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Rise of South Korea from the Korean War Essay

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Following the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. In 1960 the South Koren GDP per capita was $79; today the GDP per capita is $32,272. This paper will explore what factors account for this dramatic change in economic performance, and what cultural changes accompanied Korea’s rise to become the sixth largest exporter in the world with a global market economy ranking 15th and a purchasing power parity of 12th, and ultimately factors could decrease these gains.
Politics:
Following the Korean War the political system in South Korean saw unrest under the previous autocratic leadership. Over the course of the next two decades there were strong protests against authoritarian political rule. Pro Democracy demonstrations further intensified in the 1980’s and in the early 1990s the constitution was reformed to provide the President with more executive authority, mandates a popular election for the office of the president and a restructure the presidential term to five years.
Due to the centralization of authority under the President, economic policy creation became streamlined and resulted in the ability for the President to change market policy quickly when needed (further elaborated in the Economics section). Although the overall health of the Judicial and Legislative system are strong and the modern legal framework efficient under the current system, there still remain instances of bribery and fraud in the political system including the resignation in 2012 of the Speaker of the National Assembly for allegations purchasing his position.
The South Korean military maintains a considerable presence in the government due to the proximity and threat from North Korea, whose relations with the South contin...


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... “U.S. Relations With South Korea”. The State Department. 31 January 2014. Online. .
Yonhap. “Seoul-based Foreign Direct Investment Hits 5-year High.” Business Korea February 2014. Online. .
Williams, Rhiannon . “South Korea to 'invest £900m in 5G development'” The Telegraph. 27 January 2014. Print. .
Tran, Mark. “South Korea: a model of development?” The Guardian. 28 November 2011. Print. .
Unk. “Foreign Direct Investment”. Online.
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