The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic Rise

The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic Rise

The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic Rise

The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic Rise

Synopsis

In 1953, South Korea was rated by the U. N. as the poorest country in the world. Five decades later, it is the fifteenth largest economy. Now, South Korea's decisions on how to manage its society and its role as a modern democracy - while also establishing its policy regarding reunification with North Korea - will determine where the country will go in the next fifty years.

The New Korea examines the political, economic, industrial, and societal aspects of Korea today. Will it continue to enjoy an economic boom through new industries while competing against low-wage countries like China and India? Will it return to its role as a stomping ground for other powers? And what should Westerners pay attention to in terms of investment and business opportunities?

As South Korea enters the most critical phase of its journey, it is crucial that we understand the factors involving its decisions and evolution. The New Korea is a fascinating account of what is and may become the state of this important region.

Excerpt

About a mile from Kyungbok Palace in northern Seoul, South Korea's frenetic capital, a narrow road winds up a hillside, past a small police station, a school, and a children's library. Near the top of the road, a parking lot leads to a steep set of stone steps. At the top of those steps you'll find an ornate pagoda that was originally built in 1898 on the orders of Emperor Gojong, who once ruled over the Korean peninsula. This place is called the Hwang Hak Jeong, which means Yellow Crane Pavilion. It is a traditional Korean archery range.

On a weekday afternoon in March 2009, Park Min-young, a law professor at Dongguk University, stood on a platform below the pavilion, gazing off toward a set of tall wooden targets 145 meters away. the platform also offers a clear view of the surrounding city landscape, including the central government complex, the U.S. Embassy, the Dong-a-Ilbo newspaper building, and the endless rows of high-rise apartment buildings that are home to Seoul's 10 million people. Standing alongside Park are a half dozen men and women, all holding laminate bows in their left hands. Around their waists, a bright-colored sash holds five arrows.

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