World Country South Korea

About the world country South Korea, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

KOREA, SOUTH

Location: Southern half of the Korean Peninsula, plus islands, west of Japan in eastern Asia. Size: 38,025 sq. mi. (98,484 sq. km.). Population: 40,731,000.

Who Really Rules: President Chun Doo Hwan leads a military regime which tolerates no real opposition and represses union organizing. Following a popular uprising in the southern city of Kwangju, brutally suppressed by troops, Chun's government sentenced opposition leader Kim Dae Jung to life imprisonment. Though Chun's government is unpopular, no South Korean opposition groups identify with the Communist North.

South Korea's manufacturing economy has grown rapidly in the past decade, and so have its debts to foreign banks. Japanese and U.S. corporations operate numerous subsidiaries in South Korea, but the government has supported the emergence of several major Korean-owned industrial groups. The U.S. and Japanese governments may oppose authoritarian rule in Korea, but the export-oriented development strategy which they have encouraged requires low wages and the repressive policies which guarantee them. Chun's regime has been particularly strict about what can be shown on television. Banned have been portrayals of such diverse subjects as extramarital affairs, conflict between the generations, violations of the highway code, and property speculation.

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