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Korea, South (2001)

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Korea, South 2001 year

 Korea, South
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*
Age structure 0-14 years:
21.59% (male 5,475,453; female 4,864,918)

15-64 years:
71.14% (male 17,291,202; female 16,789,380)

65 years and over:
7.27% (male 1,352,312; female 2,131,105) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Airports 102 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
21 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
32 (2000 est.)
Area total:
98,480 sq km

98,190 sq km

290 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Indiana
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 at the 38th parallel known as the DMZ. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth, with per capita income rising to 13 times 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 lifeling committment to democracy and human rights in Asia. He is the first Korean to win a Nobel Prize.
Birth rate 14.85 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$81.8 billion

$94.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $6.1 billion (1999)
Capital Seoul
Climate temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Coastline 2,413 km
Constitution 25 February 1988
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Korea

conventional short form:
South Korea

local long form:

local short form:

the South Koreans generally use the term "Han-guk" to refer to their country

Currency South Korean won (KRW)
Death rate 5.93 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $137 billion (November 2000)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant)

82 Sejong-ro, Chongro-ku, Seoul 110-710

mailing address:
American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-0001

[82] (2) 397-4114

[82] (2) 738-8845
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador YANG Song-chol

2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 939-5600

[1] (202) 387-0205

consulate(s) general:
Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle

Hagatna (Guam)
Disputes - international Demarcation Line with North Korea; Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima/Tokdo) disputed with Japan
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Economy - overview As one of the Four Dragons 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, 16 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. By 1999 GDP growth had recovered, reversing the substantial decline of 1998. Seoul has pressed the country's largest business groups to restructure and to strengthen their financial base. Growth in 2001 likely will be a more sustainable rate of 5%.
Electricity - consumption 232.767 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 250.287 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0.02% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Sea of Japan 0 m

highest point:
Halla-san 1,950 m
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 agreements party to:
Antarctic-Environmental 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, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Ethnic groups homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)
Exchange rates South Korean won per US dollar - 1,271.89 (January 2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82 (1999), 1,401.44 (1998), 951.29 (1997), 804.45 (1996)
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)

State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18 December 1997 (next to be held by 18 December 2002); prime minister appointed by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

election results:
KIM Dae-jung elected president; percent of vote - KIM Dae-jung (NCNP) 40.3% (with ULD partnership), YI Hoe-chang (GNP) 38.7%, YI In-che (NPP) 19.2%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $172.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities electronic products, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, steel, ships; textiles, clothing, footwear; fish
Exports - partners US 20.5%, Japan 11%, China 9.5%, Hong Kong 6.3%, Taiwan 4.4% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $764.6 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


53% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $16,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 9% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Heliports 203 (2000 est.)
Highways total:
87,534 km

65,388 km (including 1,996 km of expressways)

22,146 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
24.3% (1993)
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $160.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains
Imports - partners US 20.8%, Japan 20.2%, China 7.4%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, Australia 3.9% (1999)
Independence 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Industrial production growth rate 17% (2000)
Industries electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing
Infant mortality rate 7.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.3% (2000)
International organization participation AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, 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, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 11 (2000)
Irrigated land 13,350 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly)
Labor force 22 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation services 68%, industry 20%, agriculture 12% (1999)
Land boundaries total:
238 km

border countries:
North Korea 238 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

13% (1993 est.)
Languages Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Legal system combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (273 seats total - 227 elected by direct, popular vote; members serve four-year terms)

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
Life expectancy at birth total population:
74.65 years

70.97 years

78.74 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


96.7% (1995 est.)
Location Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Map references Asia
Maritime claims contiguous zone:
24 NM

continental shelf:
not specified

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM; between 3 NM and 12 NM in the Korea Strait
Merchant marine total:
496 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,421,993 GRT/8,757,034 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 105, cargo 168, chemical tanker 38, combination bulk 5, container 49, liquefied gas 16, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 70, refrigerated cargo 27, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 4, vehicle carrier 5 (2000 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $12 billion (2000)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.2% (FY98/99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
14,148,552 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
8,979,778 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
394,397 (2001 est.)
National holiday Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
Natural resources coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines petroleum products 455 km; note - additionally, there is a parallel petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) pipeline being completed
Political parties and leaders Grand National Party or GNP [YI Hoe-chang, president]; Millennium Democratic Party or MDP [KIM Dae-jung, president]; United Liberal Democrats or ULD [KIM Chong-p'il, honorary chairman, KIM Chong-ho, acting president]

on 20 January 2000, the National Congress for New Politics or NCNP was renamed the Millennium Democratic Party or MDP
Political pressure groups and leaders Federation of Korean Industries; 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 Associations
Population 47,904,370 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.89% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan, Mokp'o, P'ohang, Pusan, Tonghae-hang, Ulsan, Yosu
Radio broadcast stations AM 106, FM 97, shortwave 6 (1999)
Radios 47.5 million (1997)
Railways total:
6,240 km

standard gauge:
6,240 km 1.435-m gauge (525 km electrified) (1998 est.)
Religions Christian 49%, Buddhist 47%, Confucianist 3%, Shamanist, Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way), and other 1%
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:
0.63 male(s)/female

total population:
1.01 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 20 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
excellent domestic and international services


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 region)
Telephones - main lines in use 24 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular 27 million (June 2000)
Television broadcast stations 121 (plus 850 repeater stations and the eight-channel American Forces Korea Network) (1999)
Terrain mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Total fertility rate 1.72 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 4.1% (2000 est.)
Waterways 1,609 km

restricted to small native craft
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