South Korea is located in northeastern Asia. It shares a 151-mile land border, known technically as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), with North Korea. It controls the peninsula south of the 38th parallel. It has had reconciliation talks with North Korea aimed at reducing tensions between the once-unified countries. In 1993, Kim Young-Sam became the first civilian president since 1961.
The South Korean city of Pyeongchang was a finalist to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In 2003, at the 115th IOC session, Salzburg, Austria was eliminated in the first round after it surprisingly received only 16 votes to Pyeongchang's 51 and Vancouver's 40. In the final round, Vancouver received 56 votes to 53 for Pyeongchang to earn the right to host the 2010 Games.
South Korea made its first Olympic Winter Games appearance in 1948. It stands 18th in the all-time medal standings with 31 (17 gold, eight silver, six bronze). Twenty-nine of South Korea's medals have come in short track speed skating.
South Korea's Kim Yu-Na is the clear gold medal favorite in ladies' figure skating. South Korea remains the dominant power in short track speed skating, having won 10 of the 24 medals at the Torino Games, including six of eight golds, and show no reason to doubt a repeat performance.