Geography of South Korea

Physical Features

According to the geography of South Korea, the country is located in Eastern Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan. South Korea covers a total area of 98,480 sq km, of which 98,190 sq km is land and 290 sq km is covered by water. About 70 percent of the country's land area comprises of mountains and uplands. The geography of South Korea consists of over 3,400 islands with a coastline of 2,413 km along the three seas- Yellow Sea, South China Sea, and the Sea of Japan.

The highest point in the country is the Hallasan Mountain which is at an altitude of 1,950 m.

People and Places

According to the 2008 census, the population of South Korea is 49,044,790 people with over 10 million people living in the Seoul alone, which is the capital of South Korea. The country is divided into 9 provinces and 3 main cities which are Pusan, Seoul and Taegu. The nine provinces of South Korea are North Ch'ungch'ong, South Ch'ungch'ong, Cheju Island, North Cholla, South Cholla, Kangwon, Kyonggi, North Kyongsang and South Kyongsang.

Besides being the capital city, Seoul is also the largest urban center in South Korea followed by Pusan which is the second largest city, with a population of over 4 million. Other cities of South Korea include Inch'eon, Kwangju, Taejon and Ulsan.

Climatic Conditions

The general climatic condition in South Korea is temperate with rainfall being heavier in summer than winter. The winters are long, cold and dry while summers are short, hot and humid. Temperatures in January go down to -5° C to -2.5° C while average July temperatures ranges between 22.5° C to 25° C. The Cheju Island in South Korea has a warmer and milder weather than other parts of the country. Annual rainfall in South Korea usually averages more than 100 centimeters.

The natural hazards in South Korea include occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods. Droughts also occur, mostly in southwest just about once in every eight years.

Natural Resources and Wildlife

The natural resources in South Korea include coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, and has a potential for hydropower.

South Korea consists of 408 species of birds of which 90 species are vagrants, and the Kuroda's Sheldrake has most likely become extinct. The Chejudo Island in South Korean consists of seventeen species of terrestrial mammals; however the deer, wild bear, and wild cats have now become extinct. Chejudo Island is home to several animals like roe deer, weasel, hamster, field mouse, house rat, and two bat species. The other species of wildlife in South Korea consist of 14 amphibians, 25 reptiles, and 130 freshwater fishes.


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