REPUBLIC OF KOREA
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, has been declared the fourth most developed Asian economy and is one of the founding members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Organization and the East Asia Summit.
It is located on the southern half of the Korean peninsula, in the very east of Asia. It was created during the Cold War, in 1948, when the peninsula was divided into a communist north and a capitalist south.
South Korea is a multiparty republic with one legislature. The head of state is the president, who is directly elected for a five-year term. In addition to being the head of the state and the army, the president represents the top of the executive power, because he appoints the prime minister, who is confirmed by the parliament.
The Secretary General of the United Nations between 2007 and 2016 was the Korean Ban Ki-Moon, which further emphasized the international importance of South Korea in the world.
The agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Korea was signed in 1990. Today, the relations between Serbia and the Republic of Korea are good and friendly, and in recent years they have been characterized by the intensification of political dialogue at a high level, as well as the improvement of overall, especially economic, cooperation.
Seoul: an amazing blend of ancient and ultra-modern
The capital Seoul is also the largest city, a megalopolis with about 11 million inhabitants that represents an incredible combination of ancient and ultra-modern.
The most famous tourist attraction in Seoul is the Banpo Bridge on the Han River. This building entered the Guinness Book of Records as the bridge with the world’s longest fountain, 1140 meters long. The statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the defender of Korea against the Japanese attack in 1592, and the monument to King Sejong, the founder of the Korean alphabet, are symbols of this city.
The city is dominated by numerous Buddhist temples, churches, and mosques. In addition to modern neighborhoods and shopping areas, in the center of Seoul, there is also a traditional Hanok village with old wooden houses and buildings from the Joseon Dynasty period, which testify to the rich history of this country.
The village of Hanok
South Korea has more than 50 million inhabitants and is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. The official language is Korean, with a special script called Hangul.
This country is imbued with rich traditions, customs, and culture, and various ceremonies play an important role in the lives of its inhabitants. Dedication to family, work, cleanliness, and discipline is the most striking characteristic of Koreans, who pay great attention to nature and healthy life, so the country is decorated with many gardens, botanical gardens, and promenades.
The average life expectancy of Koreans is 75.5 years for men and 82.2 years for women.
From the beginning of the 1960s to the present day, South Korea has experienced spectacular economic growth that has made it an industrial power, and one of the 15 largest economies in the world.
The GDP per inhabitant is about 10,000 US dollars, and more than 40% is realized in industry, which is among the largest shares in the world. Among the most important industries are electrical engineering and electronics, especially telecommunications equipment, computers, computer components, and consumer electronics industries, with Samsung becoming one of the world’s leading corporations.
Less than 20% of the country’s surface is cultivated, rice is the main crop, and fisheries and aquaculture are important in food production.
In Korea, food is important in all aspects of life, and grains are one of the most important ingredients in Korean cuisine. Many myths about the foundation of Korean kingdoms are based on grain like the one associated with Jumong. Legend has it that he received barley seeds from two pigeons, sent by his mother after the founding of the Goguryeo kingdom.
Although it is based on rice, vegetables, and meat in Korean cuisine, Kimchi is a special specialty and is served with practically every dish.
It is a traditional Korean side dish that is most often prepared from fermented Korean/Chinese cabbage, although it can also be prepared from other fermented vegetables. It is loved by people all over the world because of its specific pleasant taste and freshness.
In addition to the traditional bowl of milled white rice, rice is often mixed with flour to make rice cakes called tteok, in over two hundred different varieties. By cooking rice, porridge is made, which is mixed with other grains, meat, or seafood, and in addition, a large amount of rice wine is produced in Korea.