Corea

Article

July 3, 2022

Korea (AFI: / koˈrɛa /), called Hanguk (한국) in South Korea and Chosŏn (조선) in North Korea, is a peninsula located in the Far East, between Manchuria and the Japanese archipelago.

Geography

Territory

The Korean peninsula covers an area of ​​220,750 km² in East Asia; it appears as a squat-shaped articulation of the otherwise fairly uniform coastline of the Chinese subcontinent. The Korean peninsula stretches out towards the Japanese archipelago and closes the vast basin of the Eastern Sea to the southeast (or as the Japanese call it but not recognized by the international community, Sea of ​​Japan) with the Strait of Korea. To the west it is washed by the Yellow Sea and to the north-west it shares its Korea Bay with China. The continental part (roughly north of the 40th parallel) is mainly mountainous, reaching the 2,744 m of Mount Paektu-san: it is the least populated region of Korea, also given the adverse climatic conditions. South of the 40th parallel begins the peninsular region, which stretches in a north-south direction for about 650 km; morphologically it appears symmetrical from the longitudinal point of view, given that for its entire length the mountains run practically only on its eastern edge, parallel to the coastline which is not very articulated and generally mountainous (Taebaek mountains). The western and southern slopes, on the other hand, appear wider, furrowed by the rivers that descend from the eastern mountain ranges, digging alluvial plains, which constitute the only flat areas of the Korean territory. The western side is the most populated, with even massive human densities as in the case of the cities of Pyongyang and Seoul.

Climate

The Korean climate is a kind of transition between the continental climates, of the Siberian and Manchu areas, and the humid and subtropical climates of the southern part of the Japanese archipelago. In its general lines, the climate of Korea is characterized by the seasonal alternation of the continental influence in winter, cold and dry, and the monsoon influence, humid and hot, in summer. The result is therefore, as general characteristics, cold and dry winters (winter temperatures, in particular, are very low considering the latitude) and hot and humid summers, in which most of the annual rainfall is concentrated. Winter temperatures have large latitudinal variations: Kanggye, in the northern mountains, records averages around -12 ° C (January, the coldest month); in Pyongyang it rises to about -8 ° C, in Seoul -4 ° C, and then reaches values ​​above zero in the southeastern coast (Pusan, 2-3 ° C) and especially in the southern island of Cheju (5 ° C) . The summer temperatures, thanks to the emergence of monsoon conditions throughout the territory, differ less: the hottest month (which, as in almost the entire Pacific coastal area of ​​the Far East, is August) averages around 26 ° C in the south they drop to about 23-24 ° C in the north. A certain thermal peculiarity is recorded in the extreme north-eastern area, on the border with Russia, where the greatest maritime influence mitigates the temperatures (in Ch'ongjin, January -5 ° C and August 22 °). Rainfall is generally abundant and concentrated in summer: average annual values ​​of 1,000 mm are quite common throughout the territory, with peaks around 1,500 on the island of Cheju and even higher in the north-east (Wŏnsan).

Flora and fauna

Similarly to the climate, the types of vegetation widespread in the Korean region have a very marked difference: we pass from a flora typical of the Siberian regions to one extremely common in the subtropical ones of Japan and southern China. Coniferous forest, analogous to the Siberian taiga, is widespread in the northern mountains and in the higher areas of the T'aebaek mountains. Decreasing altitude and / or latitude you enter the veg domain