The country I chose is South Korea, or, as it is officially named, Republic of Korea. Within Korea’s 99,720 square kilometers there is 50.9 million people. It only shares border with one country, North Korea, or, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as it is officially named. This border is known as the 38th parallel, and for being the most militarized border in the world; it is 237 kilometers long. There is both Korean and American troops stationed at the parallel. It is possible to go there and “step” into North Korea in the room that usually the two country’s leaders have meetings.
The main language spoken in South Korea is Korean, which in some instances uses English phonetics to name technological tools like computer, cell phone, and television. Within the language there is different accents, but the one that is most heard on the news and TV shows is a Seoul accent. In the island of Jejudo the Korean spoken is distinctly different from that of mainland due to the isolation from it.
Unlike other East Asian countries Korea has a higher percentage of Christians than Buddhists. 19.7% of the reporting population is protestant, followed by 15.5% Korean/Zen Buddhist, and 7.9% Catholic. The rest of the population, that is 56.9%, has no formal religion association. These two instances with language and religion are due to intense influences from the United States during the Korean War, and other Western influences.
South Korea as we know it has not been around for very long. Before the Korean War the two Koreas were one, and before that they were invaded by Japan during World War 2. However, Korea had mostly been a different “kingdom” than China and Japan were in the 14th century. Before the Joseon Dynasty was formed in 1392 Korea was divided into three Kingdoms that were in constant war with China, Manchuria, and Mongolia. The Joseon Dynasty lasted until the 20th century when the dynasty gave in to Japan before World War 1 because of its weakness compared to the modernizing powers surrounding it. was corrupt and weak. It was after World War 2 that Japan was revoked ownership of the land they had gained that Korea was freed from the colonization by the Japanese. However, South Korea was not fully South Korean until the northern part of the country, protected by the USSR, and the southern part, protected by the USA, were not able to agree on one government to rule fully.
Under the intention to unify Korea to rule under a communist regime Kim Il-Sung launched the Korean War in 1950, attempting to invade the South, only to set the border back where it initially was. 1.2 million people died.
In the South the April 19 revolution which was led by students and labor groups in 1960, overthrew the current leader and placed Park Chung Hee into power. He turned out to also be a military dictator so he was overthrown along with other leaders after him. In 2000 under Kim Dae-jung there was attempt to work towards democracy and civil rights with the North and, although Kim was criticized for the lack of change in the countries relationship, he got a Nobel Peace Prize. Recently in 2012 the first female president was elected, Park Geun Hye, whom is the daughter of Park Chung Hee: she is the protagonist of basically every news article coming out today because of corruption.
Today South Korea is considered fully developed and holds great economic power, with many of its companies being international. Communication wise there is 4 main television and radio systems: KBS (Korea Broadcasting System), SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System), MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation), EBS (Educational Broadcasting System). There is additional private channels as well. On top of that there is three main newspapers in the nation Chosun Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo, Hankyoreh. All of them are available in English, Chinese, and Japanese online, as well as Korean. From the three newspapers Hankyoreh has been the most trusted and most neutral newspapers voted nine consecutive years as the most trusted news organization by Korean journalists.
All of these outlets are focusing on the current presidential scandal. President Park Geun Hye seems to be corrupt as she alledgedly her friend (Choi Soon Sil) to interfere with government affairs and used her power to seek funds from Korean companies such as Samsung and Hyundai. Recently North Korea has launched a missile of their Eastern border allegedly to defy Trump’s policies on the country. North Korea always seems to be in the news somehow, with Hankyoreh having a whole section just for news about the northern neighbor.
Within New York the biggest communities are Flushing, and Korea Town. There is a lot of organizations to help immigrants such as a Korean Language Center and Korean Culture Center both in Korea Town, the Korean Community Services in Korea Town, Corona, and Flushing. As well as newspapers target towards Korean American individuals: The Korea Times and The Korea Herald.