Republic of Korea

Taehan Min-guk


FLAG : The flag, called the T'aegukki, shows, on a white field, a central circle divided into two parts, red on top and deep blue below, in the shape of Chinese yin and yang symbols. Broken and unbroken black bars in each of the four corners are variously arranged in sets of three, representing divination diagrams.

ANTHEM : Aegukka (The Song of Patriotism), officially adopted on 15 August 1948.

MONETARY UNIT : The won ( W ) is the national currency. There are notes of 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 won. W 1 = $0.00083 (or $1 = W 1,206) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : Both the metric system and ancient Korean units of measurement are used.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Days, 1–3 January; Independence Movement Day, 1 March; Labor Day, 10 March; Arbor Day, 5 April; Children's Day, 5 May; Memorial Day, 6 June; Constitution Day, 17 July; Liberation Day, 15 August; Armed Forces Day, 1 October; National Foundation Day, 3 October; Han'gul (Korean Alphabet) Day, 9 October; Christmas, 25 December.

TIME : 9 PM = noon GMT.


The Koreans are believed to be descended primarily from Tungusic peoples of the Mongoloid race, who originated in the cold northern regions of Central Asia. There is scant evidence of non-Mongoloid admixture. There are about 20,000 Chinese; however, the ROK has no sizable ethnic minority.


The ROK has no territories or colonies.


Armstrong, Charles K. (ed.). Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy, and the State . New York: Routledge, 2002.

Aspalter, Christian. Conservative Welfare State Systems in East Asia. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001.

Bergsten, C. Fred, and Inbom Choi. The Korean Diaspora in the World Economy. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 2003.

Buzo, Adrian. The Making of Modern Korea. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Connor, Mary E. The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO, 2002.

Dudley, William (ed.). North and South Korea: Opposing Viewpoints. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

Edwards, Paul M. The Korean War: A Historical Dictionary. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2003.

Foley, James A. (ed.). Korea's Divided Families: Fifty Years of Separation. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.

Grayson, James Huntley. Korea: A Religious History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hwang, Eui-Gak. The Korean Economies: A Comparison of North and South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Lone, Stewart. Korea Since 1850. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

Macdonald, Donald Stone. The Koreans: Contemporary Politics and Society. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990.

McNamara, Dennis L. The Colonial Origins of Korean Enterprise, 1910–1945. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Nahm, Andrew C. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993.

Oliver, Robert Tarbell. A History of the Korean People in Modern Times: 1800 to the Present. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1993.

Sanford, Dan C. South Korea and the Socialist Countries: The Politics of Trade. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.

Seth, Michael J. Education Fever: Society, Politics, and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

Sohn, Hak-Kyu. Authoritarianism and Opposition in South Korea. London; New York: Routledge, 1989.

Song, Pyong-nak. The Rise of the Korean Economy. Hong Kong; New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: