Getting Koreanized: More Interesting Facts About Korea
After the first part of our facts about Korea was published, we got an overwhelmingly positive response and our audience, you guys, asked for more facts. We have listened. Here are 35 more facts about Korea. If you haven’t seen the first part of this series, click here. It’s worth the read.
1. Dokdo is a Korean territory.
2. It is not uncommon for Koreans to run a red light and violate traffic laws.
3. Many Koreans believe leaving the fan on all night will kill you.
4. South Korea’s neighbour in the north, North Korea hold elections every five years with just one name on the ballot. You guessed right.
5. When President Park met Bill Gates, netizens slammed the billionaire for shaking her hand with his other hand in his pocket . “Perhaps it was his all-American style but an open jacket with hand in pocket? That was way too casual. It was very regretful,” said Chung Jin-suk, secretary general at the Korean National Assembly.
6. There are many English teachers in Korea who literally cannot speak English.
7. Seoul National University is ranked number one in Korea, 8 in Asia and 85 in the world.
8. The minimum wage in Korea is ￦6,030 with the labour ministry announcing it will increase to ￦6,470 in 2017.
9. There are about 28,500 American military personnel in Korea.
10. There are reportedly about 630,000 active Korean military personnel and close to 3 million in the reserves.
11. Refusing to serve in the military in Korea without a valid reason is punishable by law and many Jehovah Witnesses in Korea opt out and happily spend time in jail because of their faith.
12. 93% of Koreans are high school graduates. An incredibly high graduation rate.
13. While short skirts are seen as “normal” in Korea, not many Koreans are as liberal to exposed cleavage.
14. The ten biggest companies in Korea account for a whopping 80% of Korea’s total GDP.
15. Samsung alone accounts for about 20% of Korea’s GDP.
16. Samsung’s galaxy S series maiden phone was released on the 4th of June, 2010.
17. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), carrying a Samsung galaxy note 7 with you on a flight or in your bag is a federal crime.
18. Samsung recalled the galaxy note 7 after many cases of fire and explosion. Experts say it cost Samsung about $1bn to replace faulty note 7s.
19. Although regarded as a side dish by many, kimchi is Korea’s national food and dates all the way back to the 12th century.
20. Former dictator and father of current Korean president Park Chung-hee personally requested kimchi and told then U.S. President Lyndon Johnson that kimchi was “vitally important to the morale of Korean troops” during the Vietnam war.
21. Korea’s local dog breed Jindo originated from an island with the same name and was officially recognized as a dog breed by the United Kennel Club on the first day of January 1998.
22. In 2015, Korea’s team, Team KAIST led by Professor Jun-Ho Oh won $2 million by winning the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) robotic challenge hosted by the US defence Research Agency
23. Famous New York Times writer Seth Schiesel called Korea the “world leader [in gaming] in many ways”.
24. The first subway line in the Seoul Metropolitan area was opened in 1974.
25. According to liquor.com, in 2014, Soju was the highest selling liquor in the world with 71 million sold.
26. Retired Korean footballer (soccer player) Ahn Jung-Hwan made headlines by scoring the winning goal, a golden goal, against Italy in the 2002 world cup.
27. South Korean and Manchester United legend Park Ji-sung holds many firsts to his name. He is the first Korean player to score in all three consecutive world cup, in 2002, 2006 and 2010, the first Asian to become a Manchester United Ambassador, the first Asian footballer to win the Champions League, the first Asian footballer to play in a Champions League final, the first Asian footballer to win the FIFA Club World Cup, and the most successful Asian player in history with over 19 trophies in his career.
28. Lotte Chilsung Beverage, parent company of Chilsung Cider currently employs over 5,000 people.
29. Naver, founded by Lee Hae-Jin in 1999 has a net income of over 400 billion won with over 2,500 employees in its ranks.
30. As covered in the part one of this list, the importance of having double eyelids, known as ssangapul (쌍꺼풀), in Korea cannot be overemphasised. In fact, In a CNN and Discovery Channel documentary, Korean movie and music superstar Rain (비) said: “In fact, I was told after one audition that my singing and dancing was great but I did not make it because I did not have double eyelids.”
31. South Korea’s life expectancy at birth is 79.3 years for males and 85.8 years for females and with a total of 82.4 years.
32. The population of Korea, as at the time of this writing is 50,924,172.
33. Christianity is the most famous religion in South Korea with Christians accounting for 31.6% of Korea’s population , 24.2% Buddhist, 0.9% unknown/other and 43.3% atheist or non-religious.
34. Lee Kun-Hee, Samsung president and richest man in Korea with an estimated net worth of $14bn, according to Forbes, hasn’t been seen in public for some time with reports suggesting he has a health condition.
35. While illegal, The Korea Women’s Development Institute estimates prostitution amounted to 1.6% of the total gross domestic product at 14 trillion won or $13 billion in 2007.
Have we left any fun fact out? Tell us in the comment section below. Like always, we will be happy to provide sources to these facts. Also, be sure to follow and like Koreanized on