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Korea's Geography

The Korean Peninsula, located in Northeast Asia, is bordered on the north by China and Russia and juts toward Japan to the southeast.  The northernmost point is Yup'ojin in Onsong-gun, Hamgyongbuk-do Province, and the southernmost point is Marado island, Cheju-do Province.  

The westernmost point of Maando island in Yongch'on-gun, Pyonganbuk-do Province, and the easternmost is Tokdo island in Ullung-gun, Kyongsangbukdo Province.  

The Korean Peninsula is 222,154 square kilometers, almost the same size as the UK or Romania.  The administrative area of the Republic of Korea is 99,392 square kilometers, slightly larger than Hungary or Portugal and a little smaller than Iceland.

The Republic of Korea is composed of nine provinces, with Seoul as the capital city.  Other metropolitan cities include Pusan, Taegu, Inch'on, Kwangju, Taejon, and Ulsan.  The landscape of the country is spectacular in its variations and about 70 percent of it is mountainous, with more than 3,000 islands dotting the coastline.  There are several major rivers in the south, one of which is the Hangang river which cuts through Seoul. 



Eastern Asia, southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea
Geographic coordinates:
37 00 N, 127 30 E
Map references:
total: 99,720 sq km
country comparison to the world: 108
land: 96,920 sq km
water: 2,800 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Indiana
Land boundaries:
total: 238 km
border countries: North Korea 238 km
2,413 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the Korea Strait
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Current Weather
temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter
mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Halla-san 1,950 m
Natural resources:
coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Land use:
arable land: 16.58%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.41% (2005)
Irrigated land:
8,780 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
69.7 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 18.59 cu km/yr (36%/16%/48%)
per capita: 389 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
volcanism: Halla (elev. 1,950 m, 6,398 ft) is considered historically active although it has not erupted in many centuries
Environment - current issues:
air pollution in large cities; acid rain; water pollution from the discharge of sewage and industrial effluents; drift net fishing
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location on Korea Strait


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Dokdo's Green Ambassador, Jonathan Lee, traveled to Dokdo to see if sea lions could be brought back. While on the island, Jonathan learned more about the history of the island and the cause of the sea lions' demise.


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