- Country name : Korea, South
- Official name : Republic of Korea.
- System of government : Republic.
- National anthem :
- Area : 99.000 km²
- Capital : Seoul.
- Border countries : North Korea.
- Population : 48,3 millions (2003)
- Language(s) : Korean.
- Religions : Christian, Bouddhist, Confusianist.
>The South-Korean economy has been devastated by the war against North-Korean from 1950 to 1953. It has been re-built thanks to foreign aid, mainly American, and has known a great industrial development during the 60's.
>For years, the Korean economy has been one of the most dynamic in South-East Asia. But in 1997, it has faced an important crisis and had to accept a strong IMF plan.
>The Korean economy remains strong thanks to sectors like heavy industries, manufactured products (electrical and electronic equipments), automobiles, chemicals and fishing (7th largest in the world).
>The Korean peninsula was first unified in the 7th century, under the kingdom of Silla.
>During a long period, from 1392 to 1910, the Dynasty Hi ruled the country. In 1592, after a Japanese invasion and a devastating war, the country remained isolated from the rest of the world until the end of the 19th century.
>From 1910 to 1945, the country was invaded by Japan. The Japanese started to transform the country by developing modern industries and infrastructures, but under very harsh conditions.
>After World War II, in 1945, the country was divided into two zones, along the 38th parallel : the American army took control of the south, and the Soviets took control of the north.
>In 1948, the Republic of Korea was proclaimed in the south.
>In June, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting a devastating war that caused two million deads. In 1953, an armistice was signed, leaving the border along the 38th parallel.
>1988 : first free parliamentary elections.
>1998 : former opponent Kim Dae-jung becomes President and inaugurates his " Sunshine Policy ", initiating peace and reconciliation with North Korea, for which he will receive the 2000 Peace Nobel Prize.