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After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel.
15-64 years: 72.9% (male 18,151,023/female 17,400,809)
65 years and over: 11.4% (male 2,259,621/female 3,312,032) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-min’guk
local short form: Han’guk
geographic coordinates: 37 33 N, 126 59 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 22 (2012)
The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea’s development model including high debt/equity ratios, massive foreign borrowing, and an undisciplined financial sector. GDP plunged by 6.9% in 1998, and then recovered by 9.5% in 1999 and 8.5% in 2000.
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