Missionaries to South Korea

Pray for: The Ku Family

  The Kus

About South Korea*   

Map of South Korea
  • Background:

    Korea was an independent kingdom for much of the past millennium. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. 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 Yo'ng-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 Tae-chung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il.

  • Location:

    Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea.

  • Natural Resources:

    coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential

  • Natural Hazards:

    Occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest.

  • Area - comparative:

    Slightly larger than Indiana.

  • Government Type & Capital:

    Republic — Seoul

  • Independence:

    15 August 1945 (from Japan)

  • Population:

    48,846,823 (July 2006 est.)

  • Ethnic groups:

    homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)

  • Religions:

    No affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%.

  • Disputes - International:

    Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic maritime disputes with North Korea over the Northern Limit Line; South Korea and Japan claim Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954.

* Based on CIA-The World Factbook