South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK; Hanguel: 대한민국; Daehan Minguk; listen), is a country located in eastern Eurasia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The word "Korea" is derived from the Kingdom of Goryeo, also known as as "Koryŏ". It shares land borders with North Korea to the north, and oversea borders with Japan to the east and China to the west. Roughly half of the country's 50 million people reside in the metropolitan area surrounding its capital, the Seoul Capital Area, which is the second largest in the world with over 25 million residents.
Gyeongju is a city and prominent tourist destination in eastern South Korea. It lies in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang Province, on the coast of the Donghae (동해, literally "East Sea"). Numerous low mountains, outliers of the Taebaek range, are scattered throughout the city. Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, a fact to which it owes its present-day prominence. The Silla kingdom arose at the turn of the 1st millennium, and ruled most of the Korean Peninsula from the 7th to the 9th centuries. A vast number of sites from this period remain in the city today. After the kingdom fell, the city gradually declined in importance. Today Gyeongju is a typical medium-sized city, having shared in the economic, demographic, and social trends that have shaped modern South Korea. However, amidst these trends the city has retained a distinctive identity. In tourism, it is one of South Korea's most well-known destinations. In manufacturing, it profits from its proximity to major industrial centers such as Ulsan. Gyeongju is connected to nationwide rail and expressway networks, which facilitate both industrial and tourist traffic.