Geography

The Republic of Korea is located in Korea Peninsula in North-East Asia. The land is about 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea owns a unique geographical shape as well as the location which makes it being surrounded by the ocean on three sides.

Korea, having total land area of 100,033 square km, is neighboring Japan to the east, China to the west, and sharing a northern border with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). Thanks to have highly mountainous geography, Korea has about 20 national parks which offer spectacular sceneries.  

History

Although the establishment mythology of Korea goes back to 2333 BC, some archeological findings and even artifacts dating back to Lower Paleolithic Period (time interval covering from 2.4 million years to 200.000 years) and Jeulmun Pottery Era (8000-1500 BC) had been recovered.

According to oral and written narratives, in some periods powerful kingdoms exerted a widespread hegemony in Korean Peninsula, but in other periods, wars and alliances among small states had been observed and noted.

Between 57 BC and 668 AD, the peninsula and even Manchuria had been a fighting ground of the Three Kingdoms, (GoguryeoBaekje, and Silla) for six centuries, which was finalized by Silla in 676. After this unification succeeded by Silla, North South States Period (676-936) took place.

After the fall of this empire by inner power struggles, different states had fought to take control over Korean Peninsula; however long term unification had not been succeeded until Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Korea had its freedom after the Japanese Invasion (1910-1945), and following the end of the World War II, in 1948, divided into to at 38th Parallel. While North Korea has been governed by communism; South Korea, known as the Republic of Korea, adopted liberal policies and became one of the greatest economies in the world thanks to a successful industrial revolution

 

National Symbols

Korean National Flag: Taegeukgi
Korean flag, namely Taegeukgi, has its inspiration from the yin and yang in oriental philosophy. The circle in the center is divided into two equal parts: The upper red responds to the active cosmic forces of the yang; whereas, the lower blue section represents the passive cosmic forces of the yin. It represents the eternal motion of active and passive forces. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner, characterizing continual movement, balance and harmony. Each trigram symbolizes one of the four universal elements: heaven, earth, fire, and water.

Korean National Flower: Mugunghwa
The national flower of Korea is mugunghwa (Hibiscus syriacus, rose of Sharon) which comes into bloom from July to October every year. The flower’s symbolic meaning comes from the Korean word ‘mugung’ (immortality); and as its name the flower gracefully decorates the entire nation during summer and autumn. 

Korean National Anthem: Aegukga
In Korean, Aegukga means 'a song expressing one’s love towards their country.' Korean national anthem was composed by Maestro Ahn Eak-tai in 1935, was adopted by the Korean Government in 1948 as the national anthem; and began to be used at all official ceremonies since then.