Language and Letters
Most linguists place Korean in the Altaic language family, though some consider it to be a language isolate, meaning that it cannot be simply related with any other language. The written form of Korean uses Hangeul, a writing system commissioned by King Sejong (1397-1450) during the Joseon Dynasty. Koreans are very proud of this remarkable achievement, and Hangeul is a very efficient and easy script to learn and use.
Hangeul is composed of fourteen consonants and ten vowels. It can express virtually all the sounds produced by nature and humans. Every year, UNESCO presents the King Sejong Literacy Prize to people who have made a distinguished contribution to the elimination of illiteracy. The inclusion of ‘King Sejong’ in the name of the prize may be said to be tacit recognition of his greatest accomplishment, the creation of Hangeul, which is easy to learn and use.
King Sejong the Great
Sejong was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He made many great accomplishments in the spheres of science, economy, defense, art and culture. One of his greatest accomplishments was the creation of Hangeul in 1443, an easy-to-learn, efficient, and scientific writing system. He is respected as one of the country’s greatest kings among Koreans.
Source: Korean Culture and Information Service 'Facts about Korea'