South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland.
East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms.
The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great.
Inner Mongolia, officially Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Nei Mongol Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country, containing most of China's border with Mongolia and a small section of the border with Russia.
The Russian Far East comprises the Russian part of the Far East - the extreme eastern territory of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean.
Goguryeo, also called Goryeo was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Manchuria.
South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain.
It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2.
Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.
Seoul, officially the Seoul Special Metropolitan City – is the capital and largest metropolis of the Republic of Korea.
Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period.
Homo is the genus that encompasses the extant species Homo sapiens, plus several extinct species classified as either ancestral to or closely related to modern humans, most notably Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis.
The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age.
The history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period.
Dangun or Dangun Wanggeom was the legendary founder and god-king of Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, around present-day Liaoning, Manchuria, and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
Gojoseon, originally named Joseon, was an ancient kingdom on the Korean Peninsula.
The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, and its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era.
Gija Joseon refers to the period of Gojoseon following the alleged arrival of the sage Gija.
Joseon dynasty was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries.
The written historical record on Gojoseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE.
Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty.
Later Silla or Unified Silla is the name often applied to the Korean kingdom of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, after it conquered Baekje and Goguryeo in the 7th century, unifying the central and southern regions of the Korean peninsula.
The Three Kingdoms was the tripartite division of China between the states of Wei, Shu, and Wu.
Goryeo, also spelled as Koryŏ, was a Korean kingdom established in 918 by King Taejo.
It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910.
The Empire of Japan was the historical Japanese nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. zones of occupations.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier.
A separate election was held in the U.S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea, while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the Soviet zone.
The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea.
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.
The Korean War began in June 1950 when forces from North Korea invaded South Korea.
The war lasted three years and involved the U.S., China, the Soviet Union and several other nations.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, abbreviated as the USSR, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991.
The border between the two nations remains the most heavily fortified in the world.
Under long-time military leader Park Chung-hee, the South Korean economy grew significantly and the country was transformed into a G-20 major economy.
Park Chung-hee was a South Korean politician and general who served as the President of South Korea from 1963 until his assassination in 1979, assuming that office after first ruling the country as head of a military dictatorship installed by the May 16 coup in 1961.
Military rule ended in 1987, and the country is now a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" – not the private concern or property of the rulers – and where offices of state are elected or appointed, rather than inherited.
South Korea is a highly developed country and a high-income economy, with a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 22nd in the world.
A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or "more economically developed country", is a sovereign state that has a highly developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations.
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.