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The Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: Daehan Minguk (Hangul: 대한 민국; Hanja: 大韓民國)), commonly known as South Korea, is a country in East Asia, covering the southern half of the Korean peninsula. To the north, the Republic of Korea borders North Korea, with which it formed a single nation until 1948. Japan lies across the Sea of Japan (known as the "East Sea" in South Korea and "East Sea of Korea" in North Korea) to the east, and the Korea Strait to the southeast. The country is commonly called Hanguk (한국; 韓國) by South Koreans and Namchosŏn (남조선; 南朝鮮; "South Chosŏn") in North Korea. The capital is Seoul (서울).
Korea forms a peninsula that extends some 1,100 km from the Asian mainland, flanked by the Yellow Sea ("West Sea") to the west and the East Sea/Sea of Japan to the east, and terminated by the Tsushima Strait and the South Sea (East China Sea) to the south. The southern landscape consists of partially forested mountain ranges to the east, separated by deep, narrow valleys. Densely populated and cultivated coastal plains are found in the west and south.
The local climate is relatively temperate, with precipitation heavier in summer during a short rainy season called jangma, and winters that can be bitterly cold on occasion. South Korea's (current) capital and largest city is Seoul in the northwest, other major cities include nearby Incheon, central Daejeon, Gwangju in the southwest and Daegu and Busan in the southeast.
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