South Korea is a sovereign state in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighboured by China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. With an estimated population of 50 million, it covers a total area 98,480 square kilometres which includes partially forested mountain ranges separated by deep, narrow valleys. Its main exports are wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles and computers. Korea was one nation under the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties until the end of the Korean Empire in 1910, when Japan began a 35-year period of colonial rule. Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers in 1945 and three years later the country split in two, beginning decades of conflict between North and South. The current president of The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is Park Geun-hye. She is the first woman to be elected as President in South Korea.
South Korean soldier throws grenade on tense border
A South Korean soldier standing on guard at the tense inter-Korean border threw a grenade toward a moving object in the dark early on Wednesday, sparking a short-lived alarm, the defence ministry said.
At daylight, a patrol searched the area but there was no trace of any infiltration from North Korea, a ministry spokesman said.
A precautionary alert, which had been issued for South Korean units in the northeastern county of Hwacheon, was consequently lifted.
The episode came amid high tension on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea’s military has put rocket units on a war footing with a fresh threat to strike US targets as well as South Korea. Washington said it was ready to respond to “any contingency”.