ABOUT KOREA

 

Location

The Korean Peninsula is located in North-East Asia. It is bordered by the Amnok River (Yalu River) to the northwest, separating Korea from China, and the Duman River (Tumen River) to the northeast which separates Korea from both China and Russia. The country itself is flanked by the Yellow Sea to its west and the East Sea to the east. There are several notable islands that surround the peninsula including Jeju-do, Ulleung-do and Dok-do (Liancourt Rocks).
The Korean peninsula is roughly 1,030 km (612 miles) long and 175 km (105 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Korea’s total land area is 100,140 sq km, and it has a population of 48.7 million people (2009).
Because of its unique geographical location, Korea is a very valuable piece of land and an international hub of Asia.Geographical Make-up
Mountains cover 70% of Korea’s land mass, making it one of the most mountainous regions in the world. The lifting and folding of Korea’s granite and limestone base create a breathtaking landscape of scenic hills and valleys. The mountain range that stretches along the length of the east coast falls steeply into the East Sea, while along the southern and western coasts, the mountains descend gradually to the coastal plains that produce the bulk of Korea’s agricultural crops, especially rice.

[Related Link] National and Provincial Parks and Mountains

Division of the 38th Parallel
The Korean peninsula is divided just slightly north of the 38th parallel. The Democratic Republic of Korea in the south and the communist government of North Korea are separated by a demilitarized zone.

  • Geographic position
    Between 33° and 43° north latitude, and 124° and 131° east longitude (including North Korea)
  • Highest mountains in S. Korea
    Hallasan on Jeju Island : 1,950 meters (6,400 ft)
    Jirisan : 1,915 meters (6,283 ft)
    Seoraksan : 1,708 meters (5,604 ft)
  • Rivers
    Nakdonggang : 522 km (324 miles)
    Hangang : 494 km (307 miles)
    Geumgang : 396 km (246 miles)
Time Zone
Korea Standard Time is GMT plus 9 hours.
Climate
Korea’s 4 season climate is regarded as a continental climate from a temperate standpoint and a monsoon climate from a precipitation standpoint. The weather is expected to be pleasant during the time of the conference. (Average Temperature : June 20-27℃ / humidity at the end of June). For more detail weather, see the weather part of visitkorea website http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/AK/AK_EN_1_1_2.jsp.
Currency
The unit of Korean currency is the Won(KRW). Coin denominations are 10, 50, 100 and 500. Banknotes are 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000.
Currency exchange
Foreign banknotes and traveler’s check can be exchanged at foreign exchange banks and other authorized moneychangers.
As of April 2013, the exchange rate is approximately 1$ = 1,100 Korea Won
Credit cards
Diners Club, Visa, American Express and Master Card are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.
Traveler’s check
Accepted, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to bring Traveler’s checks in US Dollars.
Business Hours
For most government and private offices, business hours are from 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Banking hours are from 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday. The hours that ATMs are available vary and are written on the machine, but they are not generally open 24 hours. Post offices are generally open from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday.
Emergencies
The general emergency telephone number in Korea is 119. This will connect you to an operator who will alarm police, medical aid or the fire brigade. Police can be contacted for any urgent matter via the number 112. In the event of emergency, try and locate a bilingual speaker to avoid additional frustration or stress during any unforeseen time of duress.
Electricity
Outlets for 220 volts are dominant in Korea. Always check the power supply before using your equipment.
Tipping
Tipping is not a traditional Korean custom. A 10% service charge is added to the bill and tipping is not expected. It is also not necessary to tip a taxi driver unless extra services are provided.* For more information about Korea, Please visit the Korea National Tourism Organization