What To Do In South Korea


South Korea, formally the Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia. South Korea occupies the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea to the north, China across the sea to the west and Japan a short ferry ride to the southeast.

Despite initially being economically outdone by its northern rival, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth starting in the 1960s under the leadership of former military general President Park Chung Hee. As one of the East Asian Tigers, the South Korean economy's industrialization and modernization efforts gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s, with per capita income rising to 20 times the level of North Korea. In 1996, South Korea joined the OECD or "the rich nations club". Today, South Korea has been recognized as an industrialized, developed economy with some of the world's leading high technology corporations such as Samsung and LG.

South Korea is now a liberal democracy and an economic powerhouse. In June 2000, a historic first summit took place between the South's President Kim Dae-Jung and the North's leader Kim Jong-il (leading Kim Dae-Jung to be awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize for South Korea), but the peace process has moved at a glacial pace.

In recent years, a phenomenon is known as the "Korean Wave" (or Hallyu) in which the popularity of the South Korean film, television, music, food, and other culture aspects has swept most of Asia and many other parts of the world have brought increased attention to the country.

Koreans believe that the things that set them the most apart from other Asian cultures are their cuisine, their language, and their hangul script. Outsiders will note their extreme modernity, tempered by a well-developed artistic and architectural joyfulness. Nothing goes undecorated if it can be helped, and they have a knack for stylish interior design. South Korea also has a vibrant film and TV industry, and the country is one of only a few countries in the world in which local films have a greater market share than Hollywood films.
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