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Geographic map of South Korea

Geographic map of South Korea

South Korea is an East Asian country occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula.
Archaeological excavations have shown that Korea has been inhabited since the Lower Paleolithic, however the history of Korea begins in 2333 BC. with Dan-gun’s founding of Gojoseon. After the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea under the reign of Silla in 668 AD, the Goryeo (고려, 高麗, also transliterated as Koryo, from which the name Korea derives) and Joseon (조선, 朝鮮) dynasties followed until Japanese invasion of Korea in 1910. After the Soviet and US occupation of the country following World War II, Korea was divided into North Korea (under Soviet influence) and South Korea (under US influence). On 20 June 1950, North Korea, supported by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea, causing the so-called Korean War, a war with two million victims, effectively interrupted in 1953 with the agreement of Korean armistice, even though there was no peace treaty between the “two Koreas”, this means that the conflict is legally still ongoing. Towards the mid-1990s, the country embarked on a gradual process of democratization and today South Korea is considered among the largest democracies in Asia.
The capital of South Korea is Seoul, with approximately 9,700,000 inhabitants.

Geography –
South Korea is a nation located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. It borders North Korea to the north.
It is surrounded on three sides by sea: the Yellow Sea to the west, the Sea of Japan to the east, and the East China Sea to the south.
South Korea has an area of approximately 100,210 square kilometers.
It has a population of over 51 million inhabitants.
The landscape of South Korea is mountainous, with mountain ranges stretching from north to south. The mountains make up about 70% of the territory.
The most significant mountain range is the Taebaek Range, which extends along the eastern coast.
Some of the major rivers in South Korea include the Han River, Nakdong River, and Geum River. These rivers are important both geographically and economically.
South Korea includes Jeju Island, located in the East China Sea. Jeju has a subtropical climate and offers picturesque landscapes, including mountains, beaches and volcanic craters.
The capital of South Korea is Seoul, one of the largest and most technologically advanced cities in the world. Other major urban centers include Busan, Incheon, and Daegu.
Despite limited natural resources, South Korea has developed a highly industrialized economy. Agriculture is practiced in the coastal plains and river valleys.
South Korea has several national parks that protect its rich biodiversity and provide opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities.
In summary, South Korea features a combination of mountainous landscapes, coastal plains, a variety of climates, and strong urbanization, contributing to a nation with a rich culture and a developed economy.

Climate –
South Korea has a diverse climate, with four distinct seasons. Climatic conditions can vary greatly from one region of the country to another. The four seasons are generally as follows:
– Winter (December-February): Winters are cold and dry, with temperatures that can drop below freezing, especially in the northern and mountainous regions. The coastal region of the Yellow Sea tends to be milder than the inland regions.
– Spring (March-May): Spring is characterized by pleasant temperatures and blooming of trees and flowers. Temperatures are starting to rise, and spring is considered a pleasant season to visit South Korea.
– Summer (June-August): Summer is hot and humid, with temperatures that can exceed 30 degrees Celsius. Precipitation is frequent, especially during the summer monsoon. Southern regions are generally warmer than northern ones.
– Autumn (September-November): Autumn is a pleasant season with moderate temperatures and spectacular autumn colors. This is often considered one of the best seasons to visit South Korea.
It should be noted that climatic conditions can vary significantly from one part of the country to another, as South Korea has a varied topography, with mountains and coasts. For example, the northern Seoul region may experience colder winters than southern coastal areas such as Busan.

Flora –
The flora of South Korea is characterized by its diversity, influenced by the variety of climates and environments present in the country. South Korea has a diverse topography that includes mountains, plains, forests and coastal areas. Here are listed some of the significant plant species present in the flora of South Korea:
Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis): This tree is native to the region and is often found in mountainous areas. Its wood is used in various industries, including construction.
Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng): A perennial herbaceous plant, Korean ginseng is known for its medicinal properties and is also cultivated as a medicinal plant.
Birch (Betula spp.): Birch trees are common in mountainous and forested regions. They contribute to the diversity of Korean forests.
Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.): These shrubs are widespread in mountain areas and are known for their spectacular flowering.
Bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens): Bamboo is widely distributed in the temperate and subtropical regions of South Korea.
Fruit Trees: South Korea grows a variety of fruit trees, including apples, pears, peaches, and apricots.
Cherry Blossom (Prunus serrulata): This tree is known for its pink or white flowers and is a symbol of spring in South Korea.
Korean beech (Fagus multinervis): This tree is common in mountain forests and contributes to the biodiversity of the ecosystem.
Miscanthus grass (Miscanthus sinensis): This herbaceous plant is often used as an ornamental in gardens and urban spaces.
Wildflowers: South Korea is filled with a wide range of wildflowers that bloom during different seasons.

Fauna –
South Korea’s fauna is diverse and includes a variety of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. The Korean Peninsula, which is shared by North Korea and South Korea, is characterized by varied topography, ranging from mountain ranges to coastal plains, influencing the distribution of animal species. Below are some of the most representative species:
Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus): Found in the mountainous and forested regions of South Korea.
Sika deer (Cervus nippon): Common in forested areas.
Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis): A threatened species, but occasionally spotted in mountainous areas.
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes): Common throughout the country.
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa): Found in various areas, including forested and mountainous areas.
Red-Red Crane (Grus japonensis): A threatened species that nests in swamps and wetlands.
Eastern Grosbeak (Upupa epops): A colorful and distinctive bird.
Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis): Bird of prey that lives in open areas.
Korean green lizard (Lacerta schrenckii): An endemic lizard species.
Forest frog (Rana dybowskii): Common in wetlands and streams.
Korean carp (Coreoperca herzi): A freshwater fish found in rivers and lakes.
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio): Present in many waterways.
Asian Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo asiaticus): A species of butterfly endemic to mountainous regions.
Korean Cicada (Cryptotympana facialis): Cicada common in Korean summers.
It is important to note that wildlife conservation is a growing concern in South Korea, and many species are subject to protection and monitoring programs to preserve their biodiversity.

Guido Bissanti

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