Country: SOUTH KOREAsouth korea

Capital: Seoul

Geographic Coordinates: 37 00 N, 127 30 E

Population: 48,636,068 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Christianity, Buddhism

Language: Korean

Government Type: Republic

Head of State:  President LEE Myung-bak

Main Industries: electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $28,000 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: South Korean won (KRW)

Life Expectancy: 75 years (men), 82 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: Air pollution in large cities; Acid rain; Water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; Drift net fishing

Issues facing Women and Children:
  • South Korean women are largely well-educated, engaged in the economy, and blessed with optimal maternal health services. Yet recent World Economic Forum and United Nations reports rank South Korean gender empowerment among the lowest in the developed world.
  • Officially, abortion is legally permitted but only up to the eighth week of gestation, and only in cases of transmitted or genetically diseases, incest, rape or when the health of the mother is at great risk. However, abortion is routinely used as a form of contraception. Between 1.5 and 2 million abortions are performed annually; it is the the country with the second highest number of abortions in the world.
  • Many women in South Korea are torn between demands of age-old social tradition that obligates them to bear sons and growing appreciation of females in Korean Society; approximately one of every 12 fetuses is aborted each year because of its sex.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Chosun Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo, Korea Times, Korea Daily News, Korea Economic Daily, Korea Herald; Radio and TV: Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)

Interesting Fact: South Korea is at the leading edge of the digital revolution. It is a trailblazer for high-speed and wireless internet services and has pioneered the distribution of TV via mobile devices. Online gaming is a national passion. 63% of all Koreans make all payments by phone! (mortgage, electric, etc..) Incheon and Masan cities will be the first in the world to have theme parks dedicated to robots, and South Koreans have drawn up a set of ethical rules to prevent abuse of robots by humans and vice versa.

Famous for: Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations), Gyeongbok Palace, Joseon Dynasty, Jeju Island, 2002 FIFA World Cup, Miracle on the Han River, Park Chung-hee, digital display & electronics, Incheon International Airport, Snuppy (world's first cloned dog), soju (alcoholic drink), K-Pop, Korean Wave


Official Tourism Website: