The South Korean Won is the official currency of South Korea. It is issued by the Bank of Korea, which is centralized in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The current incarnation of the Won has existed since 1962 and succeeds the old Korean Won, a consequence of the Korean civil war which ended a few years prior to the currency transition. The current symbol of the Won is “₩” and the ISO standard currency code is “KRW”. A single Won represents an amount of one-hundred jeon, although the jeon is no longer used in regular transactions.
The etymology of the won has roots that derive from both the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen, which all come from a hanja that referred to money in ancient times in Eastern Asia. Although Korean used its own version of yen for several centuries, during colonial times and the industrial revolution, it eventually developed its new currency, the won, shortly after the Korean war and the division of North and South Korea.
All currency in South Korea is created and distributed by the Bank of Korea, which is the only establishment in the country with the legal power to create currency. The economy of South Korea is highly developed and technologically driven. Its capital, Seoul, is the most wired city in the world, with the highest penetration of internet access. This progress has led to South Korea having the 12th highest purchasing power parity on the planet. Despite this, their economy focuses on a strategy of deflation to keep the valuation of the won low, although this is subject to danger from inflation of trading partners.
North Korean won
Although it is rarely used in the global marketplace, North Korea has their own version of the won that they also developed after the Korean war. It is hardly ever used in trade, and so largely remains irrelevant in the world of currency trading.