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South Korea: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Korea
conventional short form: South Korea
local long form: Taehan-min'guk
local short form: Han'guk
abbreviation: ROK
CapitalSeoul Seoul
geographic coordinates: 37 33 N, 126 59 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 provinces (do, singular and plural), 6 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, singular and plural), 1 special city, and 1 special self-governing city
provinces: Chungbuk (North Chungcheong), Chungnam (South Chungcheong), Gangwon, Gyeonggi, Gyeongbuk (North Gyeongsang), Gyeongnam (South Gyeongsang), Jeju, Jeonbuk (North Jeolla), Jeonnam (South Jeolla)
metropolitan cities: Busan (Pusan), Daegu (Taegu), Daejeon (Taejon), Gwangju (Kwangju), Incheon (Inch'on), Ulsan
special city: Seoul
special self-governing city: Sejong
Constitutioneffective 17 July 1948; amended several times, last in 1987 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President PARK Geun-hye (since 25 February 2013)
head of government: (vacant); note - Prime Minister CHUNG Hong-won resigned 27 April 2014; MOON Chang-keuk was nominated Prime Minister 10 June 2014 and awaits parliamentary confirmation; Deputy Prime Minister HYUN Oh-seok (since 26 June 2013)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 19 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2017); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly
election results: PARK Geun-Hye elected president; percent of vote - PARK Geun-Hye (NFP) 51.6%, MOON Jae-In (DUP) 48%, others 0.4%
Flag descriptionwhite with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field; the South Korean national flag is called Taegukki; white is a traditional Korean color and represents peace and purity; the blue section represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin, while the red symbolizes the opposite positive forces of the yang; each trigram (kwae) denotes one of the four universal elements, which together express the principle of movement and harmony
Independence15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of South Korea (consists of a chief justice and 13 justices); Constitutional Court (consists of a court head and 8 justices)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; other justices appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the chief justice and consent of the National Assembly; position of the chief justice is a 6-year non-renewable term; other justices serve 6-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court justices appointed - 3 by the president, 3 by the National Assembly, and 3 by the Supreme Court chief justice; court head serves until retirement at age 70, while other justices serve 6-year renewable terms with mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Branch Courts (organized undeer the Branch Courts); specialized courts for family and administrative issues
Legal systemmixed legal system combining European civil law, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Gukhoe (300 seats; 246 members elected in single-seat constituencies, 54 elected by proportional representation; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 April 2012 (next to be held in April 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NFP 42.8%, DUP 36.5%, UPP 10.3%, LFP 3.2%, others 7.2%; seats by party - NFP 152, DUP 127, UPP 13, LFP 5, independents 3
note: seats by negotiation group as of April 2014 - NFP 156, NPAD 130, UPP 6, Justice Party 5, Independents 1; note - 2 seats are vacant
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CICA, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayLiberation Day, 15 August (1945)
Political pressure groups and leadersCatholic Priests' Association for Justice
Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice
Federation of Korean Industries
Federation of Korean Trade Unions
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
Korean Veterans' Association
Lawyers for a Democratic Society
National Council of Churches
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
Political parties and leadersJustice Party (CHEON Ho-sun)
Liberty Forward Party or LFP (merged with NFP in October 2012)
New Frontier Party (NFP) or Saenuri (formerly Grand National Party) (HWANG Woo-yea)
New Politics Alliance for Diplomacy or NPAD (KIM Han-gil and AHN Cheol-soo) (merger of the Democratic Party or DP (formerly DUP) (Kim Han-gil) and the New Political Vision Party or NPVP (AHN Cheol-soo) in March 2014)
Progressive Justice Party or PJP (ROH Hoe-chan and CHO Joon-ho)
Unified Progressive Party or UPP (LEE Jung-hee)
Suffrage19 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador AHN Ho-young (since 7 June 2013)
chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 939-5600
FAX: (1) (202) 797-0595
consulate(s) general: Agana (Guam), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
consulate(s): Anchorage (AK), Dallas, Hagatna (Guam)
National anthemname: "Aegukga" (Patriotic Song)
lyrics/music: YUN Ch'i-Ho or AN Ch'ang-Ho/AHN Eaktay
note: adopted 1948, well-known by 1910; both North Korea and South Korea's anthems share the same name and have a vaguely similar melody but have different lyrics
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)taegeuk (yin yang symbol)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Sung Y. KIM (since 3 November 2011)
embassy: 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710
mailing address: US Embassy Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550
telephone: (82) (2) 397-4114
FAX: (82) (2) 725-0152