Country Name Location

Republic of Korea(South Korea) Strategically located at the crossroads of Northeast Asia, Korea lies between Japan, the Russian Far East and China 100,210 sq km(2009) Seoul 48.75 million(2009) 37.3 years(2009) Males, 76.54 years;females, 83.29 years(2008) Democracy with president elected to a single 5year term by direct popular vote. Division of power among the executive, legislature (unicameral National Assembly) and judiciary Universal at 19 years of age South Korean won;US$1 = 1,277.25 won (the average exchange rate as of 2009) US$269.9 billion(2009)

Gross Domestic Product GDP Growth Rate Per Capita GNI Production

US$833 billion(2009) 0.2 percent(2009) US$17,175(2009) Services, 60.3 percent; mining and manufacturing, 28.3 percent; construction, 7.0 percent; agriculture, forestry and fishing, 2.5 percent; electricity, gas and water supply, 1.8 percent(2008) US$363.8 billion(2009) US$322.8 billion(2009) Semiconductors, automobiles, ships, mobile telecommunication equipment, consumer electronics, steel and chemicals Samsung Electronics, Hyundai-Kia Motor, POSCO, LG Electronics Korea boasts the highest broadband subscription rate in the world(32.14 per 100 inhabitants), and one of the world's most advanced mobile telecommunications infrastructures.

Territory Capital City Population Median Age Life Expectancy Political System

Exports Imports Major Industrial Products

Leading Companies Science and Technology

Suffrage Currency Foreign Exchange Reserves




Gojoseon and Three Kingdoms
Human settlement on the Korean Peninsula can be traced back to the Paleolithic era about 600,000 years ago. The earliest state developed when a league of several tribes came together to form the Gojoseon(Old Joseon) Kingdom around the 10th century BCE. Gojoseon fell to an invasion by the Han Dynasty of China in 108 BCE, after which there emerged various walled tribal states. As their political power strengthened, these tribal states developed into Goguryeo(37BCE-668 CE), Baekje(18BCE660CE) and Silla(57BCE-935CE). These three kingdoms developed different cultures, affected by different environments.

As Silla weakened, there emerged the Later Three Kingdoms period, during which Silla struggled with Later Baekje and Later Goguryeo, and in the process, the Goryeo Kingdom(918-1392) was established by Wang Geon to reunite the nations and overcome the injustices of Silla society. Wang Geon named his dynasty Goryeo, from which the modern name Korea is derived. It achieved a sophisticated culture represented by cheongja or bluegreen celadon and flourishing Buddhist tradition.

Blue-green celadon from the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392)

Gilt-bronze statue of the Maitreya Bodhisattva seated in meditation from the Silla Kingdom (57BCE-935CE)

In the late Goryeo period, a warlord named Yi Seong-gye led a coup against what he saw to be a corrupt regime. He and his army were eventually able to topple the Goryeo regime and seize sovereignty for themselves, establishing the Joseon Kingdom in 1392. The early rulers of Joseon, in order to counter the dominant Buddhist influence during the Goryeo period, supported Confucianism as the guiding philosophy of the kingdom. The Joseon rulers governed the kingdom with a well-balanced political system. From the early 17th century, liberal-minded scholars strongly recommended agricultural improvements along with sweeping reforms in land distributions.

Unified Silla and Balhae
In the mid-7th century, Silla defeated Baekje and Goguryeo to unite the territories of the former Three Kingdoms and laid the foundation for a united nation. To the north in Manchuria, refugees from Goguryeo established the nation of Balhae, which carried on the cultural tradition of Goguryeo overthe next 200 years.

Gilt-bronze incense burner with a design of Bongnaesan(one of three sacred Taoist Mountains), a dragon and phoenix from the Baekje Kingdom(18 BCE-660 CE)



Japanese Occupation and Independence Movement
In 1910, after wars against China and Russia, Japan forcibly annexed Korea by political subterfuge and violence, bringing the Joseon Kingdom to an end. Koreans were forced to accept Japanese colonial rule. Colonial rule stimulated the patriotism of Koreans. Korean intellectuals were infuriated by Japan's official assimilation policy. On March 1, 1919, a peaceful demonstration calling for independence spread nationwide and was ruthlessly suppressed. This inspired the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in November 1919. While lacking unity or any authority, the Provisional Government promoted armed struggles and other forms of resistance against the Japanese both at home and abroad, especially in Manuchuria.

Koreans labored under colonial rule until the end of World War II in 1945.
Inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak in February 2008

Founding of the Republic of Korea
Koreans rejoiced at the victory of the Allies over Japan in 1945 and promptly set about founding the Government of the Republic of Korea. However, their joy was short-lived. Liberation did not instantly bring about the independence for which the Koreans had fought so fiercely. Rather, it resulted in a country divided by ideological differences, resulting from the emerging Cold War. Thus in 1948, the democratic Republic of Korea was established in the south and the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north. The newly independent Korea came to suffer the subsequent tragedy of an internecine war when North Korea invaded the South on June 25, 1950. The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953 with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, and the two Koreas still remain locked in a standoff even to this date. Despite all these difficulties, the Republic of Korea began to carry out economic development policies in the 1960s and rapidly achieved modernization and industrialization. Following the historic success of the Seoul Olympics in 1988,

Korea was able to solidify the ground for liberal democracy. Korea demonstrated great wisdom in overcoming the foreign exchange crisis that swept the Asian region at the end of 1997. In June 2000, the nation achieved an epoch-making breakthrough in inter-Korean relations by holding a historic South-North Summit in Pyongyang. Adding to these achievements, Korea successfully cohosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which grabbed the attention of the whole world, thereby taking yet another energetic step for the advancement of the nation. President Lee Myung-bak, who was inaugurated for a five-year term in February 2008, has adopted five major objectives under the guiding principle of practical prag- Gwanghwamun, the south gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, restored to its matism. The five goals are a government original shape and location in August serving the people, a lively market economy, 2010 an active welfare, a country rich in talent and a global Korea. Through this, the President intends to advance the day when Korea will be respected as a fair society and a leading advanced nation in the community of nations.

Painting depicting a royal procession to Suwon by King Jeongjo, the 22nd Joeseon monarch. During such processions, the kings met with his subjects.




The US financial crisis that took hold at the end of 2008 sent shockwaves through the financial system. Korea, heavily dependent on exports and trade with countries around the world, was no exception. Korea responded with preemptive steps to help stabilize the market: it established a US$30 billion currency swap line with three key countries-the United States, Japan and Chinaand set up a 3.3 trillion won bank recapitalization fund(about US$2.8 billion) and a 2.1 trillion won bond market stabilization fund(about US$1.8 billion). The Korean Government has also taken steps to stabilize the financial market by encouraging the restructuring of companies with high credit risks as well as companies in distressed industries, including construction, shipbuilding and shipping. In its 2009 September assessment of Korea, Fitch Ratings, one of the primary global rating agencies, positively reviewed the actions of the Korean government during the crisis, applauding the governments rapid response and effective policy measures taken as the crisis unfolded. And in December 2009, the International Monetary Fund(IMF) noted that the Korean economy was turning around more quickly than expected thanks to the Government's “comprehensive fiscal, monetary and financial policy responses.” Another credit rating agency, Moody's, upgraded Korea's sovereign rating in April of this year, saying that the Korean Government had put in place financial and fiscal policies in a swift and appropriate fashion. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) published a positive evaluation of Korea's economy in a June 2010 report titled “OECD Economic Surveys: Korea”. According to that

Korean-made mobile phones, the synthesis of Korean information technology

Korea's flagship export product: semiconductors



report, “Korea's strong recovery from the 2008 global recession has been driven by buoyant export growth and an effective policy response. The fiscal stimulus was the largest in the OECD area, while monetary policy and measures to support financial institutions helped to prevent a liquidity crunch.” Korea's faster-than-expected economic recovery was largely attributable to the Korean Government's preemptive countermeasures against the economic downturn. The Government has actively expanded fiscal spending to cushion the impact of the economic crash and taken bold measures to stabilize the market, helping the private sector to regain sustainable growth. In 2009, President Lee Myung-bak presided over more than 40 sessions of the Meeting for Emergency Economic Measures to discuss how to deal with the crisis. Following up on decisions made at the meetings, the Government created a revised budget and a supplementary budget totaling 11.4 trillion won(about US$9.9 billion) and 28.4 trillion won(about US$24.7 billion), respectively in a bid to further expand fiscal spending. The Government also front-loaded budget spending, gradually lowered the benchmark interest rate to two percent on six occasions and drastically increased the liquidity of Korean and foreign currencies. For the sake of market stabilization, the Government took additional measures to support SMEs, including the extension of loan terms, the expansion of credit guarantees, and as the creation of Fast Track, a program aimed at providing liquidity to businesses suffering from temporary liquidity issues. All these measures helped ease the burden for small businesses. Thanks to expeditious Government measures, financial and foreign exchange markets quickly stabilized. Stock prices also recovered relatively rapidly: the average share price at the end of the first quarter of 2010 was nearly two times the figure at the end of October, 2008, while market interest rates fell to a lower level than before the crisis. A series of steps taken to assist businesses led to a sharp decrease

The mainstays of Korean exports: ships and automobiles

Incheon Bridge opened in October 2009. It is 21.38 km long and stretches 18.38km over the sea.



in the default rate on corporate bills and in the number of bankruptcies, indicating a marked improvement in management conditions. Decreases in the ratio of non-performing loans and increases in the BIS capital adequacy ratio have also indicated the improved soundness of financial institutions. Now, they have increased financial resources that can be utilized to assist the real economy. Driven by the continued efforts of the Government to stabilize the economy, household income and consumption in the first quarter of this year swelled by the greatest margin since 2003. According to the announcement made by the National Statistical Office(NSO) on May 14, average household monthly income recorded was 3,729,000 won or about US$3,200, a 7.3 percent increase from the first quarter of last year. Real income, which takes the inflation rate into consideration, also increased by 4.4 percent. Earned income rose by 4.9 percent, business income 12.4 percent and the transfer income 13 percent. Even in the midst of the global economic crisis, the nation's manufacturing sector, including semiconductors, automobiles and shipbuilding, maintained its competitiveness, thus making significant contributions to the nation's emergence from economic crisis at the fastest pace in the world. Pronounced recovery in the electric and electronic sectors, including semiconductors, components and video and audio equipment as well as telecommunications devices, has led to an increase of 3.6 percent in manufacturing output compared to the preceding quarter. Notably, the output increased by 20 percent from the same period of the previous year for the first time since the third quarter of 2000 when it recorded a 20.6 percent increase.

The Sherpa Meeting held in July 2010 in preparation for the G20 Seoul Summit Korea's nuclear power plant technology globally recognized for its high performance and safety

As the Korean economy was showing signs of rapid recovery, Korea officially became a nuclear technology exporting country when it won the UAE nuclear power plant project worth approximately $20 billion in December, 2009. Since Kori Unit 1, Korea's first nuclear power plant, began operating, nuclear power plants in Korea have accounted for 2.4% of GDP, making a significant contribution to the national economy. With the export of the nuclear power plant to the UAE, it became clear that the nuclear power industry has become an engine for future economic growth in Korea, along with the previously established semiconductor, automobile and shipbuilding industries. In another economic milestone, Korea recently signed the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement(EU-Korea FTA). Both parties authorized the agreement in September 2010, and signed in early October. In its official statement, the European Commission said, "This agreement is the most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU and the FTA is our first deal with an Asian partner.” The Korean government expects the agreement to help pave the way for Korea to act as an East Asian FTA hub, connecting Europe, East Asia, and the United States. Specifically, the Korean government expects that Korea's major exports - automobiles, electronic devices, fiber, and shoes - will benefit from the elimination of tariffs. According to data concerning industrial activities released by the National



The Korea-EU FTA signed on October 6, 2010 in Brussels, Belgium

Korea's LED panel manufacturers boast the biggest global market share.

Statistical Office(NSO) on April 30, the output in mining and manufacturing in March rose 22.1 percent from the same month of the preceding year, marking the ninth consecutive monthly increase. Brisk production in mining and manufacturing is attributable to soaring exports of semiconductors and their components and the recovery of domestic demand in the construction and mechanical equipment sectors. As a result, the average capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing sector stood at 80.5 percent, returning almost to the pre-crisis level, 80.8 percent. The Government is projecting that Korea will be able to achieve 5 percent growth in 2010 without much difficulty. According to the April 12 Bank of Korea report on the 2010 prospects for the Korean economy, exports, consumer spending and capital investment will increase steadily. The central bank has said that GDP growth is likely to hit 5.2 percent this year, having moved from negative to positive growth in the first quarter of 2009. Korea was one of the first OECD member countries to return to positive growth.

In the first quarter of 2010, Korea's GDP growth rate was 7.8 percent. This is the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2002. The rate is 3.2 percentage points higher than the third quarter of 2008 just before the country was hit by the global financial crisis. Other auspicious indicators include the raising of Korea's sovereign rating by international credit rating agencies, an increase in new jobs of 267,000 in March as well as a moderate inflation of around two percent. Korea is considered likely to continue on this growth path in the coming months. The Government's domestic and external economic policies are contributing to the reduction of the state debt to GDP ratio. According to the IMF economic outlook report released on May 16, Korea's state debt to GDP ratio in 2015 is expected to be 26.2 percent, the third best among 28 advanced countries. Other low debt-ratio countries include Hong Kong at 0.5 percent, Australia at 20.9, New Zealand at 36.1 and Switzerland at 36.2. The IMF lauded Korea for its extraordinary efforts to achieve fiscal health in the midst of its economic turnaround. The Korean Government's debt ratio in 2009 was 32.6 percent, and the ratios for the ensuing years have been forecast as follows: 33.3 percent(2010), 32.7 percent(2011), and 28.5 percent (2014). Korea's 2011 ratio of 32.7 percent puts the country in fourth place, preceded by Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. In 2014 and 2015, however, the IMF predicted that New Zealand's ratio would rise, raising the Korean ranking by one notch to third place. The following is the gist of the IMF report on Korea dated May 14, 2010: Because of the fiscal risks in some advanced economies, the international financial market is paying close attention to the fiscal soundness of countries. In recent years, the fiscal deficit worsened in general due to pump-priming measures taken in connection with the latest global economic crisis. In Korea where the economic recovery is proceeding at a fast pace, various measures are being taken to normalize fiscal conditions.




Electricity-generating wind turbines in Daegwallyeong, Gangwon-do Province

National Strategy for Green Growth

What is Green Growth?
" Today, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Korea, I want to put forward "Low Carbon. Green Growth" as the Republic's new vision. Green growth will bring about another miracle on the Korean peninsula to succeed the 'Miracle on the Han River' "
Excerpt from the address by President Lee Myung-bak, 15 August 2008

Two years ago, President Lee Myung-bak launched Korea's Green Growth initiative, with the intention of turning Korea into a leader in the field of green growth technology. With the goal of using less energy and ensuring environmental sustainability, his vision of “Low Carbon, Green Growth” encompasses three key objectives, each of which benefits from a synergistic relationship between economic growth and environmental protection: (1) to promote eco-friendly new growth emngines for the national economy, (2) to enhance the quality of life for all members of society, and (3) to contribute to international efforts to fight climate change. This vision requires shifting the current development paradigm, shaped around quantity-oriented, fossil-fuel dependent growth, to quality oriented growth with an emphasis on the use of new and renewable energy resources.

To implement this vision of green growth, the Korean government launched the Presidential Committee on Green Growth and its Secretariat in February, 2009, to coordinate and oversee Korea's green growth policies. Following the establishment of PCGG, each local government organized regional committees dedicated to green growth. In addition, local government bodies were asked to designate Chief Green Officers (CGOs) to promote green growth policies in their respective organizations. In order to encourage a public-private partnership, consultative councils were established to bring in and promote expert advice and private sector involvement in green growth policies. The legal foundation for Korea's green growth policy, the 'Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth' was enacted in January, 2010 to effectively implement measures for dealing with climate change, energy, and sustainable development based on the vision of green growth. In order to lay-out the long term plan for green growth, the government developed the National Strategy for Green Growth. It is the highest level government plan on Green Growth and sets policy objectives for 2050 and performance indicators for 2020 in 10 key policy areas. In order to implement elements of the agenda set out in the National Strategy in a more systematic and consistent manner, the government created a series of 5-year plans, a practice which was very effective in the early stages of Korea's economic development. The goals are ambitious. The first of those 5 year plans calls for 2% of GDP to be invested in green growth initiatives annually, totaling 86 billion USD between 2009 and 2013.


Green Growth

Smart Grid
In 2009 Korea officially announced plans to complete the world's first-ever nationwide smart grid by 2030, under the leadership of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, and the country finalized a 'National Smart Grid Development Roadmap' earlier this year. The smart grid is crucial to realizing a low-carbon green lifestyle as it enables the expansion of clean energy and the rational use of energy. Korea's advanced technology on electric grid management, communication infrastructure and IT technology have given the country a unique competitive advantage in establishing plans for a nation-wide smart grid. With this roadmap, the world's most advanced and largest smart grid test bed is now under construction on Jeju Island, with $215 million from government and private companies.

International Cooperation
To put green growth policy on the international agenda and generate tangible outcomes in the area of green growth technology, Korea is actively involved in efforts to enhance multilateral and bilateral discussions. In July, 2008, Korea initiated the East Asia Climate Partnership, with total funding of 200 million dollars over four years, 2008 to 2012, to assist the developing countries in East Asia to move toward greener growth. In May, 2009, the Global Green Growth Institute(GGGI) was launched with Korea to fund the various efforts, systemize the theories of green growth and disseminate models of green growth to the world. GGGI plans to establish overseas branches in major locations and recruit more experts, with the goal of transforming itself into an international organization based on an inter-governmental treaty by 2012.

A solar power station in Sinan, Jeollanam-do Province

Mitigating Greenhouse Gases
On November 17, 2009, the Korean government set its goal to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from the business-as-usual scenario initially projected for 2020. The Korean government's goal is the highest level of mitigation recommended by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for developing countries. As a non-Annex I country, Korea''s goal setting is a voluntary and unilateral action, and Korea hopes its efforts will create a more conducive atmosphere for other developing countries' willing to make similar commitments, and will serve as a model for further commitments from developed countries. To implement the measures necessary to meet its goals, the Korean government will allocate the target amount of GHG mitigation by sectors and industries. In addition, it will introduce a 'Greenhouse Gas & Energy Target Management System' for facilities and sites which exceed certain standards. They will be mandated to set mitigation targets and their progress will be evaluated.

Change, a hydrogen fuel-cell powered car, displayed in a green growth exhibition.

Energy Independence
Korea imports 97% of its energy supply from overseas and 84% of its energy supply is derived from fossil-based energy sources. In order to reduce the use of and reliance on fossil-based energy sources and move beyond oil, actions will be taken to enhance energy efficiency and the supply of clean, renewable energy. Korea also plans to expand its nuclear power plants, the most practical alternative energy source for GHG mitigation. To enhance the country's energy independence, Korea is also working on strengthening its capacity for developing resources overseas.


Science and Technology

Science Technology
For the last 40 years, Korea's competitiveness in science and technology has been remarkably enhanced thanks to incessant efforts by the government. The unprecedented development of the Korean economy is largely attributable to the development in science and technology. In particular, Korea has witnessed a continued rise in its scientific and technological prowess since the 1980s. Advanced and dynamic R&D activities have served as a prime driving force behind the process of accelerated economic growth. R&D investment saw a whopping 73-fold increase to US$31.29 billion in 2008, from US$420 million in 1981. During the same period, the percentage of GDP taken up by R&D soared greatly from 0.59 percent to 3.37 percent. Increased also was the number of researchers, which stood at 300,050 in 2008, up from 20,718 in the 1981. The growth so far has led to an increased number of scientific dissertations and patents. For instance, in 2008, the number of Korean scientific papers registered on the Science Citation Index(SCI) amounted to 35,569, ranking 12th in the world, while patent applications under the 2008 Patent Cooperation Treaty(PCT) reached 7,902. The 2009 national competitiveness index, prepared by the International Institute for Management Development(IMD) in Switzerland, placed Korea at 14th and 3rd out of 57 countries in terms of technological and scientific competitiveness, respectively.

ARAON, the first icebreaker constructed with Korea's indigenous technology, set sail in 2009.



Korean Language and the Hangeul
Throughout its long history of several thousand years, Korea has cultivated unique cultural characteristics reflecting the optimistic, unpretentious and yet highly rich aesthetic sensibilities of the people. These sensibilities found adequate outlets of expression in the form of fine arts, literature, architecture, lifestyles, culinary culture and many other areas.
More than 70 million people living on the Korean Peninsula speak the Korean language. Linguistic and ethnological studies have classified the Korean language in the Altaic language family, which includes the Turkic, Mongolic and Tungus-Manchu languages. All Koreans speak and write the same language, which has been a decisive factor in forging their strong national identity. Korean has several different dialects in addition to the standard used in Seoul. Only the dialect of Jeju-do Province, however, is so different that it is difficult for others to understand. The Korean alphabet, Hangeul(originally called Hunminjeongeum), was created in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great(r. 1418-1450) working with a select group of scholars. Hangeul, which consists of 10 vowels and 14 consonants, can be combined to form numerous syllabic groupings. It is simple, yet systematic and comprehensive. The value of Hangeul was officially recognized when the book explaining the alphabet, also titled Hunminjeongeum(Correct Sounds for the Instruction of the People), was registered by UNESCO on the Memory of the World Register in October 1997. In addition, every year UNESCO awards the King Sejong Prize to individuals and groups who have contributed to the fight against illiteracy.


Hunmin jeong-eum (Correct Sounds for Instructing the People), a theoretical explanation of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet that was devised by the King Sejong the Great in 1443.

A Korean b-boy group


Gayageum, a 12-stringed traditional Korean instrument in the zither family

Gyeongsangbuk-do Province(top) Mask Dance(above)

World Heritage List
Korea has nine cultural sites and one natural site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It also has seven books on the Memory of the World Register and eight Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Following are brief explanations of selected Korean entries. Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty : The 40 tombs of the 27 Joseon Dynasty kings(and their consorts) who ruled over the Korean peninsula for more than 500 years embody Korea's centuries-old tradition of Confucianism.
Royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty on the UNESCO World Heritage List

proofing, and temperature fully in mind, the complexes utilize several ingenious preservation techniques which have kept the wooden printing blocks safe for centuries. Recognized by UNESCO as “one of the most important and most complete corpus of Buddhist doctrinal texts in the world,” the Tripitaka Koreana is also valued for its high aesthetic quality of its workmanship. Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes : Housing a number of parasitic volcanoes, the world's largest lava tubes and various other rare organisms and endangered species, Jeju Island has significant academic value for the study and Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju, research of the formation of volcanoes and our Gyeongsangbuk-do Province planet's ecology. The beautiful landscape and bio-geological value of Mt. Halla's nature reserve has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Memory of the World Register : Korea has several objects registered with UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, including Hunminjeongeum, which was created under the reign of King Sejong the Great during the Joseon Dynasty and describes the purpose and proper use of the Korean national script, Hangeul; Jikjisimcheyojeol, which was officially recognized as the world's oldest metal type in 1972; and Donguibogam (Medical Thesaurus of Korea), included in the Memory of the World Register in July 2009 and listed as the world's oldest medical guide for public use.

Hwaseong Fortress : Hwaseong, the “Brilliant Fortress”, was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo to honor and house the remains of his father, Crown Prince Sado, who was murdered after being locked alive in a rice chest by his own father. The fortress was constructed very scientifically after drawing on both Eastern and Western theories of military construction. Haeinsa Temple Janggyeongpanjeon : These depositories house the 81,258 wooden printing blocks which collectively form the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tripitaka Koreana. With ventilation, damp



Memory of the World Register
• The Hunminjeongeum Manuscript (Correct Sounds for the Instruction of the People, 1997) • Joseonwangjosillok (The Annals of the Dynasty of Joseon, 1997) • Seungjeongwonilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat, 2001) • Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol(vol.II) (Summary of the Essentials of the Buddha and Patriarchs' Teachings on Direct Pointing at the Mind and Body, 2001) • Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks (The most complete compilation of Buddhist scripture in East Asia, 2007) • Uigwe, the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty (2007) • Donguibogam (Exemplar of Korean Medicine, 2009)

Woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana, a compilation of Buddhist scripture, preserved in Haeinsa Temple

Korea's World Heritage
Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do Province

Cultural Heritage
• Haeinsa Temple Janggyeongpanjeon(1995) • Jongmyo Shrine (1995) • Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (1995) • Changdeokgung Palace Complex (1997) • Hwaseong Fortress (1997) • Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (2000) • Gyeongju Historic Areas (2000) • Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty(2009) • Hahoe and Yangdong Villages (2010)

Hahoe Mask-Dance Drama

Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
• The Royal Ancestral Ritual at the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music (2001) • The Pansori Epic Chant (Long, solo epic song, performed to the accompaniment of a single drum, 2003)

• The Gangneung Danoje Festival (A festival on the fifth day of Fifth Moon, marking the end of spring planting, 2005) • Ganggangsullae Circle Dance (2009) • Namsadangnori (The entertainment of itinerant troupes of male performers, 2009) • Yeongsanjae (Rites of Vulture Peak, a ceremony held in the hope of leading the living and the dead into the joy of enlightenment and perpetual peace, 2009) • Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut (Jeju Rites for the Goddess of the Wind, 2009) • Cheoyongmu (Dance of the Son of the East Sea Dragon, a mask dance-drama, 2009)

Natural Heritage
• Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (2007)



Korean food

The Wonder Girls, a popular song-and-dance group Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, two of the most popular Hallyu movie stars

Korean Food, Hansik
Rice still remains the staple food for most Koreans; it is accompanied by soup and various side dishes, mostly seasoned vegetables, stew and meat. A traditional Korean meal is not complete without kimchi, a mixture of various pickled vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, radish, green onion and cucumber. Most kinds of kimchi are made spicy with the addition of red chili pepper powder, while others are prepared without red peppers or are soaked in a tasty liquid. However, garlic is always used in kimchi to add to its flavor. In addition to kimchi, doenjang (soybean paste), with its anti-cancer attributes, has attracted the attention of modern-day nutritionists. Koreans used to make doenjang at home by boiling yellow beans, drying them in the shade, soaking them in salty water, and fermenting them in the sunlight. However, only a few families go through this process these days and the majority buy factory-made

doenjang. Among meat dishes, seasoned bulgogi (thinly sliced meat, usually beef, seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, garlic and green onion and cooked at the table) and galbi (beef or pork ribs, seasoned and cooked in a similar way) are the most favored by both Koreans and nonKoreans. Other popular dishes are bibimbap (a mixture of rice, vegetables, egg and hot pepper paste), doenjang-jjigae (bean paste soup), naengmyeon (buckwheat noodles in cold beef broth) and samgyetang (stewed chicken stuffed with rice and ginseng).

Entertainment & Hallyu
Hallyu, the “Korean Wave,” is a fairly recent socio-cultural phenomenon that refers to an explosive popularity of Korean culture, including TV dramas, movies and music, which has spread across Asia since the mid1990s especially in China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam. It was first triggered by the TV drama What is Love? which initially became very popular with viewers in Chinesespeaking countries. What is Love? has since been followed by a string of hits such as Autumn in My Heart, Star in My Heart, Winter Sonata and Jewel in the Palace, all creating great enthusiasm for Korean dramas. Since the broadcasting of these dramas, many fan clubs for Korean celebrities have been formed. Bae Yong-joon and Choi Jiwoo, the mesmerizing stars of Winter Sonata and Song Seung-hun of Autumn in My Heart have become the hottest celebrities in Japan, China and other countries. The most recent hit, the charming 16th century royal court drama, Jewel

Veteran actress Yoon Jung-hee

in the Palace, is said to have provoked a new level of interest in traditional Korean clothing, herbal medicine and court cuisine. The great popularity of this drama, many experts agree, explains “the strength of the cultural software” of Korea. Korea's booming film industry, which ably produced 10-million-ticket blockbusters like Silmido, Taegeukgi and The Host, as well as Korean pop music stars like BoA and Rain have also been forces intensifying the popularity of the Korean Wave.



Games, he won the gold medal in the men's 400m freestyle with a time of 3:41:86, thus becoming the first Korean swimmer to grab a gold medal in Olympic Games. The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games held in February 2010 was a major milestone for Korea's winter sports competition. In the Vancouver Olympiad, Korea not only reaped record-breaking results but also demonstrated the superiority of its athletic training system. The most remarkable thing about the Korean national team was that it secured a good number of medals in several categories in which they had never distinguished themselves. The only category in which the Korean team had excelled before the 2010 Winter Games was short-track speed skating. But a breakthrough came when Korea's Mo Tae- Bum and Lee SangHwa won gold medals in the men's and women's 500m speed skating event, respectively. Also, Lee Seung-Hoon won the men's 10,000m race. In the history of Olympic skating, no country had the honor of winning both men's and women's 500m race simultaneously. In this way, the long and medium-distance speed skaters won more gold medals than the traditionally strong short-track team members did, catapulting the Republic to a leading position in overall speed skating events. The medal count

Winners of the U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup Figure skater Kim Yuna Park Tae-hwan

The Koreans have a long tradition of sports and games. With the country's remarkable economic growth, public interest in a wide variety of sports has been growing steadily. Nowadays, many Koreans are actively participating in a diverse array of international sports competitions competing against the best athletes in the world. The globalization of Korean sports went into full swing in the wake of two international events-the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and the Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup in 2002. Many Koreans have risen in prominence in a wide range of global sports. The Korean baseball team, in particular, attracted keen attention from the world when it won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and second place at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In Major League Baseball, Park Chan-ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians are the two outstanding Korean players. Kim Tae-Kyun of the Chiba Lotte Marines and Lim Chang-Yong of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows are displaying outstanding performances in Nippon Professional Baseball. Young Korean players have stunned the world with impressive performances in events in which their predecessors have not been strong. Swimmer Park Tae-hwan set new Asian records in three events in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, winning three gold medals, one silver and three bronzes. In the Beijing 2008 Olympic

in the medium and long-range category was three golds and two silvers, while the short-track team earned two golds, four silvers and two bronzes. Exalted as the “Queen of Ice” by countless fans around the world, Korea's Kim Yu-Na was crowned as the indomitable champion of women's figure skating by registering a previously unimaginable 228.56 points-78.50 in the short program and 150.06 in free skating. For the first time in history, she achieved the grand slam of figure skating by taking all four major international women's single championships-the Grand Prix Final, the Four-Continent Championships, the World Championships and the Winter Olympics. Korea became the third country to win individual gold medals simultaneously in all three major events-figure skating, short-track speed skating and speed skating, preceded by the United States and Canada. It is also noteworthy that Korean women's football has recently made remarkable progress. There are only 65 girls and women's football teams, playing in schools or in the Korea Women's Football League. Of 1,450 registered players, just 345 girls are playing on high-school teams, but they have attained worldclass skills thanks to systematic training and a fighting spirit. On the strength of such ongoing efforts, Korean women's football teams have stunned the world by clinching third place in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in August 2010 and winning the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Trinidad and Tobago on September 26, 2010.



Located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, the Republic of Korea is blessed with beautiful nature that provides ever-changing scenery over the course of four distinct seasons throughout the year. In spring, dubbed by poets as the queen of the seasons, a variety of festivals and fairs are held in many parts of the country taking advantage of the flamboyant flowers coming into full bloom. There are many places famous for cherry blossoms across the nation, including Yeouido in Seoul as well as a four-kilometer tunnel of cherry blossom in Hadong and Jinhae, both in Gyeongsangnam-do Province. In addition, cherries line the international marathon course in Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Spring is also the season for tea aficionados, who usually travel to the southern part of the country to enjoy the taste of newly picked wild green tea leaves. Particularly spectacular are the spring rape flower fields on Jejudo, the most exotic island in Korea known as a popular honeymoon destination.



Cheonggyecheon stream in downtown Seoul renovated in an environment-friendly way.

Mud festival in the coastal city of Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do Province

Sunrise over the South Sea

A ski slope in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do Province

Surrounded by seas on three sides, Korea has about 3,200 small and big islands, including the southernmost Jejudo and the easternmost Ulleungdo and Dokdo. There are also 350 or so beaches along the east, west and south coasts. All these add to the excitement of summer in Korea, the best season for all kinds of water sports such as water skiing, skin or scuba diving, windsurfing and fishing. Mountainous areas account for about 70 percent of the total land, thus mountaineering, rock climbing and rafting in the rivers are very popular. An increasing number of foreign tourists are joining various cultural programs, gaining firsthand experiences in learning about the ecosystem in tidal mud flats and life in rural communities. Many local festivals are gaining popularity among tourists, including the Boryeong Mud Festival, the Muju Firefly Festival and the Gangjin Celadon Festival. A wellknown phrase describing Korea's natural attributes is “silk brocade embroidered with beautiful mountains and streams.” The phrase especially fit the autumn season. Mountains in this season turn many shades of red and yellow, attracting even those who do not much enjoy mountain climbing in normal times. Rocky mountains tinged with colorful foliage provide an extraordinary landscape. Many mountains are adjacent to residential areas, thus making them easy to climb. Mountains famous for autumn leaves include Mt. Seoraksan, Mt. Naejangsan, Mt. Jirisan and Mt. Gyeryongsan. In autumn, many cities and towns hold diverse festivities featuring locally produced crops and foods as well as traditional cultural performances. Some of the wellknown annual county fairs include the Songi Mushroom Festival in Yangyang,

Gangwon-do Province; the Horizon Festival in Gimje, Jeollabuk-do Province; the Namgang Yudeung Festival in Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do Province; the Hwaseong Cultural Festival in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do Province; and the World Kimchi Culture Festival in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do Province. To many people, winter comes as a season of inaction or hibernation, but not so to travelers who believe in winter adventures and romance. Snow-covered mountains and countryside provide serene, idyllic vistas. Braving the cold weather, quite a few people visit beaches and temples in remote mountains and become immersed in the spectacular sights conducive to deep thinking. Winter sports are also popular in Korea. Famous places offering skiing, snowboarding and sledding facilities include Yongpyeong, Sungwoo and Daemyeong Resorts, all of them located in mountainous Gangwon-do Province. They are favorite destinations for tourists originating from hot Southeast Asian countries. Other Gangwon-do Province towns hold annual winter festivals as well. Hwacheon and Inje build ice theme parks and offer trout and pond smelt fishing opportunities respectively on frozen lakes and rivers. Taebaek is noted for a festival featuring a snow sculpture exhibition and other snow park events. Natural hot springs also draw a great number of people during winter. Renowned hot springs within three hours' drive from Seoul are Suanbo, Onyang, Yuseong and Deoksan, all of them situated in the Chungcheong-do Provinces.