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Flag of South Korea
Korea was an independent kingdom under Chinese suzerainty for most of the past millennium. Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied Korea; five years later it formally annexed the entire peninsula. After World War II, a republic was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north. During the Korean War (1950-53), US and other UN forces intervened to defend South Korea from North Korean attacks supported by the Chinese. 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 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1987, South Korean voters elected ROH Tae-woo to the presidency, ending 26 years of military dictatorships. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President KIM Tae-chung and the North's leader KIM Jong Il.
Map of South Korea
More about South Korea:
|Nickname||Asian Tigers, Taeguk Warriors|
|Association||Korea Football Association|
|Coach||Dick Advocaat (October 2005 ~ )|
|Most caps||Hong Myung-Bo (135)|
|Top scorer||Cha Bum-Kun (55)|
South Korea 5 - 3 Mexico
(London, England; August 2, 1948)
South Korea 16 - 0 Nepal
(Incheon, South Korea; September 29, 2003)
Sweden 12 - 0 South Korea
(London, England; August 5, 1948)
|Appearances||6 (First in 1954)|
|Best result||Fourth place, 2002|
|AFC Asian Cup|
|Appearances||10 (First in 1956)|
|Best result||Winners, 1956 and 1960|
The South Korea national football team has often been considered Asia's most successful national team since they made their debut at the 1948 Summer Olympics. It has participated in more World Cup finals than any other Asian team, even reaching the semi-finals in 2002.
Since the 1950s, South Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia, winning several prestigious Asian football championships, including the first two Asian Cup tournaments. The South Korean national team has also played in five consecutive World Cup finals from 1986, for a total of six World Cups.
The Korean professional football league was launched in South Korea in 1983 as the first ever professional football league in East Asia. This not only pleased domestic football fans, but it has also upgraded the level of the nation's football.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup, hosted jointly with Japan, was a sign of the rapid progress made in South Korean football. Led by Dutch coach Guus Hiddink and assistant coach Pim Verbeek, South Korea defeated Italy and Spain, and advancing to the semi-finals, a first for Asian football. The enthusiasm of the red-clad supporters, known as the "red devils", also made a big impression on viewers world-wide.
On June 8, 2005, South Korea qualified for its seventh World Cup by beating Kuwait 4-0 in Kuwait City.