Korea, South Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Korea, South?

Overview:

Located on a peninsula squarely between China and Japan, Korea is a mountainous and ruggedly beautiful land of diverse geographical features. Seas form three of its boundaries: to the east is the Sea of Japan (or East Sea); to the south, the narrow Korean Straits, and to the west, the Yellow Sea. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) forms the northern boundary, separating the Republic of Korea from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea).

The capital city of Seoul lies some 30 miles south of the DMZ. In addition, there are the regional capitals for various provinces in the country. There are also several important seaports in Korea. Pusan, about 300 miles southeast of Seoul, is Korea's main seaport. Inchon, about 40 miles west of Seoul, is the second most active port. The cities of Pohang, Ulsan, and Chinhae are also key sites in commerce.

Geography - note:

strategic location on Korea Strait

Climate:

Korea's climate is marked by four very distinct seasons. The winters are dry and cold, with snow usually appearing in January. The advent of the cherry blossoms heralds spring—a season that can also be somewhat unpredictable. A brief monsoon season and high temperatures combine to make city life rather humid in the summertime. Autumn is easily the best time of year in Korea, when both the cities and the countryside benefit from clear skies and vibrant fall foliage.

Only 19% of the country is flat enough to be arable, and that land is farmed intensively. In addition, there has been a steady shift away from the farm and into urban areas. Two-thirds of Korea's population now live in its cities.

Korea, South Use of Natural Resources

Korea, South Environment

Climate:

Korea's climate is marked by four very distinct seasons. The winters are dry and cold, with snow usually appearing in January. The advent of the cherry blossoms heralds spring—a season that can also be somewhat unpredictable. A brief monsoon season and high temperatures combine to make city life rather humid in the summertime. Autumn is easily the best time of year in Korea, when both the cities and the countryside benefit from clear skies and vibrant fall foliage.

Only 19% of the country is flat enough to be arable, and that land is farmed intensively. In addition, there has been a steady shift away from the farm and into urban areas. Two-thirds of Korea's population now live in its cities.

Terrain:

mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south

Natural Resources:

coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential

Natural Hazards:

occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest

Irrigated Land:

3,399 Square Miles
8,804 Square Kilometers

Environmental 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

Korea, South Geography

Geographic Location Asia
Total Area 38,502 Square Miles
99,720 Square Kilometers
Land Area 37,421 Square Miles
96,920 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,081 Square Miles
2,800 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 148 Miles
238 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 3,399 Square Miles
8,804 Square Kilometers
Border Countries North Korea 238 km
Coastline 1,499 Miles
2,413 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 37 00 N, 127 30 E
Terrain mostly hills and mountains; wide coastal plains in west and south
Highest Point 1,950 Meters
Highest Point Location Halla-san 1,950 m
Lowest Point Location Sea of Japan 0 m
Natural Resources coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, hydropower potential
Time Zone UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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