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Korean Peninsula

18 October 2019

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The Korean Peninsula in East Asia can be seen in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission. The peninsula is over 900 km long and is located between the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west.

The peninsula is divided into two countries – the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

North Korea is divided into nine provinces, with Pyongyang as the capital. Pyongyang, which can be seen in light grey in the upper left of the image, lies on the banks of the Taedong River and on a flat plain about 50 km inland from the Korea Bay.

The capital of South Korea is Seoul, which is in the northwest of the country, slightly inland and around 50 km south of the North Korean border.

As the image shows, the Korean peninsula is mostly mountainous and rocky, making less than 20% of the land suitable for farming.

The Yellow Sea owes its name to the silt-laden waters from the Chinese rivers that empty into it. It is also one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world with an average depth of around 50 m.

The waters off the coast of Korea are considered among the best in the world for fishing. The warm and cold currents attract a wide variety of species and the numerous islands, inlets and reefs provide excellent fishing grounds.

Sentinel-3 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Each satellite's instrument package includes an optical sensor to monitor changes in the colour of Earth's surfaces. It can be used, for example, to monitor ocean biology and water quality.

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