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Often referred to as the "Land of the Morning Calm," Korea has a population of 48.74 million (2009) and a total land area of 100,032 ㎢ (2008). Located at a major crossroads of Northeast Asia, it has also achieved the "Miracle of the Han River ." As early as the 1960s, when the country's five-year economic development plan was first implemented, the Korean economy has relentlessly shown signs of exponential growth. From 1962 to 2005, the country's GNI surged from US$2.3 billion to a staggering US$786.8 billion. The 1997 East Asian foreign currency crisis was only a temporary set-back for the Korean economy. The GNI stagnated at US$340.4 in 1998 but soon began to advance again, soaring to US$955.8 billion by 2007.

Years of rapid economic development propelled the country into becoming the world's 12th largest trading partner. Korea's industrial base shifted from agriculture to manufacturing and is now shifting to services. A global force in a number of significant industries, including automobiles, petrochemicals, electronics, shipbuilding, textiles, and steel, Korea 's GDP expanded 5.0% in 2007 and 2.5% in 2008. GDP in 2007 totaled US$969.8 billion, making the country the 14th largest economy.
Since 2004, Korean-made semi-conductors, automobiles, and wireless telecom devices have accounted for over 30% of the country's total trade volume. Exports of IT products have risen every year since 1998 and reached US$82.5 billion, or 29.5% of total exports, in 2005. Major IT export items include memory chips, mobile phones, LCD monitors, PCs, and satellite broadcasting receivers. Korea 's semi-conductor industry, in particular, has achieved tremendous growth over the past two decades and is the third largest in the world.

The system of government in Korea is based on a system of checks and balances between the executive branch, the legislature, and the judiciary. The president is elected directly for a single five-year-term. South Korea’s 17th president, Lee Myung-Bak, was sworn in to office on February 25, 2008. Overcoming many obstacles throughout his youth, Lee garnered enormous success in both his business and political career. Shortly after joining Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd, he soon earned the title of CEO and led the company through years of continued prosperity. From 2002 to 2006, he was successively appointed the governor of Seoul, and on December 19, 2007, won the presidential bid with an unprecedented 48.7% of the vote.
* Source : Visitkorea

Han Style
Han StyleAsian countries have been doing exchanges through culture and trade throughout history. Trends spread throughout the region at an incredibly fast rate. The 80's were a time for "Hong Kong Noir" while the 90's were more an age of Japanese animation. The 2000s have seen a sharp rise in the popularity of Korean culture, with music and dramas hitting all the right notes. Interest in Korea, triggered by the success of leading Korean dramas and popular music, continues to escalated to include a host of other aspects of Korean culture, such as hangeul (Korean alphabet), hansik (Korean food), hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), hanok (traditional Korean houses), hanji (traditional Korean paper), as well as Korean music. In Korea, the aforementioned six cultural symbols are collectively referred to as "Han Style".

Han Style

The Korean Wave that swept its way through Asia starting with dramas and popular music is now achieving even far greater appeal in the international market. As it continues to evolve it enriches the image of Han Style.

Hangeul: The Korean alphabet, a very scientific writing system that has been designated by UNESCO as an important part of the Memory of the World Heritage. As a result of the Korean Wave and Korea 's economic prosperity, the desire to learn hangeul and the Korean language is exploding.

Hansik: Korean food continues to gain popularity throughout the world for its incredible health benefits.

Hanbok: The focus of attention when Daejanggeum (Jewel in the Palace), a TV drama on royal court cuisine, became popular in Asia. Modifications of the exquisite colors and designs of the hanbok are also used as motifs in all Korean-style designs.

Hanok: Many international visitors are showing interest in the traditional Korean home, hanok as they want to experience ondol, the Korean floor heating system very effective in the cold winter. Ondol is an important aspect of Korea' s unique architectural style, and brought floor heating into vogue globally.

Hanji: A traditional form of paper that can last for over one thousand years and is known for its outstanding quality and elegant designs. The paper is drawing attention not only for record-keeping purposes but also for interior decoration and for it’s uses in paper wrapping.

Hanguk Eumak: Traditional Korean music that has slow-rhythm and sentimental lyrics that epitomize the sad history of Korea. Such unique Korean sentiments had significant influence on Korean popular music and drama and are an important driver of the Korean Wave.

Experience Hanstyle at TIC
* Source : Visitkorea