South Korea or Republic of Korea, is located in East Asia at approximately 37° North, 127° 30 East, on the southerly fifty percent of the Oriental Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass right into the Yellow Sea. South Korea"s north boundary is marked by the 238 kilometres long Oriental Demilitarized Zone DMZ, which likewise creates the southern border of North Korea or the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. South Korea"s funding city, Seoul, lies only thirty miles south of the DMZ.

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Surrounded on its other three sides by water, South Korea has 2,413 km of coast line alengthy 3 seas: the Yellow Sea to the west; the East China Sea to the south; and the East Sea (Sea of Japan) to the eastern. South Korea, through 98,480 square kilometers, procedures slightly bigger than the American state of Indiana. The country has 290 square kilometers of lakes and rivers.


Occupying the organic connecting route between the Japanese archipelearlier and China, Korea has actually proficient both direct invasions focused on the Oriental land area and likewise indirect invasions such as by Chinese or Mongolians attacking Japan, or by Japanese seeking to extend their area right into China. Thturbulent all of those intrusions, the Koreans have managed to preserve their own integrity as a human being.

Land also location and borders

Further information: Oriental Peninsula

Satellite image of South Korea.

The Oriental Peninsula exhas a tendency southward from the northeast part of the Eastern continental landmass. The Japanese islands of Honshū and also Kyūshū are situated some 200 kilometers to the southeast across the Korea Strait; the Shandong Peninsula of China lies 190 kilometers to the west. Alengthy the west shore of the peninsula, Korea Bay sits to the north and the Yellow Sea to the south; the East Sea (Sea of Japan) boundaries the east shore. The merged location of North and also South Korea has 8,640-kilometers of mostly rugged coast via 3,579 islands lying largely off the southern and also west shores.

The Oriental DMZ forming the boundary between North and also South Korea was establiburned by the armistice in 1953 that finished the fighting of the Korean War. The entire Korean peninsula, consisting of islands, comprises 220,847 square kilometers (around the same dimension as the state of Minnesota), which are apportioned with 44.6 percent (98,477 square kilometers) of the area belonging to South Korea and also the balance belonging either to North Korea or the DMZ.

The largest island also of Korea, Jeju, is component of South Korea. It lies off the southwest edge of the peninsula and also has actually a land area of 1,825 square kilometers. Other essential islands in the South Korean territorial waters encompass Ulleung in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) and Ganghwa Island at the mouth of the Han River. Although the southerly and also western coastlines of the Korea peninsula have a jagged and irconstant topography, the eastern shore maintains an unindented coast. The gradual rising of the eastern shore accounts for the distinction.

South Korean Naval claims:contiguous zone:24 nm (44.5 km)continental shelf:not specifiedexclusive financial zone:200 nm (370 km)territorial sea:12 nm (22.2 km); between 3 nm (5.5 km) and 12 nm in the Korea Strait

South Oriental Elevation extremes:lowest point:Sea level 0 mhighest point:Hallasan 1,950 m

Topography and also drainage

Early European travellers to Korea remarked that the land also resembled "a sea in a heavy gale" because of the big variety of succeeding mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula. North Korea mostly has the tallest hills, although the tallest mountain, Hallasan (1,950 meters), is the cone of a volcanic development constituting South Korea"s Jeju Island also. The Taebaek Mountains, Sobaek, and also the Jiri Massif constitute the 3 major mountain varieties in South Korea.


Unprefer Japan or the northern districts of China, the Korean Peninsula enjoys geological stcapacity without active volcanoes or significant fault lines. Volcanic task on Mount Halla throughout the Goryeo Empire (918–1392 C.E.) has been videotaped.

Over the centuries, Korea"s inhabitants have reduced down most of the ancient Korean forests, with the exemption of a few remote, mountainous areas. The loss of the forests has actually been a significant cause of soil erosion and also flooding. Along with the declining usage of firehardwood as a resource of power because the 1960s, the government"s successful reforestation programs in the 1980s have brought back foliage to the South Korea"s hills. South Korea lacks considerable plains; mountain erosion has actually created its lowlands. Approximately 30 percent of the area of South Korea is composed of lowlands, with the remainder consisting of uplands and mountains. The great majority of the lowland also location lies alengthy the coastlines, particularly the west shore, and also alengthy the significant rivers.

The Han River plain about Seoul, the Byeongtaek coastal ordinary southwest of Seoul, the Geum River basin, the Nakdong River basin, and also the Yeongsan and the Honam levels in the southwest consist of the most vital lowlands. A narrowhead littoral plain extends along the east coastline.


South Korea"s longest river, the Nakdong, extends (521 kilometers). The Han River, which flows via Seoul, steps 514 kilometers in length, while the Geum River extends 401 kilometers. Other major rivers incorporate the Imjin, which flows through both North Korea and also South Korea and creates an estuary through the Han River; the Bukhan, a tributary of the Han that also flows out of North Korea; and also the Somjin. The significant rivers circulation north to southern or eastern to west and empty right into the Yellow Sea or the Korea Strait. They tend to be wide and shenable and also to have actually wide seasonal variations in water flow.

News that North Korea broke ground for a vast multipurpose dam at the base of Geumgangsan (Diamond Mountain) (1,638 meters) north of the DMZ led to significant consternation in South Korea during the mid-1980s. South Oriental authorities feared that as soon as completed, a sudden release of the dam"s waters right into the Pukhan River throughout north-southern hostilities can flood Seoul and paralyze the capital area. Throughout 1987 the Geumgangsan Dam ended up being a significant worry that Seoul sought to raise in talks with Pyongyang. Although Seoul completed a "Peace Dam" on the Pukhan River to counteract the potential risk of Pyongyang"s dam job prior to the 1988 Olympics, North Korea still labored in the initial stages of building and construction of the Geumgangsan Dam in 1990.

Geographical Influences on Culture

Lacking formidable land or sea obstacles along its boundaries and occupying a main position among East Oriental countries, the Korean Peninsula has actually offered as a social bridge in between China and the Japanese archipelearlier. Korea added greatly to the advancement of Japan by transmitting both Chinese Confucian and Buddhist society, art, and also faith.

At the exact same time, Korea"s geographical area on a peninsula that serves as a path both ways in between Japan and also China has actually carried enduring upon the Korean civilization. Chinese and Mongol militaries have struck Japan by means of Korea and, conversely, Japanese militaries have actually struck China by way of Korea. As an outcome, Korea has actually endured the devastation of war periodically. This was detailed in the late nineteenth century by the British statesman Lord George Curzon who described Korea as a "type of political Tom Tiddler"s ground between China, Russia, and also Japan."<1> He was describing a case that had prevailed for a number of centuries and ongoing into the twentieth century.

With mountains widespread throughout the country and also arable farm land being much less than 30 percent of the complete land also location, the Korean location has actually influenced the Korean farmer to experiment with intensive farming, using stepped farming on hillsides and creative irrigation. The exact same location has also served as a catalyst for farmers to live close together in villperiods as extfinished families traditionally living in the exact same farmresidence. That exercise has actually decreased considering that 1945 as Korea"s modernization has actually developed manufacturing facility and expert jobs requiring kids to move to significant cities, specifically Seoul, for work-related.

Fishing has actually played an critical function in Korea"s economic situation and Korean"s diet. Almost every meal enjoys servings of seafood. Until recently, beef and also pork had been eaten sparingly through seafood comprising the biggest part of the Korean"s diet. With beef and pork ending up being even more easily accessible, the average Oriental has come to be taller and heavier. Fish still provides up a high portion of protein resource in the Oriental diet. The wellness benefits of seafood have helped Koreans maintain good wellness. Curiously, although a sea bound peninsula, Koreans have traditionally not been a seafaring human being.



Part of the East Oriental monsoonal area, South Korea has a temperate climate via four distinct seasons. The movement of air masses from the Asian continent exerts better affect on South Korea"s weather than does air activity from the Pacific Ocean. Winters are generally long, cold, and dry, whereas summers are brief, hot, and humid. Spring and fall are pleasant but short in duration. Seoul"s suppose temperature in January is −5° C to −2.5° C; in July the suppose temperature is around 22.5° C to 25° C. Because of its southern and also seagirt place, Jeju Island also has actually warmer and milder weather than other components of South Korea. Typical temperatures on Jeju array from 2.5° C in January to 25° C in July.

The nation mostly has actually adequate rainautumn to sustain its farming. Radepend does much less than 75 centimeters of rain loss in any type of offered year; for the most part, rainfall is over 100 centimeters. Amounts of precipitation, yet, can differ from year to year. Serious droughts happen around once eexceptionally eight years, particularly in the rice-producing southwestern component of the country. About two-thirds of the annual precipitation occurs in between June and also September.

South Korea is less fragile to typhoons than Japan, Taiwan, the eastern coastline of China, or the Philippines. From one to three typhoons deserve to be intended per year. Typhoons commonly pass over South Korea in late summer, specifically in August, and also carry torrential rains. Flooding occasionally causes substantial damage. In September 1984, document floods caused the deaths of 190 people and left 200,000 homemuch less. This disaster triggered the North Korean government to make an unprecedented sell of humanitarian assist in the create of rice, medicine, clothing, and also structure materials. South Korea welcomed these items and distributed them to flood victims.

Reresources and also land also use

Natural resources:South Korea produces coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, and also has potential for hydropower.

Land use:arable land:19 percentlong-term crops:2 percentirreversible pastures:1 percentforests and woodland:65 percentother:13 percentrivers and lakes:10 percent (2003 est.)

Irrigated land:13,350 km² (1993 est.)

Environpsychological concerns

Natural hazards: Typhoons periodically bring high winds and also floods. The southwest typically experiences low-level seismic activity.

Environment - present issues:

Large cities endure air air pollution difficulties, and also water air pollution from the discharge of sewer and commercial effluents. Drift net fishing devastates the fish population.

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Environment - worldwide agreements:Republic of South Korea is party to:Antarctic-Environpsychological Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution (MARPOL 73/78), Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whalingsigned, but not ratified:Climate Change Kyoto Protocol



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