Land

The Korean Peninsula extends southward form the eastern end of the the Asian continent. It is roughly 1000km (621miles) long and 216km(134miles) wide at its narrowest point. Mountains cover 70% of the land mass, making Korea one of the most mountainous regions in the world. The mountain range that stretches along the east coast falls steeply into the East Sea, while along the south and west coasts, the mountains descend gradually to the coastal plains that produce the bulk of Korea’s agricultural crops, especially rice.



Administrative Division

The peninsula is divided just slightly north of the 38th parallel. The republic of Korea in the south and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north are separated by the Demilitarized Zone, The Republic of Korea consists of eight provinces and one special self-governing province (do); the capital Seoul; the six metropolitan cities of Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan and 74 cities (si); and 85 counties.



Language

The Korean language, like Hungarian, Turkish, Mongolian and Finnish, is classified into the Ural-Altaic language group. Hangel (The Korean alphabet) is composed of ten simple vowels and 14consonants. A group of scholars under the patronage of Kong Sejong the Great developed this systematic rendition of spoken sound in 1443. Hunminjeongeum, a historical document which provides instructions to educate people on the use of Hangeul, is registered with UNESCO as World Heritage and UNESCO also awards of the “King Sejong Literacy Prize” every year in memory of the inventor of Hangeul.



National Flag

The design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang forces in Asian philosophy. The red and blue circle respectively represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang and yin, The two forces together embody the concepts of continual movement, balance and harmony that characterize the sphere of infinity. The trigrams on each corner of the rectangular flag symbolize heaven, earth, water and fire.



National Flower [Mugunghwa]

Every year from July to October, a profusion of mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) blossoms grace the entire country. Unlike most flowers, the mugunghwa is remarkable tenacious and able to withstand both blight and insects. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means immortality and accurately reflects the enduring nature of the Korean culture along with the determination and perseverance of its people




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