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Political Status: Independent republic established on August 15, 1948; present constitution approved in a national referendum on October 27, 1987, effective February 25, 1988.

Area: 38,309 sq. mi. (99,221 sq. km).

Population: 50,225,192 (2014E—UN); 49,039,986 (2014—US Census).

Major Urban Centers (2011E—UN): SEOUL (10,038,905), Pusan (3,420,679), Taegu (2,417,943), Inchon (2,675,476), Taejon (1,523,840), Kwangju (1,451,394), Ulsan (1,097,354).

Official Language: Korean.

Monetary Unit: South Korean Won (market rate October 1, 2014: 1063.08 won = $1US).

President: PARK Geun Hye (New Frontier Party); elected on December 19, 2012 and sworn in for a five-year term on February 25, 2013, succeeding LEE Myung Bak (Grand National Party—renamed New Frontier Party in February 2012).

Prime Minister: CHUNG Hong Won (New Frontier Party); nominated by the president on February 8, 2013, and confirmed by the National Assembly on February ...

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