Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea대한민국, sits on the Korean Peninsula, divided along the 38th parallel.  South Korea has around 3,000 mostly small and uninhabited islands.  It's only land border is with North Korea, along the DMZ, while it is separated from Japan by the Korean Strait and the Sea of Japan.

South Korea is home to 51,18 million people.  The county is a little larger than Indiana but a bit smaller than Pennsylvania.  Seoul is the capital city and has over 9,77 million people.  That's almost as many people in all of Czech Republic.

Following the Korean War, the south was a bit worse off than the north economically as North Korea was the industrial base.  During the 1960s, South Korea's GDP per capita was comparable to poorer countries in Africa or Asia.

That's a thing of the past.  From 1961 to 1979, the south's rapid economic growth saw the per capita income rise to around 17 times that of North Korea.  South Korea is an economic powerhouse and in 2004 it joined the trillion-dollar club of the world's economies.

The currency is the Won (₩).

Everyone speaks Korean.  The alphabet is incredibly easy to learn but it ends there.  The rest of Korean is difficult as hell.  Korean is more difficult to learn to speak than Czech.

South Korea hosted the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and, with Japan, co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  In 2018 it will host the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Here's a video I found out on YouTube about how powerful South Korea is.


South Korea and the EU have a free trade agreement in place.  South Korea has become the EU's 8th largest trade partner and the EU's is Korea's 2nd largest exporter destination.  Czech Republic and Slovakia have built significant ties with South Korea.

South Korea is the Czechland's third largest business partner outside of the EU.  In 2015 the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement to expand business ties.  Korean Airlines and Czech Airlines have multiples per week between Prague and Korea.  All of the signs in Prague airport are written in order of English, Czech, Russian and Korean.

Here's a short video highlighting the economic ties between Czechland and Korea.

©Arirang News

I think that Slovakia has done even better.  For trade and investment, Korea is Slovakia's number one partner in Asia.  There are more than 80 registered Korean companies in Slovakia that employ over 10,000 people especially in the car and electronics industries.  KIA Motors is the biggest Korean investor in Slovakia.  When driving on the highway in Bratislava you'll see the SlovaKIA billboards which is brilliant marketing.

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