The Republic of Korea (herein after Korea) is a country visited by more than ten million international travelers every year. With its long history in culture and tradition, the country has a lot to offer to travelers. Continue reading to learn general information about Korea before visiting.
Where is Korea?
Republic of KOREA
The Korean peninsula is located in Northeast Asia. It is surrounded by the ocean on three sides, making it a unique geographical location. With Seoul as its capital city, the landsite is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea's total land area is 100,033 square km, neighboring Japan to the east, China to the west, and sharing a northern border with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).
- 【 Photo: National flag, Taegeukgi 】
- 【 Photo: National flower, Mugunghwa 】
- National Flag
Taegeukgi: Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in oriental philosophy. The circle in the center is divided into two equal parts, where the upper red responds to the active cosmic forces of the yang; conversely, the lower blue section represents the passive cosmic forces of the yin. The flag's background is white, representing Korean’s desire for peace and purity. 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).
- National Flower
Mugunghwa: The national flower of Korea is mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, which comes into bloom from July to October every year. Profusions of the blossom gracefully decorate the entire nation during that time, providing a view which has been loved by all Korean for many years. It is also the favorite plant of the people as the flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word ‘mugung’, meaning immortality. This word accurately reflects the enduring nature of Korean culture, and the determination and perseverance of the Korean people.
- National Anthem
Aegukga: Aegukga literally means 'a song expressing one’s love towards their country' in Korean, and that was the exact reason this anthem came to be born. Since its creation, the song has undergone several versions of transition; however, it remained focused on praising the sense of loyalty to the country. Maestro Ahn Eak-tai (1905-1965) is credited with having made the present form of the song in 1935, which was then officially adopted by the Korean Government (1948) as the national anthem and began to be used at all schools and official functions.
Population of Korea
The total population of Korea is approximately 51,634,618 (July 2016 data) with most of them residing in the Seoul metropolitan area. Outside of Seoul, other large and economically advanced cities such as Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Ulsan also have higher population densities than other cities in Korea.
Information courtesy of Ministry of the Interior (MOI): www.mospa.go.kr (Korean, English)