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 for Korea, South
From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

  Korea, South
     Introduction Korea, South
                              Background: After World War II, a republic was
                                          set up in the southern half of the
                                          Korean Peninsula while a Communist-
                                          style government was installed in
                                          the north. The Korean War (1950-53)
                                          had US and other UN forces intervene
                                          to defend South Korea from North
                                          Korean attacks supported by the
                                          Chinese. An armistice was signed in
                                          1953 splitting the peninsula along a
                                          demilitarized zone at about the 38th
                                          parallel. Thereafter, South Korea
                                          achieved rapid economic growth, with
                                          per capita income far outstripping
                                          the level of North Korea. In 1997,
                                          the nation suffered a severe
                                          financial crisis from which it
                                          continues to make a solid recovery.
                                          South Korea has also maintained its
                                          commitment to democratize its
                                          political processes. In June 2000, a
                                          historic first south-north summit
                                          took place between the south's
                                          President KIM Dae-jung and the
                                          north's leader KIM Chong-il. In
                                          December 2000, President KIM Dae-
                                          jung won the Noble Peace Prize for
                                          his lifelong commitment to democracy
                                          and human rights in Asia. He is the
                                          first Korean to win a Nobel Prize.
     Geography Korea, South
                                Location: Eastern Asia, southern half of the
                                          Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea
                                          of Japan and the Yellow Sea
                  Geographic coordinates: 37 00 N, 127 30 E
                          Map references: Asia
                                    Area: total: 98,480 sq km
                                          land: 98,190 sq km
                                          water: 290 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly larger than Indiana
                         Land boundaries: total: 238 km
                                          border countries: North Korea 238 km
                               Coastline: 2,413 km
                         Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM
                                          territorial sea: 12 NM; between 3 NM
                                          and 12 NM in the Korea Strait
                                          continental shelf: not specified
                                          exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
                                 Climate: temperate, with rainfall heavier in
                                          summer than winter
                                 Terrain: mostly hills and mountains; wide
                                          coastal plains in west and south
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
                                          highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
                       Natural resources: coal, tungsten, graphite,
                                          molybdenum, lead, hydropower
                                Land use: arable land: 17.44%
                                          permanent crops: 2.05%
                                          other: 80.51% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 11,590 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: occasional typhoons bring high winds
                                          and floods; low-level seismic
                                          activity common in southwest
            Environment - current issues: air pollution in large cities; acid
                                          rain; water pollution from the
                                          discharge of sewage and industrial
                                          effluents; drift net fishing
              Environment - international party to: Antarctic-Environmental
                              agreements: Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
                                          Resources, Antarctic Treaty,
                                          Biodiversity, Climate Change,
                                          Desertification, Endangered Species,
                                          Environmental Modification,
                                          Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea,
                                          Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban,
                                          Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
                                          Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
                                          Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands,
                                          signed, but not ratified: Climate
                                          Change-Kyoto Protocol
                        Geography - note: strategic location on Korea Strait
     People Korea, South
                              Population: 48.324 million (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.4% (male 5,488,808;
                                          female 4,875,379)
                                          15-64 years: 71% (male 17,404,645;
                                          female 16,894,361)
                                          65 years and over: 7.6% (male
                                          1,434,873; female 2,225,934) (2002
                  Population growth rate: 0.85% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 14.55 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/
                                          total population: 1.01 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 7.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.88 years
                                          female: 78.95 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 71.2 years
                    Total fertility rate: 1.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.01% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 3,800 (1999 est.)
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 180 (1999 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: Korean(s)
                                          adjective: Korean
                           Ethnic groups: homogeneous (except for about 20,000
                               Religions: Christian 49%, Buddhist 47%,
                                          Confucianist 3%, Shamanist,
                                          Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly
                                          Way), and other 1%
                               Languages: Korean, English widely taught in
                                          junior high and high school
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 98%
                                          male: 99.3%
                                          female: 96.7% (1995 est.)
     Government Korea, South
                            Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
                                          conventional short form: South Korea
                                          local short form: none
                                          note: the South Koreans generally
                                          use the term "Han'guk" to refer to
                                          their country
                                          local long form: Taehan-min'guk
                                          abbreviation: ROK
                         Government type: republic
                                 Capital: Seoul
                Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and
                                          plural) and 7 metropolitan cities*
                                          (gwangyoksi, singular and plural);
                                          Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-
                                          namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto,
                                          Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-
                                          gwangyoksi*, Kangwon-do, Kwangju-
                                          gwangyoksi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-
                                          bukto, Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-
                                          gwangyoksi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*,
                                          Taegu-gwangyoksi*, Taejon-
                                          gwangyoksi*, Ulsan-gwangyoksi*
                            Independence: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
                        National holiday: Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
                            Constitution: 25 February 1988
                            Legal system: combines elements of continental
                                          European civil law systems, Anglo-
                                          American law, and Chinese classical
                                Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
                        Executive branch: chief of state: President KIM Dae-
                                          jung (since 25 February 1998)
                                          head of government: Prime Minister
                                          YI Han-tong (since 23 May 2000)
                                          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 18 December
                                          1997 (next to be held 19 December
                                          2002); prime minister appointed by
                                          the president; deputy prime
                                          ministers appointed by the president
                                          on the prime minister's
                                          election results: KIM Dae-jung
                                          elected president; percent of vote -
                                          KIM Dae-jung (MDP) 40.3% (with ULD
                                          partnership), YI Hoe-chang (GNP)
                                          38.7%, YI In-che (NPP) 19.2%
                      Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or
                                          Kukhoe (273 seats total - 227
                                          elected by direct, popular vote;
                                          members serve four-year terms); note
                                          - beginning in 2004, all members
                                          will be directly elected; possible
                                          redistricting before 2004 may affect
                                          the number of seats in the National
                                          elections: last held 13 April 2000
                                          (next to be held NA April 2004)
                                          election results: percent of vote by
                                          party - NA%; seats by party - GNP
                                          133, MDP 115, ULD 17, other 8; note
                                          - the distribution of seats as of
                                          January 2002 is: GNP 136, MDP 118,
                                          ULD 15, DPP 2, independents 2
                         Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices are
                                          appointed by the president with the
                                          consent of the National Assembly)
           Political parties and leaders: Democratic People's Party or DPP
                                          [CHO Sun, chairman]; Grand National
                                          Party or GNP [YI Hoe-chang,
                                          president]; Millennium Democratic
                                          Party or MDP [leader NA]; United
                                          Liberal Democrats or ULD [KIM Chong-
                                          p'il, honorary chairman, KIM Chong-
                                          ho, acting president]
                                          note: on 20 January 2000, the
                                          National Congress for New Politics
                                          or NCNP was renamed the Millennium
                                          Democratic Party or MDP
            Political pressure groups and Federation of Korean Industries;
                                 leaders: Federation of Korean Trade Unions;
                                          Korean Confederation of Trade
                                          Unions; Korean National Council of
                                          Churches; Korean Traders
                                          Association; Korean Veterans'
                                          Association; National Council of
                                          Labor Unions; National Democratic
                                          Alliance of Korea; National
                                          Federation of Farmers' Associations;
                                          National Federation of Student
               International organization AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner),
                           participation: AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner),
                                          Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CP, EBRD,
                                          ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
                                          ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IEA
                                          (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO,
                                          ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM,
                                          ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA,
                                          NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW,
                                          OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD,
                                          UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP,
                                          UNOMIG, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO,
                                          WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador YANG
                                          chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue
                                          NW, Washington, DC 20008
                                          consulate(s) general: Anchorage,
                                          Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu,
                                          Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San
                                          Francisco, and Seattle
                                          consulate(s): Tamuning (Guam)
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas
                                      US: C. HUBBARD
                                          embassy: 82 Sejong-ro, Chongro-ku,
                                          Seoul 110-710
                                          mailing address: American Embassy,
                                          Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-0001
                                          telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
                                          FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
                        Flag description: 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
     Economy Korea, South
                      Economy - overview: As one of the Four Tigers of East
                                          Asia, South Korea has achieved an
                                          incredible record of growth. Three
                                          decades ago GDP per capita was
                                          comparable with levels in the poorer
                                          countries of Africa and Asia. Today
                                          its GDP per capita is seven times
                                          India's, 17 times North Korea's, and
                                          comparable to the lesser economies
                                          of the European Union. This success
                                          through the late 1980s was achieved
                                          by a system of close government/
                                          business ties, including directed
                                          credit, import restrictions,
                                          sponsorship of specific industries,
                                          and a strong labor effort. 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 1997-99 exposed
                                          certain longstanding weaknesses in
                                          South Korea's development model,
                                          including high debt/equity ratios,
                                          massive foreign borrowing, and an
                                          undisciplined financial sector.
                                          Growth plunged by 6.6% in 1998, then
                                          strongly recovered to plus 10% in
                                          1999 and 9% in 2000. Growth fell
                                          back to 3.3% in 2001 because of the
                                          slowing global economy, falling
                                          exports, and the perception that
                                          much-needed corporate and financial
                                          reforms have stalled.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $865
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,000
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5%
                                          industry: 44%
                                          services: 51% (2001 est.)
           Population below poverty line: 4% (2001 est.)
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2.6%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 24.8% (1998 est.)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 31.6 (1993)
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 22 million (2001)
             Labor force - by occupation: services 69%, industry 21.5%,
                                          agriculture 9.5% (2001)
                       Unemployment rate: 3.9% (2001)
                                  Budget: revenues: $118.1 billion
                                          expenditures: $95.7 billion,
                                          including capital expenditures of
                                          $22.6 billion (2000)
                              Industries: electronics, automobile production,
                                          chemicals, shipbuilding, steel,
                                          textiles, clothing, footwear, food
       Industrial production growth rate: 1.8% (2001 est.)
                Electricity - production: 273.204 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 60.63%
                                          hydro: 1.45%
                                          other: 0.03% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 37.89%
               Electricity - consumption: 254.08 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: rice, root crops, barley,
                                          vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs,
                                          chickens, milk, eggs; fish
                                 Exports: $168.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
                   Exports - commodities: electronic products, machinery and
                                          equipment, motor vehicles, steel,
                                          ships; textiles, clothing, footwear;
                      Exports - partners: US 21.8%, Japan 11.9%, China 10.7%,
                                          Hong Kong 6.2%, Taiwan 4.7% (2000)
                                 Imports: $152.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
                   Imports - commodities: machinery, electronics and
                                          electronic equipment, oil, steel,
                                          transport equipment, textiles,
                                          organic chemicals, grains
                      Imports - partners: Japan 19.8%, US 18.2%, China 8%,
                                          Saudi Arabia 6%, Australia 3.7%
                         Debt - external: $120.5 billion (2001)
                Economic aid - recipient: $NA
                                Currency: South Korean won (KRW)
                           Currency code: KRW
                          Exchange rates: South Korean won per US dollar -
                                          1,317.01 (January 2002), 1,290.99
                                          (2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82
                                          (1999), 1,401.44 (1998), 951.29
                             Fiscal year: calendar year
     Communications Korea, South
          Telephones - main lines in use: 24 million (2000)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 28 million (September 2000)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: excellent
                                          domestic and international services
                                          domestic: NA
                                          international: fiber-optic submarine
                                          cable to China; the Russia-Korea-
                                          Japan submarine cable; satellite
                                          earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2
                                          Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)
                                          and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 104, FM 136, shortwave 5 (2001)
                                  Radios: 47.5 million (2000)
           Television broadcast stations: 121 (plus 850 repeater stations and
                                          the eight-channel American Forces
                                          Korea Network) (1999)
                             Televisions: 15.9 million (1997)
                   Internet country code: .kr
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 11 (2000)
                          Internet users: 22.23 million (2001)
     Transportation Korea, South
                                Railways: total: 3,124 km
                                          standard gauge: 3,124 km 1.435-
                                          m gauge (661 km electrified) (2000)
                                Highways: total: 87,534 km
                                          paved: 65,388 km (including 1,996 km
                                          of expressways)
                                          unpaved: 22,146 km (1999)
                               Waterways: 1,609 km
                                          note: restricted to small native
                               Pipelines: petroleum products 455 km
                       Ports and harbors: Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan,
                                          Mokp'o, P'ohang, Pusan, Tonghae-
                                          hang, Ulsan, Yosu
                         Merchant marine: total: 501 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 5,679,171 GRT/9,172,403 DWT
                                          ships by type: bulk 104, cargo 160,
                                          chemical tanker 47, combination bulk
                                          6, container 52, liquefied gas 16,
                                          multi-functional large-load carrier
                                          1, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 73,
                                          refrigerated cargo 25, roll on/roll
                                          off 5, short-sea passenger 1,
                                          specialized tanker 3, vehicle
                                          carrier 5, includes some foreign-
                                          owned ships registered here as a
                                          flag of convenience: Australia 1,
                                          Bulgaria 1, China 1, Greece 1, Japan
                                          1, Malaysia 1, Norway 1, Panama 1,
                                          Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1,
                                          United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)
                                Airports: 102 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 68
                                          over 3,047 m: 2
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 11
                                          under 914 m: 20 (2001)
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 34
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 2
                                          under 914 m: 32 (2001)
                               Heliports: 203 (2001)
     Military Korea, South
                       Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps,
                                          National Maritime Police (Coast
        Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)
        Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 14,194,960 (2002
     Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 8,990,488 (2002
                                 service: est.)
             Military manpower - reaching males: 394,397 (2002 est.)
                   military age annually:
           Military expenditures - dollar $12.8 billion (FY00)
       Military expenditures - percent of 2.8% (FY00)
     Transnational Issues Korea, South
                  Disputes - international: Demarcation Line with North Korea;
                                            Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima/Tokdo)
                                            disputed with Japan

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