal Affairs Bureau of the aforementioned department. As the central coordinating body for the Provincial Police Departments, the National Policing Agency is itself administered by the National Public Safety Commission which is under government jurisdiction to enforce laws by the independent courts. Furthermore, The Special Assault Team comprises national-level counter-terrorism tactical units that cooperate with provincial-level local Special Tactical Teams. They specialise in hostage situations and other forms of terrorism, including NBC related activities. Additionally, there is the Korean Coast Guard which guards territorial waters of the Yellow and East Sea. It employs the usage of surveillance and control countermeasures against smuggling, marine environmental crime, poaching, piracy, spy ships, unauthorized foreign fishing vessels and illegal immigration.

Economy


Economic Indicators

Currency: Korean Won (₩) (KRW)
Fiscal Year: 1 January - 31st December March


GDP (nominal): US$7.51 triilion
GDP (nominal) per capita: US$55,919 / ₩66,789,094
Workforce Participation (%): 61.46
Labor Force: 82.54 million
Unemployment: 2.62%
Trade Surplus: US$89.4 billion

Samsung Headquarters in Seochu-gu, Seoul

Korea's mixed economy is the 2nd largest in 21st Century Rome in terms of its economic output and purchasing power parity. The debt to GDP ratio of the nation remains at a healthy 39.2% and has a credit rating of AA by most reputable credit rating agencies. The country's national economy benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Korea's economy was one of the world's fastest-growing from the early 1960s to the late 1990s and was still one of the fastest-growing developed countries in the 2000s. Koreans refer to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River. The Korean economy is heavily dependent on international trade.

Agriculture and Aquaculture

Two-thirds of the country consists of mountains and hills. Arable land only accounts for 22% of the country's land. The most important crop in Korea is rice, accounting for about 90% of the country's total grain production and over 40% of farm income. Endowed with an abundance of fisheries resources, Koreans have developed a distinct seafood culture (especially South Jeolla) with annual per capita seafood consumption of 48.1 kg in 2005. Total annual aquaculture production was less than 100,000 tonnes in this period. Aquaculture production increased from 147,000 tonnes in 1971, reaching over 1.2 million tonnes by 2006. She continues to maintain one of the largest fishing merchant marines in the region. Fish-farms now account for 23.2% of all fish consumed in Korea and is steadily rising with government initiatives.

Shipbuilding is a major industry

Samsung store in the Philippines

Manufacturing

The sector accounts for close to 30.2% of Korea's GDP. Frontrunners include large Information Technology (IT) companies such as Samsung and Hyundai. Korea is a leading producer of ships, including oil supertankers, and oil-drilling platforms. The country's major shipbuilder was Hyundai along with Daewoo with facilities at Okpo and Ulsan. Electronics is one of Korea's main industries. During the 1980s through the 2000s, Korean companies such as Samsung (Korean: 삼성), LG Electronics Inc. (Korean: LG 전자) and SK Group (Korean: SK그룹, 에스케이그룹) have led Korea's growth in Electronics. In 2017, 17.1% of Korea's exports were semiconductors produced by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Samsung and LG are also major producers in electronic devices such as Televisions, Smartphones, Display, and computers.

It is one of the region's number one producer of nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur and salt. The National Mining Association of Korea provides data pertaining to coal and minerals that include beryllium, copper, lead, magnesium, zinc, titanium and others. There is an abundance of natural resources and rare elements in Korea and the refining of such elements is a key factor in manufacturing.

Korea also began to manufacture many of its own weapons. Since the 1980s, Korea, now in possession of more modern military technology than in previous generations, has actively begun shifting its defense industry's areas of interest more from its previously homeland defense-oriented militarization efforts, to the promotion of military equipment and technology as mainstream products of exportation to boost its international trade. The hardware includes modern aircraft such as F-15K fighters and AH-64 attack helicopters used by nations around the world. They do this through corporations like STX Corporation (Hangul: 에스티엑스) and Samsung.

Services

Services account for close to three-quarters of the Korean economic output. Financial services, retailing, transportation and telecommunications are the four largest contributors to the sector. In 2018, Korea attracted 18.85 million tourists. Private companies own and have developed an extensive network of High-Speed Rail, intercity bus networks and monorails. Retail and food and beverage outlets also consist of a large proportion of the service sector's revenue. Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors. The Korean Wave (Hallyu 한류) has a direct impact in encouraging direct foreign investment back into the country through demand for products.

Infrastructure


The Port of Busan, Busan Gwangyeoksi

KTX Sancheon in Hamgyeong

월성원자력발전소 Wolson Nuclear Power Plant (6 Reactors)

Korean Air B787-9

Transportation

Korea has 18.8 million kilometres of paved road for transportation with 12,350 kilometres of National Highways and expressways. A single continuous expressway connects the northern cities of Naseon down to Pyeongyang and through into Seoul and finally, Busan called the A1. The next classification is for highways within city limits. Usually with the name designation of AC. The highways around Pyeongyang and Seoul are the AC 1 and AC 2. B classification is for smaller intercity roads that usually have two lanes. Korea utilises electronic pricing on its roads.

There are many railway companies that operate in Korea. Notably, KRail operates the Korea Train eXpress (KTX, 케이티엑스) which is a High-Speed Rail network. Korea has 1,260 kilometres of HSR network. The longest KRail KTX line is the Naseon - Busan Railway. There are over 156 HSR trains operating in the network with the fastest reaching speeds of 330km/h on a certain line. Large cities with over a million in population have dedicated URT (Urban Rapid Transit) subway systems. Korea has 16 airports with 2 major international airports. Pyeongyang and Seoul. Pyeongyang International and Seoul Incheon International are the busiest with them handling 35.2 million and 65.6 million passengers annually respectively. Korea has 4 major international ports. The Port of Busan, Incheon, Ulsan and Nampo.

The National Carrier Airline, Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. (Korean: 주식회사 대한항공; RR: Jusikhoesa Daehan Hanggong) serves over 26.8 million passengers with over 19.9 million being international yearly. Another international Korean airline, Asiana Airlines Inc. (Korean: 아시아나항공; RR: Asiana Hanggong; formerly Seoul Airlines) also has a large role to play in tourism to Korea, serving 17.2 million passengers yearly. Common aircraft used in domestic flights are the A320 as Boeing has found it difficult to enter to the domestic short-haul market of Korea. Long ranged aircraft include the A350, B777 and B787 series.

Korea has some of the fastest internet speeds in the region at 24.7 Mbit/s (megabits per second) and fastest download speeds in the region at 85.09 Mbit/s. It has been at the forefront of new 5G technology and has a high network penetration rate. It is also a country known to have internet connections even deep within coniferous forests or national parks. This has been part of a national initiative to turn the whole nation into a smart nation. Much of the innovation and progress has been made in Southern cities like Suwei, Hyegye, Seoul, and Ulsan for some time now.

Energy and Water

Korea is one of the region's biggest nuclear power producers. Nuclear power in the country supplies 46.2% of electricity production, and research is in the field is very active and popular in universities. Korean mines and refines its own Uranium, being a nuclear power, most notably from the northern regions. Korea also sells and produces reactors for other countries. There are over 46 nuclear reactors in Kamchatka with 18 Nuclear plants making the nation a large consumer of uranium in the region. Korea possesses uranium mines containing an estimated 4 million tons of high-grade uranium ore in total. The remaining power is mostly from Natural gas at about 24.3% and Petroleum at 20.4%. The remaining 10% comes from the many offshore wind plants constructed in the calm Korea Sea and Bering Straits which consistently receive wind.

The government has responsibility for regulating the water and sanitation sector including the development of new pipelines and cleanliness. It is shared between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of the Environment in charge of ambient water quality and environmental preservation; and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in charge of performance benchmarking of utilities. Access to an improved water source is universal. 98.4% of the population receives piped water supply from public utilities and the remaining receive water from their own wells or unregulated small systems, mainly in rural areas.

Science and Technology


LG Pay, a form of wireless phone payment

OLED Displays on Samsung Phones

Naro-1 나로 - 1 Replica

Scientific and technological development in Korea started when the economy rapidly grew from industrialisation and Chaebol 재벌 corporations such as Samsung and LG. Korea has placed its focus on technology-based corporations, which has been supported by infrastructure developments by the government. Korean corporations Samsung and LG were ranked some of the largest mobile phone companies in the world. An estimated 97% of Koreans own a mobile phone. 92% of mobile phones in the country are widely used for watching Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) or viewing websites. Over 6 million DMB phones have been sold and the three major wireless communications providers SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ provide coverage in all major cities and other areas. Korea has the fastest Internet download speeds in the world, with an average download speed of 85.09 Mbit/s.

Aerospace

Korea has sent up 10 satellites since 1992, all using foreign rockets and overseas launch pads, notably Arirang-1 in 1999, and Arirang-2 in 2006 under the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI - 한국항공우주연구원) based in Daejeon. The principal launch site being the Naro Space Centre (나로우주센터). The funding of KARI is about US$42 billion. The Naro-1 and Naro-2 are Korea's launch systems that over the past 10 years have launched 34 satellites into space. Work is being done to land a probe on the moon by the year 2020 under the newly increased budget. In April 2008, Yi So-yeon 이소연 became the first Korean to fly in space, aboard the Naro-3 and orbited around the Earth a total of 46 times before splashing and recovery in the Korea Sea.

Biotechnology

Since the 1980s, the Korean government has invested in the development of the domestic biotechnology industry, and the sector is projected to grow to $15.5 billion by 2010. The medical sector accounts for a large part of the production, including the production of hepatitis vaccines and antibiotics. Recently, research and development in genetics and cloning have received increasing attention, with the first successful cloning of a dog in 2005 and the cloning of two females of an endangered species of wolves by the Seoul National University in 2007. However, the rapid growth of the industry has resulted in significant voids in the regulation of ethics with protest occurring to end experimentation on animals. Virology is the most popular field in the biotechnology sector.

Health


Korea has a mix of private and public healthcare within its system. Both of which are subsidised to a certain degree by the government with at least 5% of the budget set aside of healthcare. Korean hospitals have advanced medical equipment and facilities readily available, ranking high for MRI units per capita with 20.2 per million inhabitants and similarly for CT scanners per capita at 25.2 per million. It also has a large number of hospital beds per 1000 people at 10.26 beds. Life expectancy is extremely high at around 90. However, birth rates have been dropping and the elderly population has increased. For 2 years, the working population has declined. Suicide rates have been increasing which has been a cause for worry. A national hotline was established in 2009 to help deal with this crisis.

Education


Korea University Guro Hospital 고려 대학교 구로 병원

Old Yonsei University Campus

A centralized administration in Korea oversees the process for the education of children from kindergarten to the third and final year of high school and has a large percentage of the budget, over 18% of the GDP. The school year is divided into two semesters, the first of which begins at the beginning of March and ends in mid-July, the second of which begins in late August and ends in mid-February. The schedules are not uniformly standardized and vary from school to school. Boys' uniforms usually consist of trousers and white shirts, and girls wear skirts and white shirts in middle schools and high schools.

Education is regarded with a high priority for all Korean families as success in education is often a source of pride for families and within Korean society at large, and is a necessity to improve one's socioeconomic position. Graduating from a top university is the ultimate marker of prestige, high socioeconomic status, promising marriage prospects, and a respectable career path. Hence, competition is extremely tight to get into a "SKY" university like Seoul National University (SNU; Korean: 서울대학교; Hanja: 서울大學校; RR: Seoul Daehakgyo, colloquially Seouldae), Korea University (KU, Korean: 고려대학교; Hanja: 高麗大學校; RR: Goryeo Daehakgyo) and Yonsei University (Korean: 연세대학교; Hanja: 延世大學校). Increasing stress levels dramatically for students and resulting in high suicide rates. Tuition and after school lessons or Hagwon 학원 are extremely common with students studying late into the night at 11 pm.

The nation's high university entrance rate has created a highly skilled workforce making Korea among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. The country ranked fifth for the percentage of 25 to 64-year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 44.2 per cent. Furthermore, bachelor's degrees are held by 38.6 per cent of Koreans aged 2564. However, the system has also been criticized for producing an excess supply of university graduates creating an overeducated and underemployed labour force; in the first quarter of 2013 alone, nearly 6.3 million Korean university graduates were jobless, leaving many graduates overqualified for jobs requiring less education. Also, a stigma has left a severe shortage of blue-collar workers.

Culture


Bibimbap, A traditional Korean food

Seoul Sports Complex, the largest sports area in Korea

Cuisine

Korean cuisine, hanguk yori (한국요리; 韓國料理), or hansik (한식; 韓食), has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Meals consumed both by the royal family and ordinary Korean citizens have been regulated by a unique culture of etiquette. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes, banchan (반찬), which accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi (김치), a fermented, usually spicy vegetable dish is commonly served at every meal and is one of the best known Korean dishes. Korean cuisine usually involves heavy seasoning with sesame oil, doenjang (된장), a type of fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (고추장), a hot pepper paste. Other well-known dishes are Bulgogi (불고기), grilled marinated beef, Gimbap (김밥), and Tteokbokki (떡볶이), a spicy snack consisting of rice cake seasoned with gochujang or a spicy chili paste.

Soups are also a common part of a Korean meal and are served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal. Soups known as guk (국) are often made with meats, shellfish and vegetables. Similar to guk, tang (탕; 湯) has less water, and is more often served in restaurants. Another type is jjigae (찌개), a stew that is typically heavily seasoned with chili pepper and served at boiling hot temperatures. Popular Korean alcoholic beverages include Soju, Makgeolli and Bokbunja ju. Korea is also unique among Asian countries in its use of metal chopsticks. Metal chopsticks have been discovered in Goguryeo archaeological sites. Chinese and Japanese cuisine is also found in Manchuria and Hokkaido respectively to cater to the smaller communities of both nationalities.

Sports

The martial art Taekwon-Do (Korean 태권도/跆拳道) originated in Korea. In the 1950s and 1960s, modern rules were standardized, with taekwondo becoming an official Olympic sport in 2000. Other Korean martial arts include Taekkyon (택견), Hapkido (합기도), Tang Soo Do (당수도), Kumdo [검도 - Derived from Japanese Kendo (剣道 kendō, lit. "sword way," "sword path," or "Way of the Sword")] and Subak (수박). Basketball is a popular sport in the country as well. Korea has traditionally had one of the top basketball teams in Asia and one of the continent's strongest basketball divisions. Seoul hosted the 1967 and 1995 Asian Basketball Championship. The Korea national basketball team has won a record number of 23 medals at the event to date. Football and baseball have traditionally been regarded as the most popular sports in Korea.

Korea hosted the Asian Games in 1986 (Seoul), 2002 (Busan) and 2014 (Incheon). It also hosted the Winter Universiade in 1997, the Asian Winter Games in 1999 and the Summer Universiade in 2003, 2015. In 1988, Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in Seoul, coming fourth with 12 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 11 bronze medals. Korea regularly performs well in archery, shooting, table tennis, badminton, short track speed skating, handball, hockey, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, baseball, judo, taekwondo, speed skating, figure Skating, and weightlifting. The Seoul Olympic Museum is a museum in Seoul, Korea, dedicated to the 1988 Summer Olympics. On July 6, 2011, Pyeongchang was chosen by the IOC to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Korea has won the most Olympic medals in Asia.

In October 2010, Korea hosted its first Formula One race at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, about 400 kilometres (250 mi) south of Seoul. Domestic horse racing events are also common in Seoul but has been decreasing in popularity since the 1970s. Competitive video gaming meanwhile, is all the rage. Also called eSports (sometimes written e-Sports), it has become more popular in Korea in recent years, particularly among young people.[428] The two most popular games are League of Legends and StarCraft. The gaming scene of Korea is managed by the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA - 한국 전자 스포츠 협회) and has become something of a career for many players and can make millions of dollars in competitions.

Hanbok 한복 , traditional apparel of Koreans

Sungnyemun 숭례문 one of eight gates of Seoul Fortress

Several Popular K-pop groups

Architecture

Korean traditional architecture is characterized by its harmony with nature. Ancient architects adopted the bracket system characterized by thatched roofs and heated floors called Ondol (Hangul: 온돌, 溫堗). People of the upper classes built bigger houses with elegantly curved tiled roofs with lifting eaves. Traditional architecture can be seen in the palaces and temples, preserved old houses called Hanok (Korean: 한옥, 韓屋) and special sites like Hahoe Folk Village, Yangdong Village of Gyeongju and Korean Folk Village. Most of Korea's cities have ended up on the list of the cities with the most skyscrapers. Korea has seen rapid development and now many of these old buildings are preserved by the National Heritage Board of Korea (국립 유산위원회). Korea has witnessed a wide variety of styles in its architectural landscape due, in large part, to the opening up of the market to foreign architects.

Festivals

There are many official public holidays in Korea. Korean New Year's Day, or "Seollal", is celebrated on the first day of the Korean lunar calendar. Korean Independence Day falls on March 1. Memorial Day is celebrated in June 10, and its purpose is to honour the men and women who died in Korea's defence against the Jurchen tribes. Constitution Day is on July 17 in which the Empire of Korea was formed in 1897. Every 15th day of the 8th lunar month, Koreans celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival, in which Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and eat a variety of traditional Korean foods. On October 1, Armed Forces day is celebrated, honouring the military forces of Korea. October 3 is National Foundation Day. Hangul Day, on October 9 commemorates the invention of Hangul, the native alphabet of the Korean language.

Media and Entertainment

The cultural phenomenon that is known as Hallyu or the "Korean Wave", has swept many countries across Asia making Korea a major soft power as an exporter of popular culture and entertainment. K-pop stars and groups are well known across Asia and have found international fame making millions of dollars in export revenue. Korean television dramas, known as K-dramas have begun to find fame internationally. Many dramas tend to have a romantic focus, such as Hotel Del Luna, Boys Over Flowers, My Love from the Star and Descendants of the Sun. Historical dramas include Faith and Moon Embracing the Sun. K-pop groups include TWICE, BTS, BLACKPINK, Red Velvet and EXO with popular solo artists like IU, Sunmi and Chungha. Arcades have remained popular through to the present day. As of 2011, gaming is worth US$30.7 and in Seoul and internet cafes have popped up throughout the city.


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