South Korea ( listen), officially the Republic of Korea (Korean: 대한민국; Hanja: 大韓民國; Daehan Minguk listen; lit. "The Great Republic of Han"), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from Goryeo, a dynasty which ruled in the Middle Ages. It shares land borders with North Korea to the north, and oversea borders with China to the west and Japan to the east. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone with a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 50 million residents distributed over 99,392 km2 (38,375 sq mi). The capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of 10 million. Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was already inhabited starting from the Lower Paleolithic period (2.6 Ma–300 Ka). The history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BC by the legendary Dangun. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in AD 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910.
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