South Korea has undergone its share of highs and lows, and has made a remarkable leap from 3rd World country to a modern democracy in the last fifty years or so, but it still has a long way to go before it reaches world class status.
I am a South Korean because I live in South Korea.
I have seen a lot of disapproval for definition #6 of S. Korea, and I would like to clarify what might be one of its seemingly inflammatory points. I am Korean myself, and I have to agree with whoever wrote definition #6 refuting definition #1 on the part regarding S. Korea possessing a 4000 year old history. Although somewhat offensive on the first read of Definition #6, this remark is not without truth. Techically speaking, the 4000 year old history applies to the Korean Peninsula and people as a whole, not just to S.Korea and its inhabitants specifically. "South Korea" as a political entity has not even existed for a century. On a even more politically correct note, the Korea to be referred to in this 4000 year history should be called Chosun, since the name "Korea" was used by Westerners to refer to Chosun.
Today's nations of North Korea and South Korea are still continuing the 4000+ year old history of Chosun even to this day. Someday, hopefully, they will reclaim the title of "Korea"
There have been many opinions and personal ideas of what Korea is and what it means to be Korean, and personal statements from non-Koreans on this site as to how Koreans come across to other peoples. However, there is a difference between fact and opinion.
Tong-il Mahnsae! Unified Korea!
As for the dispute with Japan, all Korea wants is a sincere, heartfelt apology for war crimes committed during the occupation. However, the Japanese government refuses to do so, and fails to educate their young on the atrocities of their ancestors by omitting them from their current history textbooks. Koreans believe this is a major drawback on Korean-Japanese relations. Therefore, Koreans believe that a Japanese apology to Korea will be a starting point of peaceful relations between the two countries. Having said that, most Koreans, though, will agree that "one shall forgive, but never forget."
Koreans are in love with their cell phones. They always have it in their hand, and spend an insane amount of money on the thing. Freud would have a lot to say about that.
Really loathe Japan, and can get vociferous on the subject. On the other hand, Japan was an absolute asshole to them, so you can't really blame the Koreans for hating their guts.
Should be more grateful to the US for their military presence, because they have some scary neighbors, called the North Koreans. South Koreans can be surprisingly naive on the subject. Try avoiding any conversation on the subject, you generally end up banging your head on the wall (and no, I'm not American).
Produce some of the corniest movies and soap operas ever made. "Winter Sonata" or "The Coastguard" come to mind.
Korean drivers are scary, especially in Seoul. The bus drivers and taxis are lethal.
1. You are immune to the smell of "the kimchi breath."
2. You no longer come to a complete stop at the stop sign and you never, ever, yield the right-of-way.
3. People ask if you want to go by car and you respond, "No, I'm in a hurry."