Country NameRepublic of Korea (South Korea)
National FlowerMugunghwa (Rose of Sharon)
LanguageKorean (Writing system: Hangeul)
The Republic of Korea is a small country on the far eastern edge of Asia. Although it ranks 109th in the world in terms of land area, the country is a center of economic, cultural, and arts activity. Korea was colonized by Japan in the early 20th century and later had to endure the Korean War (1950-53), but since that time it has achieved amazing economic growth in a short period, dubbed "the Miracle on the Hangang River."
Today, Korea is an industrial nation standing tall on the world stage. Its semiconductor, automobile, shipbuilding, steel making, and IT industries are on the leading edge in global markets. In 1988, it was host of the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics and in 2002, it hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan. More recently, Korean dramas, movies, and music have been attracting a wide audiences throughout Asian countries and beyond, creating what is being called the "Korean Wave". Korea's new standing in the international community was highlighted in 2010 as the nation became the first Asian country to chair the G20 when it hosted the G20 Seoul Summit.