Note: South Korea
Republic of Korea
98,477 sq. km. (38,022 sq. mi.); about the size of Indiana.
Capital--Seoul (10.3 million). Other
major cities--Busan (3.7 million), Daegu (2.5 million), Inchon (2.6
million), Gwangju (1.4 million), Daejeon (1.5 million), Ulsan (1.0 million).
Partially forested mountain ranges separated by deep, narrow valleys; cultivated
plains along the coasts, particularly in the west and south.
Nationality: Noun and
Population (2006): 48,846,823.
growth rate (2006): 0.42%.
Ethnic groups: Korean; small Chinese minority.
Christianity, Buddhism, Shamanism, Confucianism, Chondogyo.
Years compulsory--9. Enrollment--11.5 million. Attendance--middle
school 99%, high school 95%. Literacy--98%.
Health (2006): Infant
mortality rate--6.16/1,000. Life expectancy--77.0 yrs (men 73.6 yrs.;
women 80.8 yrs).
Work force (2005): 23.53 million. Services--67.2%;
mining and manufacturing--26.4%; agriculture--6.4%.
Republic with powers shared between the president, the legislature, and the courts.
August 15, 1945.
Constitution: July 17, 1948; last revised 1987.
Executive--President (chief of state); Prime Minister (head of government).
Legislative--unicameral National Assembly. Judicial--Supreme Court
and appellate courts; Constitutional Court.
Subdivisions: Nine provinces, seven
administratively separate cities (Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon,
Political parties: Uri Party (Uri); Grand National Party (GNP); Democratic
Party (DP); United Liberal Democrats (ULD); Democratic Labor Party (DLP); People
Centered Party (PCP).
Suffrage: Universal at 19.
Central government budget
(2004): Expenditures--$100.46 billion.
Defense (2005): $21.06 billion;
over 680,000 troops.
GDP (2005 est.): $811.1 billion.
GDP growth rate: 2003, 3.1%; 2004, 4.6%; 2005,
Per capita GNI (2004): $14,162.
Consumer price index: 2003, 3.6%;
2004, 3.6%; 2005, 2.8%.
Natural resources: Limited coal, tungsten, iron ore,
limestone, kaolinite, and graphite.
Agriculture, including forestry and fisheries:
Products--rice, vegetables, fruit, root crops, barley; cattle, pigs, chickens,
milk, eggs, fish. Arable land--17% of land area.
and electrical products, motor vehicles, shipbuilding, mining and manufacturing,
petrochemicals, industrial machinery, textiles, footwear.
Trade (2005 est.):
Exports--$ 284.6 billion f.o.b.: electronic products (semiconductors, cellular
phones, computers), automobiles, machinery and equipment, steel, ships, textiles.
Major markets--China (including Hong Kong) (19.6%), U.S. (16.9%), European
Union (12.8%), Japan (8.5%). Imports--$261.1 billion f.o.b.: crude oil,
food, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals and chemical products,
base metals and articles. Major suppliers--Japan (20.6%), China (13.1%),
U.S. (12.8%), European Union (10.8%), Saudi Arabia (6.4%).
is one of the most ethnically and linguistically homogenous in the world. Except
for a small Chinese community (about 20,000), virtually all Koreans share a common
cultural and linguistic heritage. With 48.42 million people, South Korea has one
of the world’s highest population densities. Major population centers are located
in the northwest, southeast, and in the plains south of Seoul-Incheon.
has experienced one of the largest rates of emigration, with ethnic Koreans residing
primarily in China (1.9 million), the United States (1.52 million), Japan (681,000),
and the countries of the former Soviet Union (450,000).
Korean language is related to Japanese and Mongolian. Although it differs grammatically
from Chinese and does not use tones, a large number of Chinese cognates exist
in Korean. Chinese ideograms are believed to have been brought into Korea sometime
before the second century BC. The learned class spoke Korean, but read and wrote
Chinese. A phonetic writing system ("hangul") was invented in the 15th century
by King Sejong to provide a writing system for commoners who could not read classical
Chinese. Modern Korean uses hangul almost exclusively with Chinese characters
in limited use for word clarification. Approximately 1,300 Chinese characters
are used in modern Korean. English is taught as a second language in most primary
and secondary schools. Chinese and Japanese are widely taught at secondary schools.
Half of the population
actively practices religion. Among this group, Christianity (49%) and Buddhism
(47%) comprise Korea’s two dominant religions. Though only 3% identified themselves
as Confucianists, Korean society remains highly imbued with Confucian values and
beliefs. The remaining 1% of the population practice Shamanism (traditional spirit
worship) and Chondogyo ("Heavenly Way"), a traditional religion.
myth of Korea’s foundation by the god-king Tangun in BC 2333 embodies the homogeneity
and self-sufficiency valued by the Korean people. Korea experienced many invasions
by its larger neighbors in its 2,000 years of recorded history. The country repelled
numerous foreign invasions despite domestic strife, in part due to its protected
status in the Sino-centric regional political model during Korea’s Chosun dynasty
(1392-1910). Historical antipathies to foreign influence earned Korea the title
of "Hermit Kingdom" in the 19th century.
declining Chinese power and a weakened domestic posture at the end of the 19th
century, Korea was open to Western and Japanese encroachment. In 1910, Japan began
a 35-year period of colonial rule over Korea. As a result of Japan’s efforts to
supplant the Korean language and culture, memories of Japanese annexation still
recall fierce animosity and resentment, especially among older Koreans. Nevertheless,
import restrictions on Japanese movies, popular music, fashion, and the like have
been lifted, and many Koreans, especially the younger generations, eagerly follow
Japanese pop culture. Aspects of Korean culture, including television shows and
movies, have also become popular in Japan.
surrender to the Allied Powers in 1945, signaling the end of World War II, only
further embroiled Korea in foreign rivalries. Division at the 38th Parallel marked
the beginning of Soviet and U.S. trusteeship over the North and South, respectively.
On August 15, 1948 the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) was established, with Syngman
Rhee as the first President. On September 9, 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic
of Korea (D.P.R.K.) was established under Kim Il Sung.
June 25, 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea. Led by the U.S., a 16-member
coalition undertook the first collective action under United Nations Command (UNC).
Following China’s entry on behalf of North Korea later that year, a stalemate
ensued for the final two years of the conflict. Armistice negotiations, initiated
in July 1951, were ultimately concluded on July 27, 1953 at Panmunjom, in the
now Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The Armistice Agreement was signed by representatives
of the Korean People’s Army, the Chinese People’s Volunteers, and the U.S.-led
United Nations Command (UNC). Though the R.O.K. supported the UNC, it refused
to sign the Armistice Agreement. A peace treaty has never been signed. The war
left almost three million Koreans dead or wounded and millions of others homeless
and separated from their families.
the following decades, South Korea experienced political turmoil under autocratic
leadership. President Syngman Rhee was forced to resign in April 1960 following
a student-led uprising. The Second Republic under the leadership of Chang Myon
ended after only one year, when Major General Park Chung-hee led a military coup.
Park’s rule, which resulted in tremendous economic growth and development but
increasingly restricted political freedoms, ended with his assassination in 1979.
Subsequently, a powerful group of military officers, led by Lieutenant General
Chun Doo Hwan, declared martial law and took power.
the Park and Chun eras, South Korea developed a vocal civil society that led to
strong protests against authoritarian rule. Composed primarily of students and
labor union activists, protest movements reached a climax after Chun’s 1979 coup
and declaration of martial law. A confrontation in Gwangju in 1980 left at least
200 civilians dead. Thereafter, pro-democracy activities intensified even more,
ultimately forcing political concessions by the government in 1987, including
the restoration of direct presidential elections.
1987, Roh Tae-woo, a former general, was elected president, but additional democratic
advances during his tenure resulted in the 1992 election of a long-time pro-democracy
activist, Kim Young-sam. Kim became Korea’s first civilian elected president in
32 years. The 1997 presidential election and peaceful transition of power marked
another step forward in Korea’s democratization when Kim Dae-jung, a life-long
democracy and human rights activist, was elected from a major opposition party.
The transition to an open, democratic system was further consolidated in 2002,
when self-educated human rights lawyer, Roh Moo-hyun, won the presidential election
on a "participatory government" platform.
AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The Republic of Korea
(commonly known as "South Korea") is a republic with powers nominally shared among
the presidency, the legislature, and the judiciary, but traditionally dominated
by the president. The president is chief of state and is elected for a single
term of 5 years. The 299 members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected
to 4-year terms--243 members are from single-seat districts and 56 members are
chosen by proportional representation. South Korea’s judicial system comprises
a Supreme Court, appellate courts, and a Constitutional Court. The judiciary is
independent under the constitution. The country has nine provinces and seven administratively
separate cities--the capital of Seoul, along with Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju,
Incheon and Ulsan. Political parties include the Uri Party (Uri), Grand National
Party (GNP), Democratic Labor Party (DLP), Democratic Party (DP), and People Centered
Party (PCP). Suffrage is universal at age 19 (lowered from 20 in 2005).
December 2002, President Roh Moo-hyun was elected to a single 5-year term of office.
In the April 2004 elections, the ruling Uri Party won a slim, but outright majority
in the National Assembly. Because of the loss of seats in by-elections and as
a result of convictions for election law violations, Uri no longer has a majority,
but does retain a plurality of seats.
Prime Minister--Han Myung-sook
Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resource Development--Kim Shin-il
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy--Kwon O-kyu
Minister and Minister of Science and Technology--Kim Woo-shik
Minister of Agriculture
and Forestry--Park Hong-soo
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy--Chung
Minister of Construction and Transportation--Choo Byung-jik
of Culture and Tourism--Kim Myung-gon
Minister of Environment--Lee Chi-beom
of Foreign Affairs and Trade--Ban Ki-moon
Minister of Gender Equality and
Minister of Government Administration & Home Affairs--Lee
Minister of Government Policy Coordination--Kim Young-ju
of Health and Welfare--Rhyu Si-min
Minister of Information and Communication--Rho
Minister of Justice (designate)--Kim Sung-ho
Minister of Labor
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries--Kim Sung-jin
of National Defense--Yoon Kwang-ung
Minister of Planning and Budget--Chang
Minister of Unification--Lee Jong-seok
Director of the National
Intelligence Service--Kim Seong-kyu
Chief Secretary to the President for Unification,
Foreign, and Security Policy--Song Min-soon
Ambassador to the U.S.--Lee
Ambassador to the UN--Choi Young-jin
Korea maintains an embassy in the United States
at 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-5600). Consulates
general are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles,
New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Hagatna (Agana) in Guam.
Republic of Korea’s economic growth over the past 30 years has been spectacular.
Per capita GNP, only $100 in 1963, exceeded $14,000 in 2004. South Korea is now
the United States’ seventh-largest trading partner and is the 11th-largest economy
in the world.
In the early 1960s, the
government of Park Chung Hee instituted sweeping economic policy changes emphasizing
exports and labor-intensive light industries, leading to rapid debt-financed industrial
expansion. The government carried out a currency reform, strengthened financial
institutions, and introduced flexible economic planning. In the 1970s Korea began
directing fiscal and financial policies toward promoting heavy and chemical industries,
consumer electronics, and automobiles. Manufacturing continued to grow rapidly
in the 1980s and early 1990s.
years, Korea’s economy moved away from the centrally planned, government-directed
investment model toward a more market-oriented one. Korea bounced back from the
1997-98 Asian financial crisis with some International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance,
but based largely on extensive financial reforms that restored stability to markets.
These economic reforms, pushed by President Kim Dae-jung, helped Korea maintain
one of Asia’s few expanding economies, with growth rates of 10% in 1999 and 9%
in 2000. The slowing global economy and falling exports slowed growth to 3.3%
in 2001, prompting consumer stimulus measures that led to 7.0% growth in 2002.
Consumer over-shopping and rising household debt, along with external factors,
slowed growth to near 3% again in 2003. Economic performance in 2004 improved
to 4.6%, due to an increase in exports.
are concerned that South Korea’s economic growth potential has fallen because
of a rapidly aging population and structural problems that are becoming increasingly
apparent. Foremost among these structural concerns is the rigidity of South Korea’s
labor regulations, the need for more constructive relations between management
and workers, the country’s underdeveloped financial markets, and a general lack
of regulatory transparency. Restructuring of Korean conglomerates ("chaebols")
and creating a more liberalized economy with a mechanism for bankrupt firms to
exit the market are also important unfinished reform tasks. Korean policy makers
are increasingly worried about diversion of corporate investment to China and
other lower wage countries.
North and South Korea have moved forward on a number of economic
cooperation projects. The following projects are most prominent:
- Tourism: R.O.K.-organized tours to Mt.
Kumgang in North Korea began with cruise boat tours in 1998. Overland tours to
Mt. Kumgang began in 2003, five years after the cruise tours started.
Development: East and west coast railroad and roads links have been reconnected
across the DMZ and work continues to improve these transportation routes. Much
of the work done in North Korea has been funded by the R.O.K. On the west coast,
the rail line and road are both complete as far north as the Kaesong Industrial
Complex (six miles north of the DMZ), but little work is being done on the rail
line north of Kaesong. On the east coast, the road is complete but the rail line
is far from operational. As of August 2006, neither railroad link had been tested.
- Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC):
Following a June 2003 groundbreaking, the KIC entered its pilot phase when 15
R.O.K. companies began constructing manufacturing facilities there. With about
35 companies having begun operations at the KIC as of August 2006, the R.O.K.
envisages a substantial enlargement of participation in the project in the following
Two-way trade between North
and South Korea, legalized in 1988, hit almost $1.1 billion in 2005. This total
included a substantial quantity of non-trade goods provided to the North as aid
(food, fertilizer, etc.) or as part of inter-Korean cooperative projects. According
to R.O.K. figures, about 60% of the total trade consisted of commercial transactions,
much of that based on processing-on-commission arrangements. The R.O.K. is North
Korea’s second-largest trading partner.
In August 1991, South Korea joined the United Nations along with
North Korea and is active in most UN specialized agencies and many international
forums. The Republic of Korea also hosted major international events such as the
1988 Summer Olympics, the 2002 World Cup Soccer Tournament (co-hosted with Japan),
and the 2002 Second Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies.
considerations have a high priority in Korean foreign policy. The R.O.K. seeks
to build on its economic accomplishments to increase its regional and global role.
It is a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum
and chaired the organization in 2005.
Republic of Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 170 countries
and a broad network of trading relationships. The United States and Korea are
allied by the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty. Korea and Japan coordinate closely on
numerous issues. This includes consultations with the United States on North Korea
Korean Peninsula: Reunification
and Recent Developments
For almost 20 years after the 1950-53 Korean War,
relations between North and South Korea were minimal and very strained. Official
contact did not occur until 1971, beginning with Red Cross contacts and family
reunification projects in 1985. In the early 1990s, relations between the two
countries improved with the 1991 South-North Basic Agreement, which acknowledged
that reunification was the goal of both governments, and the 1992 Joint Declaration
of Denuclearization. However, divergent positions on the process of reunification
and North Korean weapons programs, compounded by South Korea’s tumultuous domestic
politics and the 1994 death of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, contributed to
a cycle of warming and cooling of relations.
improved again following the 1997 election of Kim Dae-jung. His "Sunshine Policy"
of engagement with the D.P.R.K. set the stage for the historic June 2000 inter-Korean
summit between President Kim and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. President Kim
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for the policy, but the prize was somewhat
tarnished by revelations of a $500 million dollar "payoff" to North Korea that
immediately preceded the summit.
again became tense following the October 2002 North Korean acknowledgement of
a covert program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Following this acknowledgement,
the United States, along with the People’s Republic of China, proposed multilateral
talks among the concerned parties to deal with this issue. At the urging of China
and its neighbors, the D.P.R.K. agreed to meet with China and the United States
in April 2003. In August of that year, the D.P.R.K. agreed to attend Six-Party
Talks aimed at ending the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons that added the Republic
of Korea, Japan, and Russia to the table. Two more rounds of Six-Party Talks between
the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, and the D.P.R.K. were
held in February and June of 2004. At the third round, the U.S. put forward a
comprehensive proposal aimed at completely, verifiably, and irreversibly eliminating
North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs.
fourth round of talks was held in July 2005 and spanned a period of 20 days between
July and September. All parties agreed to a Joint Statement of Principles on September
19, in which, among other things, the six parties unanimously reaffirmed the goal
of verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. In
the Joint Statement, the D.P.R.K. committed to "abandoning all nuclear weapons
and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards." The Joint Statement
also committed the U.S. and other parties to certain actions as the D.P.R.K. denuclearized.
The U.S. offered a security assurance, specifying that it had no nuclear weapons
on R.O.K. territory and no intention to attack or invade the D.P.R.K. with nuclear
or other weapons. Finally, the U.S. and D.P.R.K. were to take steps to normalize
relations, subject to the D.P.R.K.’s implementing its denuclearization pledge
and resolving other longstanding concerns. While the Joint Statement provides
a vision of the end-point of the Six-Party process, much work remains ahead to
implement the elements of the agreement. Despite the agreement of all parties,
including the D.P.R.K., to return to the negotiating table in early 2006, the
D.P.R.K., since November 2005, refused to return to the talks, citing U.S. action
against its illicit banking activities. The U.S. remains prepared to resume the
discussions without preconditions, and has called on the D.P.R.K. to do the same.
President Roh Moo-hyun, the R.O.K. has simultaneously sought the elimination of
the D.P.R.K.’s nuclear weapons through the Six Party Talks and pursued a policy
of reconciliation known as the "Peace and Prosperity Policy." By engaging with
the D.P.R.K. through projects such as the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the R.O.K.
hopes to invigorate the North Korean economy and engineer a gradual, long-term
The United States believes that the question of peace and security
on the Korean Peninsula is, first and foremost, a matter for the Korean people
Under the 1953 U.S.-R.O.K.
Mutual Defense Treaty, the United States agreed to help the Republic of Korea
defend itself against external aggression. Since that time in support of this
commitment, the United States has maintained military personnel in Korea, including
the Army’s Second Infantry Division and several Air Force tactical squadrons.
To coordinate operations between these units and the over 680,000-strong Korean
armed forces, a Combined Forces Command (CFC) was established in 1978. The head
of the CFC also serves as Commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) and U.S.
Forces Korea (USFK). The current commander is General Burwell Baxter "B.B." Bell.
Several aspects of the security relationship
are changing as the U.S. moves from a leading to a supporting role. In 2004, agreement
was reached on the return of the Yongsan base in Seoul--as well as a number of
other U.S. bases--to the R.O.K. and the eventual relocation of all U.S. forces
to south of the Han River. In addition, the U.S. and R.O.K. agreed to move 12,500
of the 37,500 U.S. troops out of Korea by 2008. At the same time U.S. troops are
being redeployed from Korea, the U.S. will bolster combined U.S./R.O.K. deterrent
and defense capabilities by providing $11 billion in force enhancements in Korea
and at regional facilities over the next four years.
Korea’s economy has developed, trade has become an increasingly important aspect
of the U.S.-R.O.K. relationship. The U.S. seeks to improve access to Korea’s expanding
market and increase investment opportunities for American business. The implementation
of structural reforms contained in the IMF’s 1998 program for Korea improved access
to the Korean market, although a range of serious sectoral and structural barriers
still remain. Korean leaders appear determined to successfully manage the complex
economic relationship with the United States and take a more active role in international
economic fora as befits Korea’s status as a major trading nation. On February
2, 2006, the two governments announced their intent to negotiate a Free Trade
Agreement (FTA). Together, there will be 5 rounds of talks; two in Korea and three
in the U.S. Because the President’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) expires in
June 2007, the U.S. is seeking to conclude FTA negotiations by the end of 2006.
If successful, a comprehensive U.S.-R.O.K. FTA would bring greater vibrancy to
this already close economic relationship, creating 100,000 new jobs and trade
worth $20 billion through increased trade and investment.
U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Alexander R. Vershbow
Chief of Mission--William A. Stanton
Counselor for Political Affairs--Joseph
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Andrew Quinn
Counselor for Management
Counselor for Public Affairs--Gerald McLaughlin (September 2006)
General--Julia Stanley (September 2006)
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--John
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Larry Senger
Chief, Joint U.S.
Military Advisory Group, Korea (JUSMAG-K)--Col. Kevin Maddan
Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge--Christopher
Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Seoul Bureau Chief--Karen Schmoll
& Immigration Services--Jose R. Olivares
DHS-Customs & Border Protection
DHS-Immigration & Customs Enforcement Attaché--Barry
Federal Bureau of Investigation Legal Attaché--J. Sung Maeng
U.S. Embassy in South Korea is located
at 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-710. The contact information for the U.S.
Embassy is: American Embassy-Seoul, Unit 15550, APO AP 96205-5550 (tel.: 82-2-397-4114;
fax: 82-2-738-8845). The U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) is located at 146-1,
Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Leema Bldg., Rm. 303, Seoul 110-140 (fax: 82-2-720-7921).
The U.S. Export Development Office/U.S. Trade Center can be reached c/o U.S. Embassy
The following general country guides are available from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402:
of Congress. North Korea:
A Country Study. 1994.
Library of Congress. South Korea: A Country
Department of State. The Record on Korean Unification
Department of the Army. Communist North Korea: A Bibliographic
on North and South Korea
The following sites are provided to give an indication
of Internet sites on Korea. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial
publications, including Internet sites.
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Consular Information
Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information Sheets
exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political
disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country. Travel Warnings
are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to
a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions
overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Free
copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs
at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Consular Information
Sheets and Travel Warnings also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet
home page: http://travel.state.gov/. Consular
Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining
passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are available on the Internet and hard
copies can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office
of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies,
Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.
National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of State's
single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone:
1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer service representatives and operators
for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
excluding federal holidays.
can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and
a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm
give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements,
and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet
entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280)
is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel.
Information on travel
conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays,
and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure
from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).
citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged
their travel via the State Department's travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/
or at the Consular section of the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country by filling
out a short form and sending in a copy of their passports. This may help family
members contact you in case of an emergency.
Department of State Web Site. Available on
the Internet at http://www.state.gov/, the Department
of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy
information, including Background Notes and
daily press briefings
along with the directory of key officers
of Foreign Service posts and more.
provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered
by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help
with the export process, and more.
a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic,
business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The
site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market
research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the
National Trade Data Bank.