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Korea, South (2003)

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 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: 20.6% (male 5,256,451; female 4,703,853)

15-64 years: 71.5% (male 17,527,407; female 16,991,229)

65 years and over: 7.9% (male 1,512,157; female 2,297,940) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Airports 102 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 69

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 18

1,524 to 2,437 m: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 21 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 33

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 31 (2002)
Area total: 98,480 sq km

land: 98,190 sq km

water: 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. During the Korean War (1950-1953), US and other UN forces intervened 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 rising to roughly 20 times the level of North Korea. South Korea has maintained its commitment to democratize its political processes. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Chong-il.
Birth rate 12.6 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $118.1 billion

expenditures: $95.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $22.6 billion (2000)
Capital Seoul
Climate temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
Coastline 2,413 km
Constitution 17 July 1948
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Korea

conventional short form: South Korea

local long form: Taehan-min'guk

local short form: none

note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Han'guk" to refer to their country

abbreviation: ROK
Currency South Korean won (KRW)
Death rate 6.03 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $135.2 billion (yearend 2002 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas C. HUBBARD

embassy: 82 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710

mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550

telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114

FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador HAN Sung-chu (HAN Sung-joo)

chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600

FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205

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

consulate(s): New York, Tamuning (Guam)
Disputes - international Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) are disputed with Japan
Economic aid - donor ODA $200 million
Economy - overview As one of the Four Tigers of East Asia, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Three decades ago GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is 18 times North Korea's and equal 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 longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. Growth plunged to a negative 6.6% in 1998, then strongly recovered to 10.8% in 1999 and 9.2% 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 had stalled. Led by consumer spending and exports, growth in 2002 was an impressive 6.2%, despite anemic global growth, followed by moderate 2.8% growth in 2003. In 2003 the six-day work week was reduced to five days.
Electricity - consumption 270.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 290.7 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 62.4%

hydro: 0.8%

nuclear: 36.6%

other: 0.2% (2001)
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 - 1,251.09 (2002), 1,290.99 (2001), 1,130.96 (2000), 1,188.82 (1999), 1,401.44 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: President NO Mu-hyun (ROH Moo-hyun) (since 25 February 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister KO Kun (KOH Kun) (since 27 February 2003); Deputy Prime Ministers KIM Chin-p'yo (KIM Jin-pyo) (since 27 February 2003) and YUN Tok-hong (since 6 March 2003)

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 19 December 2002 (next to be held NA December 2007); prime minister appointed by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation

election results: results of the 19 December 2002 election - NO Muh-hyun elected president, took office 25 February 2003; percent of vote - NO Muh-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; YI Hoe-ch'ang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $162.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 804,700 bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities electronic products, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, steel, ships; textiles, clothing, footwear; fish
Exports - partners US 20.4%, China 14.7%, Japan 9.4%, Hong Kong 6.3% (2002)
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 - $941.5 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 4.4%

industry: 41.6%

services: 54% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $19,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6.3% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Geography - note strategic location on Korea Strait
Heliports 204 (2002)
Highways total: 86,990 km

paved: 64,808 km (including 1,996 km of expressways)

unpaved: 22,182 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 24.8% (1998 est.)
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $148.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports 21.11 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 2.965 million bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains
Imports - partners Japan 19.6%, US 15.2%, China 11.4%, Saudi Arabia 5% (2002)
Independence 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Industrial production growth rate 6.5% (2002 est.)
Industries electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing
Infant mortality rate total: 7.31 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.77 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.8% (2002 est.)
International organization participation AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, 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, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISET, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 11 (2000)
Irrigated land 11,590 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (justices are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly)
Labor force 22 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation services 69%, industry 21.5%, agriculture 9.5% (2001)
Land boundaries total: 238 km

border countries: North Korea 238 km
Land use arable land: 17.44%

permanent crops: 2.05%

other: 80.51% (1998 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); note - beginning in 2004, all members will be directly elected; possible redistricting before 2004 may affect the number of seats in the National Assembly

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 April 2003 was: GNP 153, MDP 101, ULD 11, DPP 1, PPR 1, independents 5; one seat vacant
Life expectancy at birth total population: 75.36 years

male: 71.73 years

female: 79.32 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.1%

male: 99.3%

female: 97% (2003 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: 541 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,490,521 GRT/10,602,751 DWT

ships by type: bulk 114, cargo 174, chemical tanker 63, combination bulk 9, container 52, liquefied gas 17, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 69, refrigerated cargo 21, roll on/roll off 6, short-sea passenger 2, specialized tanker 6, vehicle carrier 5

note: 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, UK 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $13,094.3 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.8% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 14,252,851 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 8,994,941 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 345,331 (2003 est.)
National holiday Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Nationality noun: Korean(s)

adjective: Korean
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 (2003 est.)
Pipelines gas 1,433 km; refined products 827 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Democratic People's Party or DPP [leader NA]; Grand National Party or GNP [CH'OE Pyong-ryol, chairman]; Millennium Democratic Party or MDP [CHO Sun-hyong, chairman]; United Liberal Democrats or ULD [KIM Chong-p'il, president]; Uri Party [KIM Kun-t'ae, chairman]
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 48,289,037 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 4% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 0.66% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Chinhae, Inch'on, Kunsan, Masan, Mokp'o, P'ohang, Pusan, Tonghae-hang, Ulsan, Yosu
Radio broadcast stations AM 104, FM 136, shortwave 5 (2001)
Railways total: 3,125 km

standard gauge: 3,125 km 1.435-m gauge (661 km electrified) (2002)
Religions Christian 49%, Buddhist 47%, Confucianist 3%, Shamanist, Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way), and other 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 20 years of age; universal
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 region)
Telephones - main lines in use 24 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 28 million (September 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 1.56 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 3.1% (2002 est.)
Waterways 1,609 km

note: restricted to small native craft
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