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South Korea

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Country summary

Capital

Seoul

Borders

North Korea 238 km

Government type

republic

Population

48,508,972 (July 2010 est.)[1]

Population growth

0.266% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

78.72 years[1]

Unemployment

3.7% (2009 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom

31[2]

Corruption Perceptions Index

39[3]

Doing Business ranking

19[4]


An independent Korean state or collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the 7th century - from three predecessor Korean states - until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Japan, and in 1910 it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Young-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Dae-jung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il. In October 2007, a second North-South summit took place between the South's President ROH Moo-hyun and the North Korean leader. Harsh rhetoric and unwillingness by North Korea to engage with President LEE Myung-bak following his February 2008 inauguration has strained inter-Korean relations.[1]

Economical characteristicsEdit

  • Currency: South Korean won (ISO code: KRW)
  • This country does not seem to have a central bank.
  • Central bank discount rate: 1.75% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 7.17% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $73.16 billion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $473.4 billion (31 December 2008)[1]


StatisticsEdit

Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[5] 445 399 533 384 504 586 575 929 643 762 721 975 844 863 951 773 1 049 240 929 121
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[6]
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[7] 20.020 22.321 21.778 21.573 21.928 21.194 21.791 22.678 24.577
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[8] 16.583 16.626 17.725 16.815 18.886 18.862 19.718 20.529 18.622
Debt to revenue (years)

ReferencesEdit

Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Facebook. "South Korea", from The World Facebook. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "South Korea", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  3. Transparency International. "South Korea", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  4. Doing Business. "South Korea", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  5. World Bank. "South Korea: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  6. World Bank. "South Korea: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  7. World Bank. "South Korea: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  8. World Bank. "South Korea: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.

External linksEdit

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