Republic of Korea
Korea is located in East Asia — neighboured to the North by…. you guessed it!! NORTH KOREA!! East, west and south… we have the sea… so that little fact makes Korea a peninsula. Also in the vicinity we have Russia, China and Japan!
KOREA is only 99,720 sq km, making it the 109th largest country in the world, which isn’t very big… but there’s a ridiculous 50million people living here, making it the 28th most populous country in the world! MADNESS!!! But not really, because…
roughly 25 of those 50 million live in the capital city SEOUL
(( other cities of note: BUSAN, DAEGU, INCHEON, and GWANGJU )) so in actual fact, only SEOUL is MADNESS!!
And all those people, they speak Korean, a relatively young language that looks like this — 한국
Interesting fact: Although Hangul, the national writing system, was founded in the 15th Century, it only became widely used in the 20th century.
Oh, and they’re smart too with a very high level of literacy of which I can find no solid figures or data to back up, but I’m going to leave this here anyway because I live here and I can see first hand just how well educated they are. (takes a deep breath)
The Korean landscape looks a lot like this:
That means mountains, mountains and more mountains. The Korean peninsula as a whole is estimated to be 70% mountainous land. (Which somewhat explains the massively populated urban areas)
TOP 3 TIPS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
1. WAR: Korea was at the heart of one of the most brutal wars of the 20th Century!! And that is saying a lot since, you know, there were quite a few other major disagreements in that century too!
This war can very much be seen as communism vs democracy and although the war took place on the Korean peninsula, it was really a war of China, Russia and North Korea vs the USA and South Korea. Imagine Russia and China had actually prevailed in taking South Korea and creating one Korea, ruled by Kim Il Sung… then what? Let me know what you think! :)
2. ELECTRONICS and CARS: Surely we can all agree that SK electronics companies are world beaters!! SAMSUNG & LG are MASSIVE!! (but mostly SAMSUNG)
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS is the largest electronics company in the world, heading even Apple, and is one of the largest companies in the world full stop. Want to know more? I highly recommend this awesome video.
HYUNDAI may also be a familiar name, as it’s one of the worlds leading car and truck manufactures, and the second largest Korean company behind Samsung. It is accompanied in Korea by the likes of KIA, SsangYong, and Daewoo (now owned by GM), showing just how reliant Korea is on its heavy industry sector.
3. SURNAMES — PARK, KIM, LEE…. I think that’s about it, right?!!
Not exactly, but you get the idea! It’s estimated that almost half of the Korean population (approx. 25 million people) share one of the following surnames:
Slight variations in the English spelling may exist but that’s how it goes.