Waarom het die ekonomieë van Noord- en Suid -Korea sedert 1970 verskil?

Waarom het die ekonomieë van Noord- en Suid -Korea sedert 1970 verskil?

Tans is dit duidelik dat Suid -Korea ryker is as Noord -Korea.

Tog beweer Wikipedia en 'n prentopstel by 9gag dat Noord -Korea tot 1970 dieselfde ekonomie gehad het as Suid -Korea.

Waarom die dramatiese verskil sedert 1970?


U maak die fout om te dink dat die Suid -Koreaanse ekonomie net so sterk was soos vandag voor ongeveer 1970. Dit was nie so nie. Die land was eintlik nog steeds 'n landbou -ekonomie wat nie anders was as wat dit onder Japannese besetting was nie.
In die sestigerjare het die Suid -Koreaanse regering massiewe industrialisasieprojekte begin, met die bou van fabrieke, skeepswerwe, lughawens, ens., Wat die ekonomie laat groei het. Noord -Korea was intussen stil, soos dit was sedert die einde van die Koreaanse oorlog.
Om Wikipedia aan te haal:

Sedert die 1960's het die Suid -Koreaanse ekonomie geweldig gegroei en die ekonomiese struktuur is radikaal verander. In 1957 het Suid -Korea 'n laer BBP per capita as Ghana, [49], en teen 2008 was dit 17 keer so hoog as die van Ghana. [A]

Dit was die nalatenskap van president Park, wat president Rhee in 1960 opgevolg het.
Dit was dus nie dat Noord -Korea na sukses val nie, maar Suid -Korea wat opstyg en die noorde agterlaat.


Die hoofrede was die regte balans tussen beplan en vry. Suid -Korea het, ondanks die handhawing van 'n vrye mark, 'n hardnekkige, aggressiewe en intelligente intervensionistiese beleid gevolg, wat basies daarop gemik was om verskeie strategiese nywerhede te rig, hulle aan te moedig deur massiewe staatsubsidies, hoë nywerheidstariewe en die verkryging van buitelandse tegnologie en 'n Spartaanse op die hele bevolking op te lê behandeling om hierdie ekonomiese doelwitte beter te bereik. Mense is byvoorbeeld aktief aangemoedig om te spioeneer en na te gaan oor bure en vriende as iemand van hulle buitelandse sigarette rook, omdat valutareserwes so belangrik was vir die aankoop van hardeware en kennis uit die buiteland. Samsung was nie, soos die meeste mense dink, 'n vryemark-wonderwerk nie; dit was 'n staatsonderneming, soos byvoorbeeld Toyota in Japan. Noord -Korea het sy ekonomiese betrekkinge so drasties beperk dat dit sowel die nywerheidstake as die navorsing op hom geneem het. Suid -Korea fokus hoofsaaklik op die industrie en gebruik die vrugte van die industrie om Westerse navorsing te bekom, wat 'n baie meer buigsame ekonomiese benadering is. Dit beteken op lang termyn stagnasie vir die Noorde en ontwikkeling vir die Suide.

(Soos @jwenting aangedui het, was die Suid -Koreaanse ekonomie in die 60's op 'n koloniale vlak - die belangrikste uitvoer was vis en wolfram).

Hulpbron: Ha -Joon Chang - "Slegte Samaritane"


Suid -Korea en Noord -Korea het dramaties verskillende paaie gevolg na die einde van die gevegte in die Koreaanse Oorlog in 1953. Wat hul ekonomie en lewensstandaard betref, kan dit amper nie anders wees nie.

Die twee Korea's word geskei deur die gedemilitariseerde sone, 'n strook van vier kilometer breed wat langs die 38ste parallel loop, wat die Koreaanse skiereiland ongeveer in die helfte verdeel. Ten suide van die DMZ bedryf Suid -Korea een van die mees gevorderde ekonomieë ter wêreld, terwyl sy buurman in die noorde 'n militêre diktatuur is wat die ekonomie styf vas hou. Die Noorde ondervind steeds uitdagings in voedsel en voeding onder andere.

Belangrike wegneemetes

  • Die ekonomie van Noord -Korea is geïsoleerd en streng beheer. Dit kan oor die algemeen nie aan die basiese behoeftes van sy mense voldoen nie.
  • Ekonome vind dit moeilik om die Noord-Koreaanse ekonomie te ontleed omdat data nie bestaan ​​nie, onbetroubaar of verouderd is.
  • Suid -Korea se ekonomie is een van die mees gevorderde en produktiefste ter wêreld, en is wêreldwyd die 12de plek in terme van jaarlikse produksie.
  • Die ekonomiese groei van Suid -Korea hang grootliks af van uitvoer, en die land is die voortou met die vervoer van halfgeleiers en geheue -skyfies.

Bill Clinton het eens 'n kernooreenkoms met Noord -Korea gesluit

President Bill Clinton het op 18 Oktober 1994 die podium beklee met 'n toespraak wat lui soos 'n sug van verligting — die aankondiging van 'n belangrike kernooreenkoms tussen die Verenigde State en Noord -Korea. Hierdie ooreenkoms is goed vir die Verenigde State, goed vir ons bondgenote en goed vir die veiligheid van die hele wêreld. ” het hy die land verseker. Dit word die ooreengekome raamwerk genoem en was bedoel om die kernprogram van Noord -Korea te stop, en dit beloof om jare van toenemende kernspanning, insluitend 'n nabye oorlog, 'n einde te maak.

Hierdie ooreenkoms is die eerste stap op die pad na 'n kernvrye Koreaanse skiereiland, het Clinton gesê. Dit is nie afhanklik van vertroue nie. ” In ruil daarvoor dat Noord -Korea sy kernwapenprogram beëindig het, het die Verenigde State ingestem om die betrekkinge met die nasie te normaliseer en het hulle albei ingestem om formele versekering na te streef en#x201D nie om vuurwapens te gebruik nie mekaar.

Die ooreenkoms het teen alle kanse gesorg in 'n omgewing van vrees en bekommernis — het koeëlvast gelyk. Waarom het dit net 'n paar jaar later misluk? Die redes hiervoor is gegrond op onderhandelings agter die skerms en internasionale wantroue.

Noord -Korea het sedert die Koue Oorlog voorberei op kernoorlog, toe die USSR Noord -Koreaanse wetenskaplikes begin oplei het om kernwapens te bou. As deel van die kommunistiese blok was Noord -Korea nou in lyn met die USSR, en Moskou het die tegnologie, opleiding en selfs geologiese opnames verskaf wat Noord -Korea gehelp het om plaaslike afsettings van grafiet en uraanerts te gebruik wat gebruik kan word om kernwapens te skep.

Volgens Derek Bolton, wat saam met die nasionale veiligheids dinkskrum American Security Project werk, was Noord -Korea teen die 1960's goed op pad na 'n kernwapenprogram en het hy suksesvolle eksperimente uitgevoer met splitsing, die onderliggende chemiese verskynsel wat 'n kern kan veroorsaak reaksie, onder toesig van die USSR al in 1963.

Oor die jare het Noord -Korea probeer om meer steun vir sy kernprogram te vind, insluitend om Suid -Korea in gesprek te voer oor die vraag of die twee lande in die geheim 'n gesamentlike kernwapen moet ontwikkel. (Suid -Korea het geweier.) Maar dit het tot in die tagtigerjare geduur voordat die wêreld besef het dat Noord -Korea ernstig kan wees oor die bou van nukes en om te erken dat dit moontlik nader aan kernwapens is as wat voorheen gedink is.

'N Foto van 'n lêer van 1992 waarin missiele in die Noord -Koreaanse volk se magte marsjeer en#x2019 parade van die 60ste bestaansjaar. (Krediet: Jiji Press/KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ondanks sy skynbare verbintenis tot die ontwikkeling van kernwapens, het die Noord-Koreaanse leier Kim Il Sung wel die Verdrag oor die nie-verspreiding van kernwapens in 1985 bekragtig. Die internasionale verdrag, wat bedoel was om die verspreiding van kernwapens te voorkom, was sedertdien van krag. 1970, maar Noord -Korea het agtergebly by ander nasies soos die Verenigde State. Noudat Noord -Korea aan boord was, het dit egter ook begin met die ontginning van uraan en die vervaardiging van plutonium, sowel as van kritieke belang vir die vervaardiging van kernwapens, en die vervaardiging van kernreaktore gedurende die tagtigerjare. Toe, in 1989, val die Sowjetunie, wat Noord -Korea toenemend geïsoleer laat.

Met die ineenstorting van die Sowjetunie het Noord -Korea sy hoofbeskermer verloor, en Keir Leibertold, professor in die Universiteit van GeorgetownVox’s Zack Beauchamp. “Wat het dit wat konvensionele Amerikaanse krag kan teenstaan? Die antwoord is voor die hand liggend: kernwapens. ”

In dieselfde jaar ontdek die VSA die geheime kernprogram van Kim Il Sung met behulp van satellietbeelde, en Noord -Korea het voortgegaan om wapens te ontwikkel, selfs nadat hulle met Suid -Korea ooreengekom het om nie kernwapens te toets of te vervaardig nie. As gevolg hiervan het die Internasionale Atoomenergie -agentskap, 'n outonome kernoorsigorganisasie wat direk aan die Verenigde Nasies rapporteer, gevra om inspeksies van Noord -Koreaanse kernterreine in 1992 en 1993 te doen. Noord -Korea het geweier en gedreig om terug te keer uit die Nuclear Non -Verbreedingsverdrag.

Dit was 'n dubbele krisis vir die destydse president Clinton. Republikeine in die kongres het hom onder druk geplaas om nie met Noord -Korea te onderhandel nie, maar die internasionale gemeenskap en Demokrate het aangevoer dat betrokkenheid die enigste oplossing is. Intussen het Noord -Korea sy retoriek eskaleer en aan die Verenigde State gesê dat Noord -Korea Seoul in 'n see van vlamme sou verander as die VSA sanksies deur die Verenigde Nasies sou volg.

Die voormalige president van Noord -Korea, Kim Il Sung, sit in Junie 1994 saam met die voormalige Amerikaanse president, Jimmy Carter, enkele weke voor Kim se dood. (Krediet: Koreaanse sentrale nuusagentskap/AP -foto)

Die VSA het militêre ingryping oorweeg, maar het Jimmy Carter ook na Pyongyang gestuur om met Kim Il Sung te vergader. Carter het Kim oortuig om kernbesprekings te begin, maar op die dag dat die onderhandelinge sou begin, het Kim gesterf. Hy word opgevolg deur sy seun, Kim Jong Il, die einste man wat die mees omstrede kernkompleks in Noord -Korea, 'n fasiliteit in Yongbyon, gestig het.

Dinge lyk somber, maar Clinton het toenemend oortuig dat direkte onderhandelinge die enigste manier was. Amerikaanse onderhandelaars het egter van die begin af getwyfel dat diplomasie sou werk. 𠇍ie aanvanklike kontakte was om die stelling te toets dat ons hul bekommernisse oor veiligheid kan aanspreek deur hulle te laat vaar van hul kernwapens, ” Robert Gallucci, die hoofonderhandelaar, het gesêAnderkant parallel in 'n 2016 -onderhoud. Dit was nie 'n oortuiging van enigiemand se kant nie, dit was moontlik waar en die moeite werd om te toets.

Vir 16 maande het Gallucci en sy span intense onderhandelinge met Noord -Korea gevoer. Die lande het horings gesluit oor wat dit sou verg om Noord -Korea op te hou om kere te produseer. Uiteindelik het hulle tot 'n ooreenkoms gekom en die ooreengekome raamwerk.

Die ooreenkoms het net vier bladsye lank gesê dat Noord -Korea sy belangrikste kernreaktor in Yongbyon sal sluit, twee ander sal laat vaar en brandstof verseël wat moontlik gebruik kan word om 'n kernwapen te vervaardig. In ruil daarvoor sou die VSA olie voorsien om die brandstof wat uit die afgebreekte aanlegte verlore gaan, op te maak en twee nuwe “light -brandstof- ” -aanlegte te bou waaruit dit moeiliker sou wees om kernmateriaal te onttrek. As Noord -Korea wel probeer om brandstof uit die nuwe aanlegte te haal, sou dit vir kernwaghonde maklik wees om te identifiseer en moeilik om weg te steek. Boonop het die ooreenkoms belowe dat die VSA ekonomiese sanksies en sy diplomatieke bevriesing van Noord -Korea sal ophef en saamstem dat hulle nie hul eie kernwapens op Noord -Korea sal gebruik nie.

President Bill Clinton kyk na as assistent -minister van buitelandse sake, Robert Gallucci, met verslaggewers in die inligtingsaal van die Withuis, 18 Oktober 1994. Die president het aangekondig dat Noord -Korea ingestem het om sy bestaande kernprogram te vries en internasionale inspeksie van al sy kernfasiliteite te aanvaar. (Krediet: Marcy Nighswander/Getty Images)

Op die oog af het dit gelyk asof die VSA groot toegewings aan Noord -Korea bied in ruil vir min versekering. Maar agter die skerms het die Clinton-administrasie gedink dat Noord-Korea op die punt was om in duie te stort en waarskynlik nie lank genoeg sou duur dat die VSA die ooreengekome reaktore sou bou nie. In Noord -Korea is die ooreenkoms nie ernstig opgeneem nie. Isoleer, verarm en gelei deur 'n leier wat geglo het dat kernkrag die land op die internasionale verhoog mag gee, het Noord -Korea weinig motivering om sy program op te gee.

Clinton het geweet dat die ooreenkoms uiters omstrede sou wees, en daarom het hy dit so opgestel dat dit nie deur die senaat bekragtig hoef te word nie. Republikeine was woedend. En kort nadat die ooreenkoms onderteken is, het die Republikeine beheer oor die kongres gekry. Hulle braai Gallucci. Dit was redelik hard, en dit het PBS in 2003 gehandhaaf. of formele vredesooreenkomste tussen die twee lande goedkeur.

Intussen het Noord -Korea voortgegaan met die vervaardiging van uraan. Dit blyk dat Kim Jong Il potensiële vuurwapens as 'n bedingingsbrief gebruik het, alhoewel hy nie van plan was om die program te stop nie. Ondanks belowende aanvanklike resultate, het Noord -Korea die ooreenkoms al hoe meer begin skend. Noord -Korea ignoreer waarskuwings dat die ooreenkoms in gevaar is en spoedig besef intelligensie -agentskappe dat dit oor baie meer gevorderde kerntegnologie beskik as wat die VSA vermoed het.

Aanvanklik het dit gelyk asof George W. Bush, wat in 2001 aangestel is, die diplomatieke beleid van die Clinton-era teenoor Noord-Korea kan voortsit. Maar toe val dinge uitmekaar. Bush se diplomate het opgehou om brandstof te stuur Noord -Korea het bitter gekla dat die beloofde kernreaktore nog nooit gebou is nie. En toe die terreuraanvalle van 11 September plaasgevind het, het dit die Amerikaanse diplomasie in ander rigtings gedruk en Bush het Noord -Korea in 2002 as een van die drie lande genoem.

Binnekort was die betrekkinge tussen die twee lande openlik gespanne, indien nie vyandig nie. Noord-Korea val uit die verdrag om nie-verspreiding van kerns in 2003. Teen 2006 het dit sy eerste kerntoets uitgevoer en 'n ondergrondse aflewering wat moontlik 'n flits of 'n onsuksesvolle ontploffing was. En hoewel Bill Clinton self na Noord -Korea gegaan het om suksesvol te onderhandel oor die vrylating van twee Amerikaanse gyselaars in 2009, was dit te laat om Noord -Korea se optog na kernewiele te stop.

Alhoewel die Verenigde State steeds probeer om oplossings te soek vir die moontlike nukleêre aanvalle van Noord -Korea, insluitend die potensiaal van gesprekke tussen president Donald Trump en Kim Jong Un, lyk Clinton se visie van 'n einde aan die verspreiding van kerne op die Koreaanse skiereiland nou meer 'n spieëlbeeld.


Oorgang na 'n demokrasie en transformasie in 'n ekonomiese kragstasie

Op 10 Mei 1948 is die eerste algemene verkiesing op demokratiese wyse in Suid -Korea gehou onder die toesig van die VN om die 198 lede van die Nasionale Vergadering te kies. In Julie dieselfde jaar is die Grondwet uitgevaardig en Rhee Syngman en Yi Si-yeong, twee onafhanklikheidsvegters wat deur Koreane baie gerespekteer is, is onderskeidelik verkies as die land se eerste president en vise-president. Op 15 Augustus 1948 is die Republiek van Korea (ROK) formeel gestig as 'n liberale demokrasie, wat die legitimiteit van die PGK geërf het. Die VN het die regering van die ROK erken as die enigste wettige regering op die Koreaanse skiereiland.

Ten noorde van die 38ste parallel kon 'n algemene verkiesing onder toesig van die VN egter nie plaasvind nie weens die opposisie van die Sowjetunie. Op 9 September 1948 word die Demokratiese Volksrepubliek Korea (DPRK) uitgeroep as 'n kommunistiese land, en Kim Il-sung, wat as offisier van die Sowjet-Russiese leër gedien het, is as president beëdig. Te midde van die konfrontasie tussen 'n vrye demokrasie in die suide en 'n kommunistiese diktatuur in die noorde, was die ROK -regering onder leiding van president Rhee Syngman belas met baie kwessies, soos die totstandkoming van binnelandse orde, die uitskakeling van spore van Japannese imperialisme en die oorwinning van ideologiese konfrontasies tussen die linkses en die reg.

Op 25 Junie 1950 het Noord-Koreaanse troepe, gewapen met tenks en vegters van die Sowjetunie, die Suide binnegeval en sodoende 'n algehele oorlog veroorsaak. Die VN se Veiligheidsraad het die Noord -Korea se inval eenparig veroordeel en 'n resolusie gepubliseer waarin hy aanbeveel dat sy lidlande militêre hulp aan Suid -Korea verleen. Toe die gety van die oorlog met die ingryping van die VN -magte teen die Noorde draai, het die Chinese Rooi Leër ingegryp in die oorlog aan die noordekant. Die twee partye het hewige gevegte gevoer totdat die partye op 27 Julie 1953 uiteindelik die wapenstilstandsooreenkoms onderteken het. President Rhee Syngman het die ooreenkoms nie onderteken nie en het sterk gevra dat die oorlog verleng moet word met die doel om die hele land in die suide se guns te verenig.

Gyeongbu snelweg
Suid -Korea se eerste nasionale snelweg wat Seoul en Busan verbind, is in 1970 geopen.

Die drie jaar lange onderlinge oorlog wat deur die kommuniste begin is, het die hele Koreaanse skiereiland tot puin gelê. Miljoene troepe en burgerlikes is dood. Die meeste industriële fasiliteite van die land is vernietig. Suid -Korea het een van die armste lande ter wêreld geword. Die oorlog het Suid -Koreane egter die kosbaarheid van vryheid geleer. Die ervaring het die grondslag gelê wat patriotisme in die harte van jong studente en uniforme soldate geïnspireer het, en het die belangrikste motor van die land se modernisering geword.

President Rhee Syngman versterk sy outoritêre bewind. In 1960 het die regerende Liberale Party die presidentsverkiesing geknou. Jong studente het die strate betoog. Die situasie het versleg toe baie betogers deur die polisie geskiet is, wat gelei het tot massiewe protesoptredes wat die 19 April -rewolusie genoem word. President Rhee Syngman kondig sy uittrede aan en skuil in Hawaii. Kort daarna is die Grondwet gewysig, en 'n kabinetsisteem en die tweekamer -nasionale vergadering is aangeneem. Onder die nuwe grondwet is die regime onder leiding van premier Jang Myeon van stapel gestuur, maar die politieke situasie het uiters broos geword te midde van politieke stryd en voortgesette straatdemonstrasies deur studente.

In Mei 1961 het 'n groep jong weermagoffisiere onder leiding van generaal Park Chung-hee die mag oorgeneem tydens 'n staatsgreep. In die presidentsverkiesing wat op 15 Oktober 1963 gehou is, na twee jaar van militêre bewind, is Park Chung-hee, nadat hy uit die weermag was, as president verkies en in Desember dieselfde jaar ingehuldig. Die regering onder leiding van president Park het 'n vyfjaarplan vir ekonomiese ontwikkeling opgestel onder die slagspreuk "modernisering van die vaderland" en het vinnige ekonomiese groei behaal deur 'n uitvoergerigte beleid te implementeer.

Waarnemers noem dit 'die wonderwerk op die Hangangrivier'. Die land het sterk voortgegaan met die ontwikkeling van nasionale grond, insluitend die bou van die Gyeongbu -snelweg en metrolyne in groot stede. Die land het ook die Saemaeul Undong (nuwe gemeenskapsbeweging) uitgevoer en die arm landbougenootskap verander in 'n land wat hoofsaaklik op vervaardiging fokus.

Sedert die Suid -Koreaanse regering in 1948 tot stand gekom het, het die land homself verander van een van die armste lande ter wêreld na 'n ekonomiese kragstasie en 'n voorbeeld van liberale demokrasie.

Toe die regering die Yusin (Revitaliseringshervorming) in Oktober 1972 aankondig, wat bedoel was om die termyn van die huidige regering te verleng na agtien jaar van diktatuur, het studente en gewone mense aan die demokratiseringsbeweging deelgeneem. Na die sluipmoord op President Park op 26 Oktober 1979 het 'n nuwe groep weermagoffisiere onder leiding van generaal Chun Doohwan (Singunbu) die mag oorgeneem deur 'n staatsgreep. Singunbu onderdruk met geweld die stemme wat tot demokratisering roep, insluitend die demokratiseringsbeweging van 18 Mei. Chun Doo-hwan is ingesweer as die president en regeer met 'n outoritêre greep. Die Chun Doo-hwan-regering het op ekonomiese stabiliteit gekonsentreer en die opgeblase pryse suksesvol onder beheer gebring. Onder sy leiding het die land voortgesette ekonomiese groei behaal.

Op 29 Junie 1987 het Roh Tae-woo, 'n president wat hoopvol was oor die regerende party, 'n spesiale aankondiging gemaak dat hy die versoek van die mense om demokratisering en direkte verkiesing van die president sou aanvaar. Op 16 Desember 1987 word hy verkies tot 'n termyn van vyf jaar as president en beëdig as president op 25 Februarie 1988. Die Roh Tae-woo-administrasie het diplomatieke betrekkinge aangegaan met Kommunistiese lande, waaronder die Sowjetunie, China en diegene in Oos -Europa. Gedurende sy termyn het die twee Korea's op 17 September 1991 gelyktydig by die VN aangesluit.

Die Kim Young-sam-regering, wat in 1993 ingehuldig is, het probeer om korrupsie uit die weg te ruim deur dit 'n reël te maak vir hooggeplaaste amptenare om al hul bates te registreer en deur die gebruik van vals name in alle finansiële transaksies te verbied. Die mate van deursigtigheid in saketransaksies is aansienlik verbeter deur hierdie maatreël. Die regering het ook die plaaslike outonomiestelsel ten volle toegepas. President Kim Dae-jung het in 1998 sy amp aangeneem en sy regering het daarin geslaag om die valutakrisis wat die land 'n jaar tevore getref het, te oorkom, en probeer om demokrasie en die markekonomie te ontwikkel. In sy betrekkinge met Noord -Korea het die regering die beleid oor sonskyn aanvaar. Op 15 Junie 2000 vergader die leiers van die twee Korea's tydens 'n beraad in Pyongyang, Noord -Korea, en lewer 'n gesamentlike verklaring. Toe het die twee Korea 'n stelsel van versoening en samewerking ingestel en ooreengekom oor die hereniging van verspreide familielede, die verbinding van die Gyeongui- en Donghae -spoorlyne, die herlewing van verenigingsbewegings onder leiding van die private sektor en die uitbreiding van ekonomiese samewerking , insluitend besienswaardighede in die Geumgangsanberg.

Die Roh Moo-hyun-regering, wat in 2003 ingehuldig is, konsentreer op drie leidende doelwitte: die verwesenliking van demokrasie met die deelname van die mense, gebalanseerde sosiale ontwikkeling en die verwesenliking van vrede en voorspoed in Noordoos-Asië. Die regering het ook die tweede beraad gehou tussen die leiers van die twee Korea's in Pyongyang op 4 Oktober 2007 en het dieselfde jaar 'n FTA met die Verenigde State onderteken.

Die Lee Myung-bak-administrasie, wat in 2008 ingehuldig is, het vyf leidende aanwysers aangekondig in 'n poging om 'n nuwe ontwikkelingstelsel te vestig met die fokus op veranderinge en praktiese praktyk. Die regering beklemtoon dat dit 'n regering is wat die mense sal dien. Dit het ook pogings aangewend om die regeringsorganisasie te vaartbelyn, openbare korporasies wat met groter doeltreffendheid toegerus is, te privatiseer en administratiewe regulasies te hervorm. Ander beleide wat deur die regering aangeneem is, sluit in die smee van 'n kreatiewe alliansie met die Verenigde State soos dit die 21ste eeu betaam, en die skepping van 'n wêreldwye Korea onder die Suid-Noord-ekonomiese gemeenskap.

Met die verkiesing van die eerste vroulike president van die Republiek van Korea in Desember 2012, is die Park Geun-hye-administrasie van stapel gestuur, met 'n nuwe visie van die mense se geluk en die ontwikkeling van die land. Haar regering beklemtoon ook die noodsaaklikheid van die implementering van die kreatiewe ekonomie en sê: ''n Kreatiewe ekonomie gebaseer op wetenskapstegnologie en IKT is 'n uitdaging wat ons moet aanneem vir ons ekonomiese deurbraak en die enigste groeimotor van die Koreaanse ekonomie.'

Moon Jae-in, die 19de president van die Republiek van Korea
In Mei 2017 is Moon Jae-in beëdig as die 19de president van die Republiek van Korea. President Moon Jae-in het die noodsaaklikheid van 'nasionale eenheid' beklemtoon dat sy regering billikheid en samewerking, hervorming en verandering, dialoog en kommunikasie en bekwaamheid en kundigheid sal nastreef.

Die Moon Jae-in-administrasie, wat in Mei 2017 van stapel gestuur is, onthul sy nasionale visie: 'A Nation of the People, a Just Republic of Korea', wat die verpersoonliking van die gees van die byeenkomste by kersligte aandui, tesame met vyf beleidsdoelwitte om te bereik die nasionale visie: 'n volksregering, 'n ekonomie wat wedersydse welvaart nastreef, 'n nasie wat verantwoordelik is vir elke individuele, goed gebalanseerde ontwikkeling in elke streek, en 'n rustige en voorspoedige Koreaanse skiereiland. As deel van hierdie pogings het die regering gewerk om outoritêre kultuur uit te roei, met die mense te kommunikeer en demokrasie te herstel. Dit het ook meer werkgeleenthede geskep, die voorkoms van onreëlmatige werk verminder en die minimum loon verhoog in pogings om 'n 'mense-georiënteerde ekonomie' te verwesenlik.

Boonop het die Moon Jae-in-administrasie die weg gebaan om spanning op die Koreaanse Skiereiland te verlig en 'n era van vrede te open deur inter-Koreaanse beraad sowel as die beraad tussen Suid-Korea en Amerika en Suid-Korea en China te hou. In die lig van die Vierde Industriële Revolusie, het die regering ook gefokus op die bou van infrastruktuur, die verbetering van verwante regulasies en die beveiliging van sleuteltegnologieë vir toekomstige geslagte.


Die val van Noord -Korea

Die dramatiese groei van Noord -Korea sou nie duur nie. Teen die negentigerjare, aangedryf deur sy eie industriële revolusie en toenemende openheid vir internasionale handel, oortref die BBP per capita van Suid -Korea verreweg die van Noord -Korea. Dertig jaar later is die BBP per capita van Suid -Korea 40 keer groter as die van Noord -Korea.

Terwyl Suid-Korea dramatiese groei onder leiding van uitvoer beleef, is Noord-Korea besig om terug te val van die ineenstorting van die Sowjetunie. Deur verreweg sy grootste bron van olie te verloor en sonder alternatiewe vorme van energieopwekking, kan Noord -Korea nie genoeg elektrisiteit opwek nie. In die vroeë negentigerjare word die land in groot hongersnood gedryf.

Oorstromings, vermindering van hulp en swak beplanning veroorsaak dat voedselproduksie met 60% daal. In 'n poging om voedseltekorte te verlig, begin die regering van Kim Il Sung 'n 'twee maaltye per dag' -veldtog en gee mandate om in die veld te werk.

Ondanks die feit dat hy Westerse hulp vir die eerste keer openlik ontvang het, word geraam dat Noord -Korea se dodetal weens hongersnood en ondervoeding 'n miljoen beloop het, oftewel 5% van die land se bevolking van 22 miljoen.

Selfs nou word geglo dat Noord -Korea aan ernstige wanvoeding en armoede ly. Ondanks die feit dat die meeste landelike streke (tipies die tuiste van die armste burgers van Noord -Korea) grootliks buite die internasionale media is, word geraam dat die uiterste armoede in Noord -Korea onder die hoogste op aarde bly.

As gevolg van hongersnood was die 18-jarige Noord-Koreaanse mans gemiddeld vyf sentimeter korter as hul Suid-Koreaanse eweknieë en byna die helfte van alle kinders onder die ouderdom van 5 is in 2011 as ondervoed aangemeld.

Terwyl hospitale in Noord -Korea gratis bly by aflewering, word daar bespiegel dat dit oor die algemeen slegs toeganklik is vir die elite van Pyongyang. Hierdie hospitale het ook 'n kritieke gebrek aan hulpbronne, en verslaggewers beweer 'n ernstige gebrek aan verhitting, medisyne en bedieningsinstrumente.

Onlangs het die onverantwoordelike militêre strewes van Noord -Korea vooruitgang in buitelandse hulp verhoed. In 2012 het 'n langafstand-vuurpyl-lanseerplanne die planne in die wiele gery om die VSA om 240 000 ton voedselhulp te stuur in ruil vir die opskorting van kernwapentoetse.

Van ekonomiese welvaart in die sewentiger- en tagtigerjare tot groot ondervoeding en armoede, Noord -Korea demonstreer hoe onverantwoordelike regering en onwilligheid om te moderniseer dekades se vordering kan omkeer.


Die ekonomiese geskiedenis van Korea

Twee regime-verskuiwings verdeel die ekonomiese geskiedenis van Korea gedurende die afgelope ses eeue in drie verskillende periodes: 1) die tydperk van Malthusiaanse stagnasie tot 1910, toe Japan Korea geannekseer het 2) die koloniale tydperk van 1910-45, toe die land moderne begin ekonomiese groei en 3) die post -koloniale dekades, toe lewenstandaarde vinnig verbeter het in Suid -Korea, terwyl Noord -Korea terugkeer na die wêreld van siektes en hongersnood. Die dramatiese geskiedenis van lewenstandaard in Korea bied een van die oortuigendste bewyse om aan te toon dat instellings, veral die regering, vir ekonomiese groei saak maak.

Dinastiese degenerasie

Die stigters van die Chosôn-dinastie (1392-1910) het 'n huldigingsstelsel opgelê aan 'n klein-gekommersialiseerde boere-ekonomie, belasting ingevorder in die vorm van 'n wye verskeidenheid produkte en arbeid gemobiliseer om die handwerk en dienste te kry wat dit nodig het. Vanaf die laat sestiende tot die vroeë sewentiende eeu het indringende leërs uit Japan en China die bevelstelsel verpletter en 'n oorgang na 'n markekonomie gedwing. Die beskadigde burokrasie het belasting op geldprodukte en rys en katoentekstiele begin ontvang en uiteindelik kopermuntstukke begin slaan en handelsbeperkings opgehef. Die oorloë het ook slawerny en die vooroorlogse stelsel van dwangarbeid 'n ernstige knou toegedien, sodat arbeidsmarkte kon ontstaan.

Die markte het stadig ontwikkel: graanmarkte in die landbougebiede van Korea lyk minder geïntegreerd as dié in vergelykbare dele van China en Japan. Bevolking en oppervlakte het egter vinnig herstel van die nadelige impak van die oorloë. Die bevolkingsgroei het omstreeks 1800 tot stilstand gekom, en 'n eeu van demografiese stagnasie het gevolg as gevolg van 'n hoër sterftesyfer. Gedurende die negentiende eeu het die lewenstandaard versleg. Beide lone en huurgeld het gedaal, belastingontvangste het gekrimp en begrotingstekorte het uitgebrei, wat die regering genoodsaak tot vernedering. Boereopstand het meer gereeld plaasgevind, en arm boere het Korea na Noord -China verlaat.

Aangesien beide oppervlakte en bevolking gedurende die negentiende eeu stabiel gebly het, beteken die verslegtende lewenstandaard dat die totale opbrengs gekrimp het omdat grond en arbeid op 'n steeds ondoeltreffender manier gebruik word. Die afname in doeltreffendheid het blykbaar baie te doen gehad met die disintegrerende stelsel van waterbeheer, wat vloedbeheer en besproeiing insluit.

Die probleem met waterbeheer het institusionele wortels gehad, soos in Q ’ in China. Bevolkingsgroei het vinnige ontbossing veroorsaak, aangesien kleinboere maklik landerye kon bekom deur woude af te brand, waar eiendomsreg gewoonlik swak gedefinieer is. (Dit is in teenstelling met Tokugawa Japan, waar konflikte en litigasies na mededingende uitbuiting van woude tot bosregulering gelei het.) Terwyl die ontbossing verwoesting op die reservoirs veroorsaak het deur die voorkoms en intensiteit van oorstromings te verhoog, het private individue min aansporings gehad om die skade te herstel, aangesien hulle het verwag dat ander gratis sou ry op die voordele van hul pogings. Om die stelsel van waterbeheer in 'n goeie toestand te hou, was openbare inisiatiewe nodig wat die dinastiese regering nie kon onderneem nie. Gedurende die negentiende eeu het magtige grondeienaars om die beurt beheer oor minderjarige of siek konings, wat die staat tot 'n instrument verminder wat privaat belange dien. Die provinsiale amptenare het nie maatreëls getref om besproeiing te handhaaf nie, en sy versnelling het versnel deur omkoopgeld te neem in ruil daarvoor dat hulle kon deelneem aan die gebruik van boerdery op die ryk grond langs reservoirs. Boere het op die verrottende besproeiing gereageer deur nuwe ryssaadvariëteite te ontwikkel, wat droogtes beter kan weerstaan, maar minder kan oplewer. Hulle het ook probeer om die toenemend onstabiele watertoevoer teë te werk deur waterweë te bou wat landerye met riviere verbind, wat gereeld teëstand gekry het van mense wat verder stroomaf boer. Nie net het provinsiale administrateurs nie daarin geslaag om die watergeskille te besleg nie, maar sommige van hulle het ook die belangrikste oorsake van botsings geword. In 1894 protesteer kleinboere teen 'n plaaslike administrateur se pogings om private inkomste te genereer deur fooie in te vorder vir die gebruik van waterweë, wat deur kleinboere gebou is. The uprising quickly developed into a nationwide peasant rebellion, which the crumbling government could suppress only by calling in military forces from China and Japan. An unforeseen consequence of the rebellion was the Sino-Japanese war fought on the Korean soil, where Japan defeated China, tipping the balance of power in Korea critically in her favor.

The water control problem affected primarily rice farming productivity: during the nineteenth century paddy land prices (as measured by the amount of rice) fell, while dry farm prices (as measured by the amount of dry farm products) rose. Peasants and landlords converted paddy lands into dry farms during the nineteenth century, and there occurred an exodus of workers out of agriculture into handicraft and commerce. Despite the proto-industrialization, late dynastic Korea remained less urbanized than Q’ing China, not to mention Tokugawa Japan. Seasonal fluctuations in rice prices in the main agricultural regions of Korea were far wider than those observed in Japan during the nineteenth century, implying a significantly higher interest rate, a lower level of capital per person, and therefore lower living standards for Korea. In the mid-nineteenth century paddy land productivity in Korea was about half of that in Japan.

Colonial Transition to Modern Economic Growth

Less than two decades after having been opened by Commodore Perry, Japan first made its ambitions about Korea known by forcing the country open to trade in 1876. Defeating Russia in the war of 1905, Japan virtually annexed Korea, which was made official five years later. What replaced the feeble and predatory bureaucracy of the ChosǑn dynasty was a developmental state. Drawing on the Meiji government’s experience, the colonial state introduced a set of expensive policy measures to modernize Korea. One important project was to improve infrastructure: railway lines were extended, and roads and harbors and communication networks were improved, which rapidly integrated goods and factor markets both nationally and internationally. Another project was a vigorous health campaign: the colonial government improved public hygiene, introduced modern medicine, and built hospitals, significantly accelerating the mortality decline set in motion around 1890, apparently by the introduction of the smallpox vaccination. The mortality transition resulted in a population expanding 1.4% per year during the colonial period. The third project was to revamp education. As modern teaching institutions quickly replaced traditional schools teaching Chinese classics, primary school enrollment ration rose from 1 percent in 1910 to 47 percent in 1943. Finally, the cadastral survey (1910-18) modernized and legalized property rights to land, which boosted not only the efficiency in land use, but also tax revenue from landowners. These modernization efforts generated sizable public deficits, which the colonial government could finance partly by floating bonds in Japan and partly by unilateral transfers from the Japanese government.

The colonial government implemented industrial policy as well. The Rice Production Development Program (1920-1933), a policy response to the Rice Riots in Japan in 1918, was aimed at increasing rice supply within the Japanese empire. In colonial Korea, the program placed particular emphasis upon reversing the decay in water control. The colonial government provided subsidies for irrigation projects, and set up institutions to lower information, negotiation, and enforcement costs in building new waterways and reservoirs. Improved irrigation made it possible for peasants to grow high yielding rice seed varieties. Completion of a chemical fertilizer factory in 1927 increased the use of fertilizer, further boosting the yields from the new type of rice seeds. Rice prices fell rapidly in the late 1920s and early 1930s in the wake of the world agricultural depression, leading to the suspension of the program in 1933.

Despite the Rice Program, the structure of the colonial economy has been shifting away from agriculture towards manufacturing ever since the beginning of the colonial rule at a consistent pace. From 1911-40 the share of manufacturing in GDP increased from 6 percent to 28 percent, and the share of agriculture fell from 76 percent to 41 percent. Major causes of the structural change included diffusion of modern manufacturing technology, the world agricultural depression shifting the terms of trade in favor of manufacturing, and Japan’s early recovery from the Great Depression generating an investment boom in the colony. Also Korea’s cheap labor and natural resources and the introduction of controls on output and investment in Japan to mitigate the impact of the Depression helped attract direct investment in the colony. Finally, subjugating party politicians and pushing Japan into the Second World War with the invasion of China in 1937, the Japanese military began to develop northern parts of Korea peninsula as an industrial base producing munitions.

The institutional modernization, technological diffusion, and the inflow of Japanese capital put an end to the Malthusian degeneration and pushed Korea onto the path of modern economic growth. Both rents and wages stopped falling and started to rise from the early twentieth century. As the population explosion made labor increasingly abundant vis-a-vis land, rents increased more rapidly than wages, suggesting that income distribution became less equal during the colonial period. Per capita output rose faster than one percent per year from 1911-38.

Per capita grain consumption declined during the colonial period, providing grounds for traditional criticism of the Japanese colonialism exploiting Korea. However, per capita real consumption increased, due to rising non-grain and non-good consumption, and Koreans were also getting better education and living longer. In the late 1920s, life expectancy at birth was 37 years, an estimate several years longer than in China and almost ten years shorter than in Japan. Life expectancy increased to 43 years at the end of the colonial period. Male mean stature was slightly higher than 160 centimeters at the end of the 1920s, a number not significantly different from the Chinese or Japanese height, and appeared to become shorter during the latter half of the colonial period.

South Korean Prosperity

With the end of the Second World War in 1945, two separate regimes emerged on the Korean peninsula to replace the colonial government. The U.S. military government took over the southern half, while communist Russia set up a Korean leadership in the northern half. The de-colonization and political division meant sudden disruption of trade both with Japan and within Korea, causing serious economic turmoil. Dealing with the post-colonial chaos with economic aid, the U.S. military government privatized properties previously owned by the Japanese government and civilians. The first South Korean government, established in 1948, carried out a land reform, making land distribution more egalitarian. Then the Korean War broke out in 1950, killing one and half million people and destroying about a quarter of capital stock during its three year duration.

After the war, South Korean policymakers set upon stimulating economic growth by promoting indigenous industrial firms, following the example of many other post-World War II developing countries. The government selected firms in targeted industries and gave them privileges to buy foreign currencies and to borrow funds from banks at preferential rates. It also erected tariff barriers and imposed a prohibition on manufacturing imports, hoping that the protection would give domestic firms a chance to improve productivity through learning-by-doing and importing advanced technologies. Under the policy, known as import-substitution industrialization (ISI), entrepreneurs seemed more interested in maximizing and perpetuating favors by bribing bureaucrats and politicians, however. This behavior, dubbed as directly unproductive profit-seeking activities (DUP), caused efficiency to falter and living standards to stagnate, providing a background to the collapse of the First Republic in April 1960.

The military coup led by General Park Chung Hee overthrew the short-lived Second Republic in May 1961, making a shift to a strategy of stimulating growth through export promotion (EP hereafter), although ISI was not altogether abandoned. Under EP, policymakers gave various types of favors — low interest loans being the most important — to exporting firms according to their export performance. As the qualification for the special treatment was quantifiable and objective, the room for DUP became significantly smaller. Another advantage of EP over ISI was that it accelerated productivity advances by placing firms under the discipline of export markets and by widening the contact with the developed world: efficiency growth was significantly faster in export industries than in the rest of the economy. In the decade following the shift to EP, per capita output doubled, and South Korea became an industrialized country: from 1960/62 to 1973/75 the share of agriculture in GDP fell from 45 percent to 25 percent, while the share of manufacturing rose from 9 percent to 27 percent. One important factor contributing to the achievement was that the authoritarian government could enjoy relative independence from and avoid capture by special interests.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam in the early 1970s and the subsequent conquest of the region by the communist regime alarmed the South Korean leadership, which has been coping with the threat of North Korea with the help of the U.S. military presence. Park Chung Hee’s reaction was to reduce the level of reliance on the U.S. armed support by expanding capability to produce munitions, which required returning to ISI to build heavy and chemical industries (HCI). The government intervened heavily in the financial markets, directing banks to provide low interest loans to chaebols — conglomerates of businesses owned by a single family — selected for the task of developing different sectors of HCI. Successfully expanding the capital-intensive industries more rapidly than the rest of the economy, the HCI drive generated multiple symptoms of distortion, including rapidly slowing growth, worsening inflation and accumulation of non-performing loans.

Again the ISI ended with a regime shift, triggered by Park Chung Hee’s assassination in 1979. In the 1980s, the succeeding leadership made systematic attempts to sort out the unwelcome legacy of the HCI drive by de-regulating trade and financial sectors. In the 1990s, liberalization of capital account followed, causing rapid accumulation of short-term external debts. This, together with a highly leveraged corporate sector and the banking sector destabilized by the financial repression, provided the background to the contagion of financial crisis from Southeast Asia in 1997. The crisis provided a strong momentum for corporate and financial sector reform.

In the quarter century following the policy shift in the early 1960s, the South Korean per capita output grew at an unusually rapid rate of 7 percent per year, a growth performance paralleled only by Taiwan and two city-states, Hong Kong and Singapore. The portion of South Koreans enjoying the benefits of the growth increased more rapidly from the end of 1970s, when the rising trend in the Gini coefficient (which measures the inequality of income distribution) since the colonial period was reversed. The growth was attributable far more to increased use of productive inputs — physical capital in particular — than to productivity advances. The rapid capital accumulation was driven by an increasingly high savings rate due to a falling dependency ratio, a lagged outcome of rapidly falling mortality during the colonial period. The high growth was also aided by accumulation of human capital, which started with the introduction of modern education under the Japanese rule. Finally, the South Korean developmental state, as symbolized by Park Chung Hee, a former officer of the Japanese Imperial army serving in wartime Manchuria, was closely modeled upon the colonial system of government. In short, South Korea grew on the shoulders of the colonial achievement, rather than emerging out of the ashes left by the Korean War, as is sometimes asserted.

North Korean Starvation

Neither did the North Korean economy emerge out of a void. Founders of the regime took over the system of command set up by the Japanese rulers to invade China. They also benefited from the colonial industrialization concentrated in the north, which had raised the standard of living in the north above that in the south at the end of the colonial rule. While the economic advantage led the North Korean leadership to feel confident enough to invade the South in 1950, it could not sustain the lead: North Korea started to lag behind the fast growing South from the late 1960s, and then suffered a tragic decline in living standards in the 1990s.

After the conclusion of the Korean War, the North Korean power elites adopted a strategy of driving growth through forced saving, which went quickly to the wall for several reasons. First, managers and workers in collective farms and state enterprises had little incentive to improve productivity to counter the falling marginal productivity of capital. Second, the country’s self-imposed isolation made it difficult for it to benefit from the advanced technologies of the developed world through trade and foreign investment. Finally, the despotic and militaristic rule diverted resources to unproductive purposes and disturbed the consistency of planning.

The economic stalemate forced the ruling elites to experiment with the introduction of material incentives and independent accounting of state enterprises. However, they could not push the institutional reform far enough, for fear that it might destabilize their totalitarian rule. Efforts were also made to attract foreign capital, which ended in failure too. Having spent the funds lent by western banks in the early 1970s largely for military purposes, North Korea defaulted on the loans. Laws introduced in the 1980s to draw foreign direct investment had little effect.

The collapse of centrally planned economies in the late 1980s virtually ended energy and capital goods imports at subsidized prices, dealing a serious blow to the wobbly regime. Desperate efforts to resolve chronic food shortages by expanding acreage through deforestation made the country vulnerable to climatic shocks in the 1990s. The end result was a disastrous subsistence crisis, to which the militarist regime responded by extorting concessions from the rest of the world through brinkmanship diplomacy.

Further Reading

Amsden, Alice. Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Ban, Sung Hwan. “Agricultural Growth in Korea.” In Agricultural Growth in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines, edited by Yujiro Hayami, Vernon W. Ruttan, and Herman M. Southworth, 96-116. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1979.

Cha, Myung Soo. “Imperial Policy or World Price Shocks? Explaining Interwar Korean Consumption Trend.” Journal of Economic History 58, nee. 3 (1998): 731-754.

Cha, Myung Soo. “The Colonial Origins of Korea’s Market Economy.” In Asia-Pacific Dynamism, 1550-2000, edited by A.J.H. Latham and H. Kawakatsu, 86-103. London: Routledge, 2000.

Cha, Myung Soo. “Facts and Myths about Korea’s Economic Past.” Forthcoming in Australian Review of Economic History 44 (2004).

Cole, David C. and Yung Chul Park. Financial Development in Korea, 1945-1978. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983.

Dollar, David and Kenneth Sokoloff. “Patterns of Productivity Growth in South Korean Manufacturing Industries, 1963-1979.” Journal of Development Economics 33, nee. 2 (1990): 390-27.

Eckert, Carter J. Offspring of Empire: The Koch’ang Kims and the Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism, 1876-1945. Seattle: Washington University Press, 1991.

Gill, Insong. “Stature, Consumption, and the Standard of Living in Colonial Korea.” In The Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspective, edited by John Komlos and Joerg Baten, 122-138. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998.

Gragert, Edwin H. Landownership under Colonial Rule: Korea’s Japanese Experience, 1900-1935. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1994.

Haggard, Stephan. The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis. Washington: Institute of International Economics, 2000.

Haggard, Stephan, D. Kang and C. Moon. “Japanese Colonialism and Korean Development: A Critique.” World Development 25 (1997): 867-81.

Haggard, Stephan, Byung-kook Kim and Chung-in Moon. “The Transition to Export-led Growth in South Korea: 1954-1966.” Journal of Asian Studies 50, nee. 4 (1991): 850-73.

Kang, Kenneth H. “Why Did Koreans Save So Little and Why Do They Now Save So Much?” International Economic Journal 8 (1994): 99-111.

Kang, Kenneth H, and Vijaya Ramachandran. “Economic Transformation in Korea: Rapid Growth without an Agricultural Revolution?” Economic Development and Cultural Change 47, no. 4 (1999): 783-801.

Kim, Kwang Suk and Michael Roemer. Growth and Structural Transformation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979.

Kimura, Mitsuhiko. “From Fascism to Communism: Continuity and Development of Collectivist Economic Policy in North Korea.” Economic History Review 52, no.1 (1999): 69-86.

Kimura, Mitsuhiko. “Standards of Living in Colonial Korea: Did the Masses Become Worse Off or Better Off under Japanese Rule?” Journal of Economic History 53, no. 3 (1993): 629-652.

Kohli, Atul. “Where Do High Growth Political Economies Come From? The Japanese Lineage of Korea’s ‘Developmental State’.” World Development 9: 1269-93.

Krueger, Anne. The Developmental Role of the Foreign Sector and Aid. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Kwon, Tai Hwan. Demography of Korea: Population Change and Its Components, 1925-66. Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 1977.

Noland, Marcus. Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas. Washington: Institute for International Economics, 2000.

Palais, James B. Politics and Policy in Traditional Korea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975.

Stern, Joseph J, Ji-hong Kim, Dwight H. Perkins and Jung-ho Yoo, editors. Industrialization and the State: The Korean Heavy and Chemical Industry Drive. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Woo, Jung-en. Race to the Swift: State and Finance in Korean Industrialization. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.

Young, Alwyn. “The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience.” Kwartaalliks Journal of Economics 110, no. 3 (1995): 641-80.


New spike in tensions

2013 January - South Korea launches a satellite into orbit for the first time using a rocket launched from its own soil. Comes weeks after a North Korean rocket placed a satellite in orbit.

2013 March - South Korea accuses North of a cyber-attack that temporarily shuts down the computer systems at banks and broadcasters.

2013 September - North and South Korea reopen Kaesong joint industrial complex and hotline.

2013 December - South Korea announces expansion of air defence zone, two weeks after China unilaterally announced its own extended air defence zone in East China Sea to include disputed Socotra Rock.

2014 March - North and South Korea exchange fire into sea across the disputed western maritime border during largest South-US military training exercise in region for 20 years.


Kongdan Oh

Former Brookings Expert

Asian Specialist - Institute for Defense Analysis

The capstone of this achievement was the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where Koreans displayed their ability to host successfully a world-class event.

The traffic was calm thanks to the willingness of Seoul citizens to restrict their driving. Streets were cleaned and flowering plants decorated the fronts of homes and businesses. Even the roughest of bustling Seoul citizens put smiles on their faces to welcome their foreign visitors. As important as what visitors could see was the transformation that took place in the hearts and minds of the Korean people, who found in themselves a “we can do it” spirit.

This inward and outward transformation of Korean society was the first big step toward full participation in the international community.

Yet, until the end of the 1990s, Koreans still felt vulnerable and weak. Economic success brought them better jobs, salaries, and living conditions, but one could sense an endless desire to get more and more, perhaps a legacy of the many years of struggle and deprivation that Koreans had experienced. A kind of “me first” syndrome characterized much of Korean society, showing itself in pushing and shoving and the frequent resort to corruption to get ahead. Traditional values such as sharing with the community’s less fortunate seemed to have been eclipsed. Hence, the phenomenon of Seoul divided by the Han River, with the “South Han River” side becoming a new center of finance and economic power as many wealthy families moved to high-rise condos, while the north side was left out of the new development.

Korea’s new-found wealth also made it possible for Koreans to travel abroad, something that they previously had been prevented from doing both by lack of funds and by government restrictions. Unfortunately, some of these Korean travelers, having little experience with foreign cultures, took the worst of their everyday behaviors with them. It was not uncommon to see Korean travel groups sitting on the floors of airport terminals drinking soju and loudly playing the Korean card game called “hwatu.”

And then in the late 1990s Koreans reached another turning point in their national psyche and began to show a sensitivity and concern for others – in their society and in the world beyond. Perhaps this change can be attributed in part to how quickly and successfully Koreans overcame the financial crisis that swept through Asia in 1997. Today, Korean tourists of all ages, smartly dressed and sophisticated, are found in popular tourist spots around the world. Korean popular culture is also spreading throughout the world. The famous “hallyu” (Korean wave) of music, television shows, and films has swept through Asia, and Korean dishes such as kimchi are widely appreciated all over the world.

Today, Korea’s nominal per capita GNP is approximately $20,000, and Korea has become the world’s 14th largest economy. The Republic of Korea became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1996 and joined its Development Assistance Committee in November, 2009.

Korea, once an international aid recipient, has now become an aid donor. Korea was the first case since OECD’s birth in 1961 that an OECD member transformed its status from recipient to donor. It will greatly contribute to enhancing Korea’s prestige around the Seoul G-20 meeting of the major economies, scheduled for November in 2010. Korea’s industries are known throughout the world by their manufacturing and construction products. The time has come for Korea to take its place in the world. In 1991, the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) was established to administer Korea’s aid to other countries. More controversially, Korea has also been participating in security and reconstruction efforts in the some of the world’s hotspots, such as Afghanistan, not forgetting that it was once a hot spot itself.

And now there is the launch of World Friends Korea, an umbrella or “brand” covering numerous Korean volunteer programs already in operation.

On the government side, these programs include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ KOICA Volunteers, the Ministry of Public Administration’s Internet Volunteers, and the Ministry of Education’s University Volunteers and Techno Peace Corps. By the end of the year, some 3,000 Korean volunteers, young and old, will be working with foreign governments, schools, and other non-profit organizations in some 40 countries, making this the second largest such program after the U.S. Peace Corps. In the years ahead, the program is expected to expand to more than 10,000 volunteers.

By coordinating its volunteer efforts within government agencies and with Korean NGO’s and private companies’ volunteer programs, World Friends aims to strengthen the brand name of the country (which some people still confuse with its troublesome neighbor, North Korea), as well as enhance volunteer training, overseas support, and services for returning volunteers.

Each of the volunteer programs has its own particular field of expertise and its own objectives. For example, the Korea Internet Volunteers, founded in 2001, provide information and communication training to foreign ICT experts and students in some 40 countries, while the Techno Peace Corps, established in 2006, sends volunteers on one-year assignments to teach foreign students about technology transfer.

Under the unified coordination of World Friends, the common goals of all these programs will be to improve the quality of life for people in the host nations, strengthen friendship and mutual understanding with the people of Korea, and help the volunteers fulfill their own potential. Like members of the American Peace Corps and similar volunteer organizations in other countries, Korean volunteers often discover their overseas experience has become a defining part of their life and a path to future success in their careers back home.

The Korean International Cooperation Agency was established in 1991 as a government agency to administer aid grants to developing countries. KOICA was modeled on JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), which had been operating since 1974 to administer Japan’s substantial foreign aid program. KOICA’s three main goals are to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable social and economic development, to help alleviate poverty, and to promote humanitarian assistance and human security.

KOICA’s focus areas are education, health, governance, rural development, information and communication technology, industry and energy, environmental protection, and gender equality.

KOICA is an important institution in the Korean government’s Overseas Development Aid (ODA) framework, which administers three types of aid: bilateral grants, bilateral loans, and multilateral assistance. KOICA is responsible for implementing the aid programs and promote international cooperation.

Specific KOICA tasks include recruiting foreign trainees, dispatching Korean experts and volunteers, conducting development studies, providing emergency and disaster relief, and supporting aid programs with capital, facilities, and supplies. In addition, KOICA promotes cooperation with multilateral organizations, engages in research and policy planning, and supports the implementation of overseas Korean government projects.

KOICA reaches every corner of the globe, with an emphasis on countries in South Asia and Africa. An important goal is to integrate Korea’s own development experience and comparative advantage with current development cooperation projects. To leverage its resources, KOICA enlists the cooperation of government and civil organizations and businesses in the host countries.

Today, KOICA staff members are in the vanguard of Koreans who are demonstrating the country’s willingness and readiness to share the wealth and knowledge they have gained through years of hard work. This volunteer work is more impressive given Korea’s tumultuous history and past experiences as an underdeveloped nation, and holds out hope that many of the countries now benefiting from KOICA’s work will one day themselves be able to extend a helping hand to less fortunate countries.

Korea’s overseas medical aid

Korea today benefits from a modern health-care system, ranking above the United States in life expectancy. It was not always so. In the 1950s, the life expectancy for Koreans was little more than 50 years. One could almost say that in those days modern medical treatment was a luxury. One of the major policy objectives of KOICA is to improve healthcare and medical knowledge in poverty- stricken countries. In this endeavor, KOICA joins the ranks of Korean NGOs whose expertise in the fields of public health and medicine have contributed substantially to improving global health. KOICA and NGOs are experienced in providing urgent medical assistance in disaster-hit areas, as well as establishing long-term public health programs.

For example, after the tsunami devastated Indonesia’s Aceh province in 2004, Korea joined international disaster relief teams to provide medical personnel and medicine.

The same was true after the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010. In 2007 KOICA donated funds to build a Public Health Center for mothers and children in Ecuador, a rehabilitation center in Columbia, and a medical center in Cambodia. In Cambodia, KOICA also provided medicine for the center, training courses for the junior doctors, and management skills to run the center. In 2008 the Korean government provided new blood banks for the Irbed, Mafraq, and Ajlun areas of Jordan. In short, Korean doctors, nurses, and public health workers participate with KOICA and other agencies of the Korean government to alleviate suffering around the world and address the same kind of shortages in medicine and public health that Korea once faced.


U.S. Relations With North Korea

The United States and Korea’s Joseon Dynasty established diplomatic relations under the 1882 Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, and the first U.S. diplomatic envoy arrived in Korea in 1883. U.S.-Korea relations continued until 1905, when Japan assumed direction over Korean foreign affairs. In 1910, Japan began a 35-year period of colonial rule over Korea. Following Japan’s surrender in 1945 at the end of World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel into two occupation zones, with the United States in the South and the Soviet Union in the North. Initial hopes for a unified, independent Korea were not realized, and in 1948 two separate nations were established — the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the South, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea. Led by the United States, a United Nations coalition of 16 countries undertook the defense of South Korea. Following China’s entry into the war on behalf of North Korea later that year, a stalemate ensued for the final two years of the conflict until an armistice was concluded on July 27, 1953. A peace treaty has never been signed. North and South Korea have had a difficult and, at times, bitter relationship since the Korean War. The two countries are separated by a demilitarized zone. During the postwar period, both Korean governments have repeatedly affirmed their desire to reunify the Korean Peninsula, but until 1971 the two governments had no direct, official communications or other contact. North Korea has been ruled by successive generations of Kim Il Sung’s family, and its political and economic structure is centrally controlled.

The United States supports the peaceful reunification of Korea on terms acceptable to the Korean people and recognizes that the future of the Korean Peninsula is primarily a matter for them to decide. The United States believes that a constructive and serious dialogue between North and South Korea is necessary to improve inter-Korean relations and to resolve outstanding problems.

The United States has engaged in several rounds of diplomacy to remove the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In 1994, the United States and North Korea reached agreement on a roadmap for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In 2003, the United States proposed multilateral talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Several rounds of Six-Party Talks were held, with the last round occurring in 2009. Although North Korea has at times said it will take steps toward denuclearization, it has continued to conduct tests in violation of international law, including ballistic missile launches, including three intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and its largest ever nuclear test in 2017 alone. The United States has called on North Korea to take concrete, irreversible denuclearization steps toward fulfillment of the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, comply with international law including United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), and 2397 (2017) and cease provocative behaviors.

In 2017, the United States initiated an international economic and diplomatic pressure campaign on the DPRK to bring them into negotiations on denuclearization. International focus led to new international diplomatic engagement with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, including summits with South Korea, China and the United States. On June 12, 2018, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with the leader of the DPRK when he met with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The two leaders signed a joint statement that agreed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, security guarantees for the DPRK, working toward a peace regime, and the recovery and immediate repatriation of POW/MIA remains.

U.S. Assistance to North Korea

In the past, the United States has provided food and other emergency aid to North Korea during times of famine and natural disasters, upon request by North Korea. The United States does not currently provide any direct aid to North Korea. Currently, there are a number of U.S. NGOs who travel to the DPRK, through private and faith-based donor support, to provide aid to fight infectious diseases such as multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and to improve farming practices and agricultural output in rural areas.

Bilaterale ekonomiese betrekkinge

The United States imposed a near total economic embargo on North Korea in 1950 when North Korea attacked the South. Over the following years, some U.S. sanctions were eased, but others were imposed. Most recently, Executive Order 13810 was signed by the President on September 21, 2017, in the wake of the DPRK’s September 2017 nuclear test and multiple ICBM tests. Combined with previous executive orders and other restrictions on the DPRK, these constitute the most restrictive sanctions on North Korea to date.

North Korea’s Membership in International Organizations

North Korea and the United States belong to some of the same international organizations, including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.

Bilaterale verteenwoordiging

The United States and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations. The Swedish Embassy in North Korea is the U.S. protecting power and provides limited consular services to U.S. citizens.

North Korea has no embassy in Washington, DC, but it is represented in the United States through its mission to the United Nations in New York.

More information about North Korea is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:


The Post-War North

After the war, North Korea's government focused on industrialization as it rebuilt the battle-torn country. As president, Kim Il-sung preached the idea of Juche, or "self-reliance." North Korea would become strong by producing all of its own food, technology, and domestic needs, rather than importing goods from abroad.

During the 1960s, North Korea was caught in the middle of the Sino-Soviet split. Although Kim Il-sung hoped to remain neutral and play the two larger powers off of one another, the Soviets concluded that he favored the Chinese. They cut off help to North Korea.

During the 1970s, North Korea's economy began to fail. It has no oil reserves, and the spiking price of oil left it massively in debt. North Korea defaulted on its debt in 1980.

Kim Il-sung died in 1994 and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il. Between 1996 and 1999, the country suffered from a famine that killed between 600,000 and 900,000 people.

Today, North Korea relied on international food aid through 2009, even as it poured scarce resources into the military. The agricultural output has improved since 2009 but malnutrition and poor living conditions continue.

North Korea evidently tested its first nuclear weapon on October 9, 2006. It continues to develop its nuclear arsenal and conducted tests in 2013 and 2016.

On December 17, 2011, Kim Jong-il died and was succeeded by his third son, Kim Jong-un.


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