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Korea, South Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Korea
    conventional short form: South Korea
    local long form: Taehan-min'guk
    local short form: none
    note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Han-guk" to refer to their country
    abbreviation: ROK

    Data code: KS

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Seoul

    Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 6 special cities* (gwangyoksi, singular and plural); Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Inch'on-gwangyoksi*, Kangwon-do, Kwangju-gwangyoksi*, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto, Kyongsang-namdo, Pusan-gwangyoksi*, Soul-t'ukpyolsi*, Taegu-gwangyoksi*, Taejon-gwangyoksi*

    Independence: 15 August 1945, date of liberation from Japanese colonial rule

    National holiday: Liberation Day, 15 August (1945)

    Constitution: 25 February 1988

    Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought

    Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President KIM Dae-jung (since 25 February 1998)
    head of government: Prime Minister KIM Chong-p'il (since 3 March 1998)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 18 December 1997 (next to be held by 18 December 2002); prime minister appointed by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
    election results: KIM Dae-jung elected president; percent of vote—KIM Dae-jung (NCNP) 40.3%, YI Hoe-chang (GNP) 38.7%, YI In-che (NPP) 19.2%

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe (299 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 11 April 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NKP 139, NCNP 79, ULD 50, DP 15, independents 16; note—the distribution of seats as of February 1999 was GNP 137, NCNP 105, ULD 53, independents 4

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed by the president subject to the consent of the National Assembly

    Political parties and leaders: Grand National Party or GNP [CHO Sun, president]; National Congress for New Politics or NCNP [KIM Dae-jung, president]; United Liberal Democrats or ULD [PAK Tae-chun, president]
    note: subsequent to the legislative election of April 1996 the following parties disbanded—New Korea Party or NKP and Democratic Party or DP; New People's Party or NPP merged with the NCNP in August 1998

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Korean National Council of Churches; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Student Associations; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Council of Labor Unions; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Veterans' Association; Federation of Korean Industries; Korean Traders Association; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

    International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, BIS, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador YI Hong-ku
    chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-5600
    FAX: [1] (202) 387-0205
    consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen W. BOSWORTH
    embassy: 82 Sejong-Ro, Chongro-ku, Seoul
    mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-0001
    telephone: [82] (2) 397-4114
    FAX: [82] (2) 738-8845

    Flag description: white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)