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Discover Korea

Introduction to Korean Security, History & Culture

This booklet, produced by ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command, is organized into six parts to provide a holistic overview of Korean culture, history, and lifestyle for awareness and understanding. Each part contains information to provide a detailed introduction for a better understanding of the Republic of Korea.


Part 1. Intro: Introduction to the Republic of Korea
Part 2. History: Korea and its 5,000 Years of History
Part 3. National Security: The ROK-U.S. Alliance
Part 4. Economy: Leading as a Global Economic Power
Part 5. Culture: A Beautiful Culture in Bloom
Part 6. Explore: Exploring the Beautiful Landscape of Korea

Download/view this booklet

 

Places to Visit in Korea

Welcome to the enchanting land of South Korea, where tradition dances harmoniously with modernity, and history whispers captivating tales at every corner! Embark on a remarkable journey as you explore the country, a gateway to the cultural treasures, breathtaking landscapes, and remarkable historical sites that define this vibrant nation. From the awe-inspiring temples to the serene tranquility of natural parks and trails, Korea beckons you with open arms. Discover the essence of a nation that seamlessly weaves together the past and present, inviting you to witness its rich tapestry of heritage and immerse yourself in an unforgettable adventure.

Submit a Location

Korea has so many places that you can visit and explore. Find a place that isn't on the map and you want to share with the USFK Community? Submit a location and it might show up on the map above!

Pacific Passport Videos
Video by Sgt. Keaton Habeck, Senior Airman Jack Legrand, Staff Sgt. Heather Ley, Senior Airman Hannah Strobel
Pacific Passport - Seodong Park
DMA AFN Pacific Media Bureau-Korea
June 13, 2022 | 1:00
A team of Media Bureau Korea personnel highlight a park in Buyeo. Seodong Park is a recreation ground made up of ponds covered in lotus plants with many walking trails. The main attraction is Gungnamji Pond, which is Korea’s first artificial pond.

(Video by SSgt Heather Ley, SGT Keaton Habeck, SrA Hannah Strobel and SrA Jack LeGrand)
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The Korean Language

About Hangul

Koreans consider their language as one of their most distinctive traits. Hangul, or the Korean alphabet, is a unique writing system and is thought to be one of the most efficient alphabets in the world. During King Sejong's era in the mid-15th century, the Korean alphabet system was based on Chinese characters and was only read fluently by only privileged male aristocrats. King Sejong thus developed Hangul so all Korean people, of any class, could learn to read and write. Celebrated on October 9 since 1970, Hangul Day or Hangul Proclamation Day is a national Korean holiday celebrating the creation of the Korean alphabet. 

Learning Hangul

During your tour in Korea, you'll have ample opportunity to study the Korean language. Many installations have free on-duty or off-duty language classes and there are also plenty of resources available online such as Youtube or Google.

Communication

Although English is taught in Korean schools as a first foreign language, it helps to speak slowly to increase your chances of being understood. If you still have difficulties getting your message across, write it down using short words. If this fails, simply show the phrases written in one of the many available phrase books or translation apps. 

Download the Korean alphabet cheatsheet

The following Korean phrases may assist you during your visit to Korea:

English Korean
Hello Ahn-nyong ha-seh-yo
I'm glad to meet you. Mahn-nah-so bahn-gah-wo-yo.
Goodbye (by host) Ahn-nyong-hee kah-seh-yo.
Goodbye (by guest) Ahn-nyong-hee kay-seh-yo.
May I have your name? Ee-ru-mee moo-ot-shim-nee-ka?
How much does it cost? Ol-mah eem-nee-ka?
I'll take this. Ego ju-seh-yo.
My name is ______. Je-ee-ru-mun _____ im-nee-da.
Do you speak English? Young-oh hahm-nee-ka?
Please take me to the nearest U.S. military installation. Kah-kah-woon mee-koon boo-dae-ro kahp-she-dah.
How much is the fare? Ol-mah eem-nee-ka?
Stop here.  Yo-gee se-wo ju-seh-yo.

 

Example of Korean Language at installations
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Korean Language Class at Kunsan

AFN Kunsan