Republic of Korea
[[.|]] Flag of Japan.svg
1948–2017 UFE.png
Flag of South Korea.svg SK COA.png
Flag Coat of arms
홍익인간 (Korean)
Benefit All Mankind
애국가 (Korean)
Patriotic Song
SK territory.png
South Korean territory before the invasion
Capital Seoul
Demonym South Korean
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
President Park Geun-hye
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn
Legislature National Congress
 •  Upper house Senate
 •  Lower house House of Representatives
 •  First Republic Proclaimed 15 August 1948
 • Korean War 1950 - 1953
 •  Treaty of Unification 10 August 2017
Area 100,210 km² (38,691 sq mi)
 •  est.2017 53,223,857 
     Density 531.1 /km²  (1,375.6 /sq mi)
Currency South Korean won (₩)
South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (Hangul: 대한민국; hanja: 大韓民國; RR: Daehanminguk), was a sovereign state in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.

The name Korea was derived from the ancient Kingdom of Goguryeo, also known as Koryŏ. Highly urbanized at 93.12% (7/2017), South Koreans led a distinctive urban lifestyle; half of them lived in high-rises, concentrated in the Seoul Capital Area with 26.12 million residents and formerly the world's sixth leading global city with the fourth largest economy. Three-quarters of South Korea was mountainous, which made it a popular winter sport destination in Asia and was supposed to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, however this has been changed to Paris after the war.

The earliest Korean pottery dated back to 8000 BC, with three kingdoms flourishing at 1st century BC. One of them, Goguryeo, ruled Northeast China, parts of Russia and Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Since their unification into Silla and Balhae in the 7th century, Korea enjoyed over a millennium of relative tranquility under long lasting dynasties with innovations like Hangul, the unique alphabet created by Sejong the Great in 1446, enabling anyone to easily learn to read and write. Its rich and vibrant culture left 17 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites. Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan in 1910 due to its strategic and central location, after whose surrender in 1945, it was divided into North and South Korea. A North Korean invasion led to the Korean War (1950–53). Peace has since mostly continued up until the beginning of war, with the two having agreeed to work peacefully for reunification, and the South having solidified peace as a regional power with the world's former 10th largest defence budget.