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Korea and the World


The Korean Peninsula lies between 33 and 44 degrees north latitude and 124 and 132 degrees east longitude. Korea borders both China and Russia to the north and faces Japan across the Strait of Korea to the southeast, connecting the immense continent of Eurasia and the Pacific Ocean. 

  Geographically, Korea is located in the middle of East Asia, with most major cities in the region within a radius of 5,000 ㎞. For example, Beijing (at 956 ㎞) and Tokyo (at 1,157 ㎞) are around two hours away from Seoul by airplane. Korea has a good accessibility to China’s coastal cities and Japan’s large cities. In addition, Southeast Asian cities are within reach of Korea; it is a seven hour flight to Bangkok (3,725 ㎞) and Singapore is just a little farther (4,677 ㎞). Southeast Asian countries have in fact become one of the most popular tourist destinations for Korean citizens. Korea’s Incheon International Airport serves as a transit and transfer hub for many flights from Southeast Asia to the Americas, because of its relative proximity to Southeast Asian cities.   Many European cities are about 10,000 km away from Korea, and it is possible to move across Europe via such major European hub airports as those in Frankfurt (8,572 ㎞), London (8,875 ㎞), and Paris (8,981 ㎞). Most African cities are more than 12,000 ㎞ away from Seoul, but non-stop flights to cities on the east coast are available. The farthest continent from Korea is South America; most major cities there, such as Buenos Aires, are more than 15,000 ㎞ away. 

  Korea uses the Korean Standard Time, KST. It is appropriate to use a single standard time as the territory stretches primarily north to south. The standard meridian of the peninsula is 135° E, which is nine hours ahead of UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). North Korea uses the same KST, and both South and North Korea do not use daylight savings time. Korea uses the same standard time as its neighboring country, Japan, and is one hour ahead of Beijing, China.

  Korean Empire announced the longitude of 127° 30' E as the standard meridian in 1908. In 1912 this was changed to 135° E, but that was changed once again to 127° 30' E in 1954, and that meridian has remained in use since 1961. Because Seoul is located at a longitude of 127 degrees, the sun is due south at 30 minutes past noon. Korea is located at mid-latitude in the Northern hemisphere. Southern Europe, Southwest Asia, Central Asia, and some of China’s regions are at the similar latitude, as are parts of North America. Countries with similar latitudes include Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, China, and Japan. These countries are all in the middle latitudes, but the amount of precipitation varies depending on position of both the continents and their oceans; thus natural landscapes for each country are different. Cities with a similar latitude to Seoul include Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and San Francisco in North America, Sevilla in Spain, Athens in Greece, Palermo in Italy, and Mosul in Iraq.