Country Profile: South Korea

Topics: South Korea, North Korea, Korean War Pages: 8 (3021 words) Published: April 20, 2012
South Korea Introduction
South Korea is one of the most dynamic countries in the world, South Korea has emerged from a chaotic history, and has rightfully ascended the ladder to become a world power. Bordering North Korea in the south and separated from China and Japan by the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea and Korea Strait, South Korea is an active participant in what is one of Asia’s most historically volatile areas The national flag of Korea is called “Taegeukgi’. According to “Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Asian philosophy. The upper red section of the circle in the center of the flag represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang. On the other hand, the lower blue section represents the responsive cosmic forces of the yin.” It’s concept is continual movement and harmony. Here is what Taegeukgi looks like.

Korea has had a long history from 2,333 B.C. There is really famous story of how this country formed and it is called The Myth of Dangun. This story is legend and Visitkorea stated that “the mythical figure Dan-gun founded Gojoseon, the first Korean Kingdom, in 2333 B.C. Subsequently, several tribes moved from the southern part of Manchuria to the Korean Peninsula.” Additionally, he told a tiger and a bear to stay alive in cave with only eating garlic and mugwort for one hundred days to become a human.

 Korea experienced many invasions by its neighbor country in 2000 years of its history. Long centuries of dynastic rule by various kings were followed by Japanese colonization in 1910. According to Country Studies Korea underwent drastic changes under Japanese rule. Even before the country was formally annexed by Japan in 1910, the Japanese caused the last ruling monarch, King Kojong, to abdicate the throne in 1907 in favor of his feeble son, who was soon married off to a Japanese woman and given a Japanese peerage. Japan then governed Korea under a residency general and subsequently under a governor general directly subordinate to Japanese prime ministers. All of the governor generals were high-ranking Japanese military officers. In theory the Koreans, as subjects of the Japanese emperor, enjoyed the same status as the Japanese; but in fact the Japanese government treated the Koreans as a conquered people. Until 1921 they were not allowed to publish their own newspapers or to organize political or intellectual groups. Japan’s surrender in World War II liberated a country that had been chafing under its occupation for many decades. During the colonial period, Japan's economic exploitation of Korea continued. The lives of Koreans deteriorated under colonial rule until the end of World War II in 1945. Japan’s surrender in World War II liberated a country that had been chafing under its occupation for many decades.

Picture is provided by and it is photograph of Kim Gu, President of the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai (left). High-ranking officials from Korea's Provisional Government in Shanghai pose for a commemorative photo in 1945 (right).

After Japan’s surrender to the Allied Powers in 1945, Korea is divided at the 38th parallel marked the beginning of Soviet and U.S. taking control over the North and South. According to U.S. Department of State “On August 15, 1948 the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) was established, with Syngman Rhee as the first President. On September 9, 1948 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) was established under Kim Il Sung.”

 But under the instigation of Stalin the two nascent countries involved in a war as North Korea attacked its neighbor on 25th June, 1950. Commonly known as the Korean War this is one of the bloodiest chapters of South Korean history. According to Country Studies By June 1950, North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into ten infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division. Soviet equipment, including automatic weapons of various types,...

Cited: Visitkorea, Official Korea Tourism Organization. Web. 1 April 2012.
<>, The official website of the Republic of Korea. Web. 30 Mar 2012
Country Studies – Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Web. 1 April 2012
“Background Note: South Korea” U.S. Department of State. Web. 7 July 2011. 2 April 2012
“South Korea.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica
Ind., Web. 3 Apr 2012 <>
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