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South Korea


In 1988, for the first time in 24 years, the Summer Olympics were held in Asia. The 1988 Summer Games took place in the capital city of South Korea, Seoul.

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Country Background
South Korea is one of two countries that occupy the Korean Peninsula. The other country, North Korea, is slightly larger in area than South Korea, but South Korea has nearly twice as many people as its northern neighbor.

Japan controlled the Korean Peninsula until the end of WWII, when it was forced to give up the territory. The Peninsula was then divided into two distinct zones called North Korea and South Korea. The Soviet Union occupied North Korea and the United States controlled South Korea. In 1948, South Koreans established the Republic of South Korea, an autonomous nation.

Tension between communist North Korea and democratic South Korea sparked the Korean War in 1950, and has caused unrest between the two countries ever since. In recent months, however, the countries have shown signs that peace and even reunification may be possible in the not-too-distant future.

The Korean climate is known for its hot, humid summers and cold winters, which are especially bitter in the mountains that cover much of the Korean Peninsula. The Taebaek Mountains run through South Korea and eight mountains surround South Korea's capital, Seoul. Some of Korea's hilly land is covered with forest, which is a problem for the country's growing population. Because the low lands are already crowded, Koreans have little choice but to cut down large portions of the forest, a process also known as "deforestation," in order to build houses and create more space for people to live.

Many forms of art are highly respected in Korea. As in both Japan and China, calligraphy is a popular and beautiful art form in Korea.

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There is a lot more to learn about South Korea!

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US Paralympics

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Canadian Paralympic Committee



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