South Korea

I traveled to South Korea in February of 2011. Most of my stay was in downtown Seoul. However, I spent a full day touring the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and I also spend some time in Inchon. South Korea is a wonderful country with very friendly people. Seoul is one of the worlds most modern cities with a subway system that ranks among the cleanest and best in the world and historic sites that are very well preserved. I would definitely consider returning to South Korea in the future.

An independent Korean state or collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the 7th century - from three predecessor Korean states - until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Japan, and in 1910 it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 17 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Young-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. (CIA Factbook)

Images of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Images of Seoul

Jogyesa Temple and the changing of the imperial guard

Gyeongbokgung Palace and N Seoul Tower