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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: 50,504,000 (2018E—World Bank); 49,180,776 (2018E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (2016E—UN): SEOUL (9,779,000), Busan (3,200,000), Daegu (2,241,000), Daejon (1,578,000), Gwangju (1,550,000), Incheon (2,711,000), Suweon (1,106,000), Yongin (1,090,000).

Official Language: Korean.

Monetary Unit: South Korean Won (market rate October 19, 2018: 1,137.27 won = $1US).

President: MOON Jae-in (Minjoo); elected on May 9, 2017, and sworn in for a five-year term on May 10, succeeding PARK Geun-hye (New Frontier Party).

Prime Minister: LEE Nak-yeon (Minjoo); nominated by the president on May 10, 2017, and confirmed by the National Assembly on May 30, succeeding HWANG Kyo Ahn (ind.).

The Country

Characterized by mountainous terrain in ...

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