The World Factbook (1982)/Korea, South

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Korea, South


World Factbook (1982) South Korea.jpg
(See reference map VIII)


98,913 km2; 23% arable (22% cultivated), 10% urban and other, 67% forested

Land boundaries: 241 km


Limits of territorial waters: 12 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 2,413 km


Population: 41,092,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.6%

Nationality: noun—Korean(s); adjective—Korean

Ethnic divisions: homogeneous; small Chinese minority (approx. 20,000)

Religion: strong Confucian tradition; pervasive folk religion (Shamanism); vigorous Christian minority (16.6% Christian population); Buddhism (including estimated 20,000 members of Soka Gakkai); Chondokyo (religion of the heavenly way), eclectic religion with nationalist overtones founded in 19th century, claims about 1.5 million adherents

Language: Korean

Literacy: about 90%

Labor force: 14.2 million (1979); 36% agriculture, fishing, forestry; 24% mining and manufacturing; 40% services and other; average unemployment 3.8% (1979)

Organized labor: about 13% of nonagricultural labor force


Official name: Republic of Korea

Type: republic; power centralized in a strong executive

Capital: Seoul

Political subdivisions: 9 provinces, 2 special cities; heads centrally appointed

Legal system: combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought; constitution approved 1980; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 15 August

Branches: executive, legislative (unicameral), judiciary

Government leaders: President CHUN Doo Hwan; Prime Minister YOO Chang Soon

Suffrage: universal over age 20

Elections: under new constitution of October 1980, President elected every seven years indirectly by a 5,000-man electoral college; last election February 1981; four-year National Assembly, elected in March 1981, consists of 276 representatives, 184 directly elected and 92 chosen through proportional representation

Political parties and leaders: major party is the government's Democratic Justice Party (DJP), Chun Doo Hwan (president) and Yi Chae-hyong (chairman); opposition parties are Democratic Korea Party (DKP), Yu Chi-Song (president); Korean National Party (KNP), Kim Chong-Chol (president); Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), Ko Chong-hun (president); and several smaller parties

Communists: Communist activity banned by government; an estimated 37,000-50,000 former members and supporters

Other political or pressure groups: Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Veterans' Association; Korean National Christian Council; large, potentially volatile, student population concentrated in Seoul

Member of: AALCC (Afro-Asian League Consultative Committee), ADB, Asian Parliamentary Union, APACL—Asian People's Anti-Communist League, ASPAC, Colombo Plan, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, GATT, Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the protection of war victims, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, IMCO, IMF, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, IWC—International Whaling Commission, IWC—International Wheat Council, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, UN Special Fund, UPU, WACL—World Anti-Communist League, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO; official observer at UN; does not hold UN membership


GNP: $56.6 billion (1980, in 1980 prices), $1,481 per capita; real growth -6.2% (1980); real growth 7.2% (1976-80 average)

Agriculture: 29% of the population live on the land, but agriculture, forestry, and fishery constitute 16% of GNP; main crops—rice, barley; food shortages—wheat, dairy products, corn

Fishing: catch 2,410,346 metric tons (1980)

Major industries: textiles and clothing, food processing, chemicals, steel, electronics, shipbuilding

Shortages: base metals, petroleum, lumber, and certain food grains

Electric power: 9,000,000 kW capacity (1980); 37.611 billion kWh produced (1979), 886 kWh per capita

Exports: $17.2 billion (f.o.b., 1980); textiles and clothing, electrical machinery, footwear, steel, ships, fish

Imports: $22.3 billion (c.i.f., 1980); machinery, oil, steel, transport equipment, textiles, organic chemicals, grains

Major trade partners: exports—26% US, 17% Japan; imports—26% Japan, 22% US (1979)

Aid: economic—US (FY46-80), $6.0 billion committed; Japan (1965-75), $1.8 billion extended; military—US (FY46–80) $7.6 billion committed

Budget: $11.8 billion (1981)

Monetary conversion rate: controlled float, 700.5 won=US$1 (31 December 1981)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Highways: 46,800 km total (1980); 9,290 km national highway, 37,510 km provincial and local roads

Freight carried: rail (1980) 49 million metric tons; highway 145 million metric tons; air (1979) 14 billion metric tons (domestic)

Pipelines: 515 km refined products

Ports: 10 major, 18 minor

Civil air: 41 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 127 total, 118 usable; 63 with permanent-surface runways; 21 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 12 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: adequate domestic and international services; 2.0 million telephones (5.2 per 100 popl.); 95 AM, 19 FM, and 25 TV stations; 1 ground satellite station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 11,201,000; 7,560,000 fit for military service; 455,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1982, $4.6 billion; about 34% of central government budget