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South Korea, or the Republic of Korea, consists of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, sharing a land border with the oppressive dictatorship of North Korea to its north. Occupied by the Japanese Empire for much of the first half of the 20th century, the Korean Peninsula was divided into north and south Soviet- and United States–occupied zones after World War II, resulting in the creation of the current Republic of Korea in the south following the elections of 1948. The Korean War of the 1950s was fought when the northern communist government, unrecognized by the United Nations, invaded the south. Border incidents continue to occur, despite the establishment of the Korean Demilitarized Zone as a 2.5-mile-wide buffer.

South Korea is one of the wealthiest ...

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