Korean Economic Development

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Korean Economic Development Under Park Chung-Hee Dzhusupbaev Islan Kobe University Abstract President Park Chung-hee governed South Korea from 1961-1979. The main merits of Park Chung-hee’s regime are the normalization of relations with Japan, shift from import substitution to export-led economy and strengthening of economic independence. Since 1961 the state’s economy developed significantly, though, in late 70th it slowed down. In general, during this period South Korea experienced rapid economic growth and expanse, however, the methods used by the Government to achieve that results are still being criticized by various scholars. Korean Economic Development Under Park Chung-hee Park Chung-hee was born on September 30, 1917,…show more content…
In the 1960s, unemployment and underemployment was endemic with 20% recorded as unemployed. Some of the unemployed were absorbed in the manufacturing sector where the manufacturing workforce (both blue and white collar) increased almost 6-fold from 479,975 in 1960 to 2,797,300 in 1980. The South Koreans benefited from the developing economy by becoming more educated and experiencing an increase in life expectancy. Between 1960 and 1978-9, the life expectancy of South Koreans increased from 55.3 to 65.9 years. Nevertheless, despite many social and economic achievements Koreans suffered strict control and restrictions on freedom which were announced as measures related to economic development and nation building. They were «wrapped in the name of patriotism and national growth». Korean Central Intelligence Agency’s employees number,which was the main tool to perform dictatorial policy of Park, had grown from 3,000 in the early 1960s to 370,000 in the late…show more content…
During his era the relations between Korea and Japan normalized which became one of impulses to technological and expertise exchange between the countries. Chaebol conglomerates obtained significant financial and political support from the Government which helped them to develop dramatically comparing to micro level firms. Economic growth resulted in lower unemployment rate, higher wealth, educational level and longer life expectance of the population. Unfortunately, in order to build appropriate environment for performing his plans Park’s Government used undemocratic means as total control by KCIA, orientation on urban areas and ignorance rural areas’ problems, disparity of wealth concentration between few families and the rest of the population. Overall, his leadership was effective and was a major economic benefit to the South Korean people but burdened with political and democratic costs. Park Chung-hee is still treated as «father of modern industrialized South Korea» and some scholars have an opinion that « The democratic critics of his regime have not offered a realistic alternative regarding how to develop South Korea’s economy». Thus, Park Chung-hee played one of the main roles in the development of South Korea. His individuality and political methods are still being debated, however, Park Chung-hee is

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