South Korea is a beautiful country, well-known for its sprawling countryside, breathtaking mountains, ancient palaces—and for being one of the world’s most technologically advanced nations. South Korea regularly beats out most other countries in terms of technology, science, and transportation innovations. The average internet speed in South Korea, for example, is nearly four times faster than that of the rest of the world. South Korea is a fascinating mixture of ancient history and forward-thinking innovation, and never ceases to surprise new visitors.
South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea—not to be confused with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea—is an East Asian country with a population of 51 million people. South Korea is an extremely developed country with a high average income, and a population density 10 times greater than the average population density of the rest of the world. Roughly one fifth of South Korea’s population inhabits Seoul, its capital city.
Korea was first divided into North and South Korea in 1948 by the Soviet Union and United States. Today, North Korea is extremely insular, with little outside contact with the rest of the world—even with South Korea, its neighboring country. South Korea itself is very homogenous, with close to 100% of its population identifying as native Korean.
South Korea is an extremely popular tourist destination, both for its many natural wonders and for its constant strides in technological innovation. People come to Korea in the millions every year to hike and climb in the mountains, relax in natural hot springs and saunas, ride the high-speed trains (which are some of the fastest in the world) and get a good look at the soaring skyline of Seoul.