The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea or the Korea Republic is an East Asian country on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. To the north, it is bordered by North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), with which it was united until 1945. To the west, across the Yellow Sea, lies China and to the southeast, across the Korea Strait, lies Japan. Approximately one-half of South Korea's population lives in or near the capital Seoul, the second most populous metropolitan area in the world. South Korea has been a vibrant multi-party democracy for two decades. The South Korean economy has advanced rapidly since the 1950s and is now the 12th largest (nominal value) economy in the world. South Korea is also one of the world's most technologically advanced and digitally-connected countries; it has the third most broadband Internet users among the OECD countries and is a global leader in electronics, digital displays, semiconductor devices, and mobile phones. South Korea also leads the world in the shipbuilding industry, headed by prominent companies like the Chosun Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. The government of South Korea is divided into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The executive and legislative branches operate primarily at the national level, although various ministries in the executive branch also carry out local functions. Local governments are semi-autonomous, and contain executive and legislative bodies of their own. The judicial branch operates at both the national and local levels. The South Korean government's structure is determined by the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. This document has been revised several times since its first promulgation in 1948 . However, it has retained many broad characteristics; with the exception of the short-lived Second Republic of South Korea, the country has always had a presidential system with a relatively independent chief executive. As with most stable three-branch systems, a careful system of checks and balances is in place. For instance, the judges of the Constitutional Court are partially appointed by the executive, and partially by the legislature. Likewise, when a resolution of impeachment is passed by the legislature, it is sent to the judiciary for a final decision. Foreign relations
In its foreign relations, South Korea is primarily concerned with North Korea and the neighboring countries of China, Japan, and Russia, as well as its main ally, the United States.The US was the primary driver in the establishment and initial sustenance of the South Korean government before the Korean War of 1950-1953; however, since the 1990s the two nations have often been at odds with regard to their policies towards North Korea, and over the rise of anti-American sentiment often expressed toward members of the U.S. military,sometimes violently. In addition, South Korea maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 170 countries. The country has also been a member of the United Nations since 1991, when it joined at the same time as North Korea. On January 1, 2007, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon assumed the post of UN Secretary General. It has also developed links with ASEAN as both a member of "ASEAN Plus three" and the East Asia Summit (EAS). Korea has recently reached free trading agreement with USA.
The South Korean military is composed of the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA), Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), and Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC), together with reserve forces. Many of these forces are concentrated near the border with North Korea. All South Korean males are constitutionally required to serve in the military, typically for a period of twenty-four months. The United States has stationed a substantial contingent of troops in the ROK since the Korean War. The American Troops are stationed in bases, of which most are camps. They are considered camps not...