The Land of Korea is roughly
1,000 km (600 miles) long and 216 km (135 miles) wide at its narrowest
point. Mountains cover 70% of Korea's land area, making the peninsula one of
the most mountainous regions in the world. The lifting and folding of
Korea's granite and limestone base has created breathtaking landscapes of
scenic hills and mountains. The mountain range that traverses the entire
length of the east coast plunges steeply into the East Sea. Along the
southern and western coasts, the mountains descend gradually to the coastal
plains. Korea's 99,434 sq.km(24,570acres) is populated by 46.85 million
people. Administratively, the Republic of Korea consists of nine provinces
(do); one special city, Seoul ; and the six metropolitan cities of Busan,
Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejon, and Ulsan. In total, there are 72 cities (si)
and 94 counties (gun) in the nine provinces.
The Korean Peninsula extends
southward from the northeast part of the Asian continent between 33 and 43
North Latitude and 124 and 132 degree East Longitude. The standard meridian
of the peninsula is 135, nine hours ahead of GMT. The Amnokgang and
Dumangang Rivers border both China and Russia to the north, and Japan is
just across the East Sea. Since 1945, as a by-product of the Cold War, the
peninsula has been divided at 38 North Latitude into the capitalist Republic
of Korea, or South Korea, and the communist Democratic People's Republic of
Korea, more commonly known as North Korea.
The total area of the peninsula
is 222,196 km², similar in size to that of England, New Zealand, or Romania.
South Korea possesses 99,434 km² or 45% of the total land mass, and North
Korea 122,762 km², the remaining 55%. About 70% of the land is mountainous,
mainly to the north and east. Along the southern and western coasts the
mountains descend gradually towards broad coastal plains. Most of the rivers
have their tributaries on the north and east sides, and flow into the Yellow
and Korea Strait. Concentrated for the most part off the southern coast are
upwards of 3,000 islands of various sizes that provide scenery unparalleled
in the world.
Korea lies in the temperate
zone and has four distinct seasons. In late March or early April, the trees
burst into leafy splendor to mark the beginning of spring. Occasional
showers can be expected from March to May. During the relatively hot and
rainy summer season, the vegetation is green and lush. The monsoon rains
usually begin at the end of June, however the heaviest rainfall occurs in
July. The coming of autumn in late September brings continental winds and
clear, dry weather, making the fall months the most pleasant time of year.
The vivid golds and vibrant reds of the changing leaves create a colorful
panorama. December to February are cold and dry with occasional rain or
snow. During the winter months, the cold is normally punctuated by a few
Korea is Located between 131°52'42"E (East) and 124°11'00"E (West),
43°00'39"N (North) and 33°06'40"N (South) Area: 222,154 km² (South Korea:
The country extends south from the
northeastern end of Asia and consists of the Korean Peninsula and over 3,400
In its geographical features, Korea is a transitional zone between the
continental landmass of northeastern Asia and the island arc rimming the
western Pacific Ocean. The western coast, which is open to continental
Asia, is vulnerable to the influence of the winter monsoon...........
The uniqueness of the Koreans is that, they are
one ethnic family speaking one language. They share certain distinct
physical characteristics which differentiate them from other Asian peoples
including the Chinese and the Japanese, and they have a strong cultural
identity as one...........
The first people to inhabit the
Korean Peninsula were people of a Tungusic branch of the Ural-Altaic
language family, who migrated from the northwestern regions of Asia. Some of
these peoples also populated parts of northeast China (Manchuria); Koreans
and Manchurians still show physical similarities..........