English I  2019

Located in East Asia where the Eurasian landmass encounters the Pacific Ocean, the glorious civilization of Korea has flourished throughout history. The Korean Peninsula and the surrounding islands have provided a home to the Koreans, and

have been protected by the people.
Open to both the continent and the ocean, a variety of cultures have flowed

into the land and merged, becoming the foundation for the unique Korean culture.

In modern times, Korea has suffered several national tragedies, including international political turmoil, and experienced a fratricidal war and the division of territory. However, Korea has also achieved spectacular economic growth and solid democratization despite such hardships and challenges. Once one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per-capita income of only 67 dollars per year, Korea rose to become one of the largest economic powers, with the 12th largest economy and 6th largest trading volume only 70 years after the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War. Korea has also established a legal system, a democratic election system, and party policies, while opening up an era of decentralization through a municipal system. The quality of life has been dramatically improved. Through the achievement of national medical insurance and various social welfare programs, life expectancy increased from 52.4 years in the 1960s to 82.7 years in 2018. Proactive industrial policies and investment in education led the economic growth. The illiteracy rate in Korea is almost 0%, and the entrance rate to institutions of higher learning is approximately 70%.

Such achievements in politics, economy, and society strengthen the power of Korea and make Korea an important part of the international community, contributing to world peace and international cooperation. Korea has a key role in various international organizations, including as a non-executive member of the United Nations. Since the 1970s, Korea has initiated various international cooperation projects and worked with international organizations. Korean civil organizations are leading regional development initiatives in the fields of education, medical outreach, and refugee relief around the world.

 Seoul, the capital city of Korea, has been the center of various dynasties since ancient times, and is now one of the leading international cities in East Asia. The Korean flag, Taegeukgi, includes the symbols that show the characteristics of peace-loving Koreans and the Oriental philosophy of harmony through change in the universe; the national flower of Korea, the Rose of Sharon, symbolizes the eternal nature of the Korean people. The common language, Korean, is based on the unique and original Korean alphabet, Hangeul.