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South Korea is officially known as Taehan Minguk Republic of Korea This country is in northeastern Asia and occupies the southern part of the Korean Peninsula South Korea is bounded on the north by North Korea on the east by the East Sea Sea of Japan on the south bye the Korea Strait which also separates it from Japan and on the west by the Yellow Sea It has a total area of 38328 square miles including many offshore islands in the south and west and the largest is Cheju The state of South Korea was established in 1948 succeeding the post-World War II distribution of the penisula between the occupying forces of the United States in the south and the Union of Soviet Republics USSR in the north The capital of South Korea is Seoul which is also the largest cityThe current version of the South Korean flag was adopted in 1984 but the basic design has been used since the countrys founding is 1948 The Buddhist yin-yang symbol represents the unity of opposites and the white background represents purity The black markings symbolize three cycles with opposites in each cycle opposing one anotherreading clockwise from the upper left summer autumn winter spring south west north east sky moon earth and sun South Korea is mainly a rugged mountainous terrain The principal range is the Taebaek-sanmaek which extends in a north-south direction parallel to the eastern coast The countrys highest peak located on the island of Cheju is Halla-san Plains constitute less than one-fifth the total area and are mostly in the west along the coast the coastal plains in the east and south are very narrow South Korea has a highly indented coastline characterized by high tidal ranges the countrys tow longest rivers the Naktong and Han rise in the Taebaek-sanmaek one flowing south to the Korea Strait and the other northwest to the Yellow sea Other major rivers include the Kom Yengsan
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