Gwanghwamun, the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace
which represents the Joseon Dynasty
The Republic of Korea (ROK) is located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. The Korean Peninsula lies in the middle of Northeast Asia, flanked by China to its west and Japan to its east. The total area of the ROK is 100,364 km2. The capital is Seoul, and the population is about 50 million. The history of Korea begins with the founding of Gojoseon (Old Joseon) in 2333 BC by Dangun. It has a long history of 5,000 years, one of the longest histories in the world. Korea has a unique language and its own writing system, “Hangeul,” which was invented by King Sejong (1397–1450).
The ROK received international aid from 1945 until the late 1990s but later became an aid donor supporting developing countries. It has achieved rapid economic growth since the latter half of the 20th century. The economy is the 10th largest in the world and the 18th in the OECD in per capita income. In addition, the ROK is one of the countries with the highest level of democracy, ranked in 23rd place worldwide in the Democracy Index survey announced by The Economist in 2019.
The Korean Wave(Hallyu), which refers to the phenomenon of Korean pop culture attracting attention from abroad, has increased rapidly since the 1990s. Currently, K-Culture, which refers to Korean cultural contents such as K-Pop and K-Movie, is gaining popularity around the world.