In a couple of generations, South Korea has been
transformed from a poor agricultural nation into one of
Asia's richest countries. Industry giants such as
Hyundai and Samsung have made South Korean exports world
famous. But there is no peace with North Korea after the
end of the Korean War in 1953, and South Korea is
characterized by neighboring conflict and US military
Brief profiles of South Korea, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
South Korea is located on the southern
peninsula of the Korean Peninsula. The
country is surrounded by the Yellow Sea to the west and
the Japanese Sea to the east (which
South Korea calls the Eastern Sea).
South Korea is separated from Japan by the Korean
Strait, which at its narrowest point is 20 miles wide.
The border with North Korea is a demilitarized zone
along the 38th latitude.
South Korea's eastern coast is high and straight,
while the southern and western coastlines are severely
intersected by bays, headlands and islands. There are a
total of about 3,500 islands, of which over 600 are
inhabited. Largest is Jeju, about ten miles south of the
mainland. Four-fifths of South Korea's land area
consists of highlands and mountains. Taebaek and Sobaek
are the largest mountain ranges. The country's highest
peak is Halla-san, a volcano on Jeju.
South Korea has a temperate climate with four
seasons. The winters are long, cold and dry, while the
summers are short, hot and humid, especially in the
southern part of the country.
Most of the rain falls during the period April to
September, when monsoon winds from the Pacific Ocean
sweep over the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea can be hit by powerful hurricanes and
typhoons, which sometimes cause great havoc.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
99 274 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 8 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of residents
Seoul 10 200 000 (2012)
Other major cities
Busan 3.5 million, Incheon 2.8 million, Daegu 2.5
million, Daejon 1.5 million, Gwangju 1.5 million (2012)
Halla-san (1950 m asl)
Naktong, Han, Kum
Average Precipitation / month
Seoul 376 mm (July), 20 mm (Feb)
Average / day
Seoul -5 °C (Jan), 25 °C (July)
South Korea expands airspace
South Korea is expanding its airspace in response to
China recently introducing a special flight zone over
the East China Sea. The Chinese zone includes a rock
formation that South Korea controls and claims. After
the expansion of the South Korean airspace, the disputed
cliff is now included. Enlargement not only overlaps
with the Chinese air zone, but also Japanese airspace, a
fact that is likely to further increase tensions between
The work in Kaesong resumes
South and North Korea decide to resume work in the
Kaesong industrial zone on September 16.
Call for reunion
At the end of the month, talks are also held on the
reunification of Korean families that have been divided
due to the Korean War and today live on different sides
of the demilitarized zone. The last time families had
the opportunity to meet relatives on the other side was
Kaesong should be opened again
New calls about the Kaesong industrial zone say it
will open again, but not when.
Assistance to North Korea
The government announces that state aid will be
provided to North Korea. The aid will be used for
vaccines, food and medicines for children and will go
through the UN Children's Fund Unicef.
Industrial zone meetings
North Korea announces to the South Koreans that they
are welcome to visit and inspect the Kaesong industrial
zone, which closed in April due to increased tensions
between the two countries. In response, South Korea is
inviting Pyongyang to lower-level talks to reopen the
zone. North Korea accepts the invitation, but the July 6
meeting will not open the zone again. The official
statement from the meeting will be that Kaesong will be
opened when "time is ripe". More meetings are held
during the month without the issue being resolved.
When President Park Geun-hye meets his Chinese
counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing, the two countries
agree to work for nuclear disarmament on the Korean
Peninsula through six-party talks, which have been down
for over four years.
Cyberattack on the anniversary
A number of South Korean websites on the internet -
both official and media - are hacked in a coordinated
attack on the anniversary of the start of the Korean
War. The perpetrators are unknown. On the hacked pages
are messages about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's
excellence and that the hacker group Anonymous is
behind. This group denies the accusation and says that
on the same day, they conducted a series of attacks
against North Korean media sites on the Internet.
Summit is set
On June 10, North Korea and South Korea will agree to
hold a government-level meeting in Seoul, primarily on
cooperation on the Kaesong industrial plant. Such talks
have not been held since 2007. However, a few days
later, the plans are put on ice since the parties have
disagreed on which delegates will attend.
The opposition changes its name
The main opposition party DUP changes its name to the
Democratic Party (DP).
North Korea behind cyber attack
South Korean experts conclude that North Korea is
behind extensive cyberattacks against tens of thousands
of computers belonging to banks and media companies in
South Korea in March.
The president orders counter-attack
President Park Geun-Hye orders the military to
immediately respond to attacks from North Korea.
Excited location with North Korea
Since the UN Security Council introduced new
sanctions on North Korea following a new nuclear test,
the North Korean regime says it intends to cancel
existing non-aggression agreements with South Korea and
close the border crossing to the South at the
demilitarized zone. The South Korean government issues
warnings to North Korea and raises its military
readiness. Military exercises are conducted with the
United States. US F-22 fighter aircraft participate in
the exercise as another indication that the United
States is prepared to defend South Korea against attacks
from North Korea.
South Korea, after two previously unsuccessful
attempts, launches a rocket deploying a satellite into