Korea, South

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Introduction - Korea, South:
Location - Korea, South:
People - Korea, South:
Government - Korea, South:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Korea
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-minguk
local short form: Hanguk
abbreviation: ROK

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Seoul
geographic coordinates: 37 33 N, 126 59 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 7 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural)
provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto (North Cholla), Cholla-namdo (South Cholla), Chungchong-bukto (North Chungchong), Chungchong-namdo (South Chungchong), Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto (North Kyongsang), Kyongsang-namdo (South Kyongsang)
metropolitan cities: Inchon-gwangyoksi (Inchon), Kwangju-gwangyoksi (Kwangju), Pusan-gwangyoksi (Pusan), Soul-tukpyolsi (Seoul), Taegu-gwangyoksi (Taegu), Taejon-gwangyoksi (Taejon), Ulsan-gwangyoksi (Ulsan)

Independence

15 August 1945 (from Japan)

National holiday

Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)

Constitution

17 July 1948; note - amended or rewritten nine times; current constitution approved on 29 October 1987

Legal system

combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

19 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President ROH Moo-hyun (since 25 February 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister HAN Duck-soo (since 2 April 2007); Deputy Prime Ministers KIM Woo-sik (since 10 February 2006); KWON O-kyu (since 18 July 2006); KIM Shin-il (since 20 September 2006)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime ministers recommendation
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 19 December 2002 (next to be held on 19 December 2007); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by president on prime ministers recommendation
election results: ROH Moo-hyun elected president; percent of vote - ROH Moo-hyun (MDP) 48.9%; LEE Hoi-chang (GNP) 46.6%; other 4.5%

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats; 243 members elected in single-seat constituencies, 56 elected by proportional representation; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 15 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - Uri 51%, GNP 41%, DLP 3%, DP 3%, others 2%; seats by party - Uri 141, GNP 127, DP 12, DLP 9, PFP 5, independents 5
note: percent of vote is for 2004 general election; seats by party reflect results of 2005 and 2006 by-elections; MDP became DP in May 2005; United Liberal Democrats (ULD) merged with GNP in February 2006

Judicial branch

Supreme Court (justices appointed by president with consent of National Assembly); Constitutional Court (justices appointed by president based partly on nominations by National Assembly and Chief Justice of the court)

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Labor Party or DLP [MOON Seong-hyun]; Democratic Party or DP [PARK Sang-chun]; Grand National Party or GNP [KANG Jae-sup]; People-First Party or PFP [SHIN Kook-hwan and SIM Dae-pyung]; Uri Party [Chung Sye-kyun]

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

International organization participation

AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA, MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador LEE Tae-sik
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
embassy: 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
mailing address: US Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550
telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845

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

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This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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