South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea is an East Asian country occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula.
To the north, it is bordered by North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), with which it was united until 1945.
To the west, across the Yellow Sea, lies China and to the southeast, across the Korea Strait, lies Japan.
The Korean people trace their nation's founding back to 2333 BC by the legendary Dangun Wanggeom.
Archaeological research shows that the first Korean settlers have occupied the peninsula since the Lower Paleolithic period with territories expanding as far as mainland China and eastern Russia during the Gojoseon period, the first nation established by Koreans.
Korea's history has been turbulent at times with the last emperor of Korea dating back to the age of the Korean Empire.
Since the establishment of the modern republic in 1948, South Korea has struggled with the aftermath of the Japanese control (1910-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and decades of authoritarian governments, undergoing five major constitutional changes.
While the government officially embraced Western-style democracy from its founding, it was not until the December of 1987 that direct and fair elections were held and true democracy began to solidify.
South Korea had one of the fastest growing economies in the world since the 1960s and is now one of the four largest economy in Asia and the 12-14th largest economy in the world.
Inferring from the somewhat larger-sized underground economy in South Korea than other OECD countries, the actual size of South Korean Economy is possibly bigger than its known economic size shown in several indexes.
In the late 20th century, many people referred to South Korea as a newly industrialized country and an Asian tiger due to its exponential economic growth.
Today, South Korea is among the world's fastest growing developed countries and South Korea will be the world's 3rd richest country by 2025 with a GNP per capita of $52,000 according to Goldman Sachs, one of the world's largest investment banks.
South Korea forms the G20 industrial nations and is a Next Eleven nation with many developing countries referring to its economic success as the "Miracle on the Han River," using South Korea's success story as a role model.
However, the South Korea economy was awarded severely wounding for an 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
As a result, IMF managed the national economy.
In the last decade, South Korea have steadied themselves but it has said that never regained the dazzling growth of the mid-1990s.
However, despite of the certain views, South Korea has nearly miraculously recovered from the IMF crisis within a record-high short period, and has been showing a solid economic growth rate since the IMF crisis.
South Korea has a "High" HDI of 0.921 and is part of both the CIA and IMF lists of advanced economies, being defined as a High Income Nation by the World Bank.
International recognition of the country and its goods & services was enhanced by the hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and further boosted by the co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
South Korea is one of the world's most technologically and scientifically advanced countries such as nationwide 100Mbit/s broadband internet access, full HDTV broadcasting, DMB, WiBro and 3G HSDPA.
It is currently the most wired nation in the world, with more than 90% of all homes connected to high speed broadband internet.
South Korea is a global leader in electronics, computers, digital displays, semiconductor devices, mobile phones and hightech gadgets, headed by the two chaebols, Samsung and LG.
South Korea also boasts the world's 3rd largest steel producer, POSCO and is the world's 5th largest automobile manufacturing nation, headed by Hyundai Kia Automotive Group.
South Korea is the world's largest shipbuilder, lead by several multinational corporations such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries.
Other important industries of South Korea include robotics and biotechnology, with the world's second Android EveR-1 and claim to have cloned the world's first dog, Snuppy.
For a more information about South Korea see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korea) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, February 2008.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in February 2008. E. & O.E.
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