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Miracle of Han River: the economic success of South Korea

Despite being destroyed by wars and Japanese occupation, South Korea has successfully boosted its economy as the current economy of the country stands at no.4 in Asia and no.10 in the world.

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Korean Peninsula remained under the control of Japan from 1910 to 1945 for more than thirty-five years due to Japan’s military and economic dominance in the region, however, after the end of the Second World War, North Korea went under the direct control of EX-USSR and South Korea came under the influence of USA.

Moreover, in 1950 North Korea attacked South Korea and captured the whole land area of South Korea except the southern part of Busan which area remains under the control of South Korea.

Under the command of the USA General, Douglas MacArthur launched an offensive attack on North Korean Forces from the Yellow seaside to counter the advancement of North Korean troops towards the southern part of South Korea.

Read more: South Korea ready for military response against North if agreement violated

Furthermore, with the help of the USA, Korean War was ended in 1953 at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) 38 parallel line which was declared border between the two countries under the supervision of UN peacekeeping troops.

South Korea’s fast economic progress

After the war, South Korea was destroyed due to 35 years of Japanese occupation and 3 years’ war with North Korea. Moreover, during the regime of General Park Chung-hee from 1963 to 1979, all mega projects of Korean economic development were set up to put the country on the path of economic development.

The developments included Shipbreaking, Steel industry, Automobile industry land reform, and Tax reform which were introduced to set the direction of the country towards sustainable economic development.

The Miracle of Han River( Korean economic development model) was completed within a short period. Europe acquired the same economic development within 300 years, however, South Korea achieved the same milestone within 30 years of the time.

Read more: South Korea makes history at the Oscars

The current economy of South Korea stands at no.4 in Asia and no.10 economy in the world. Presently Korea is a member of the OECD countries and a member of the G-20.  Korean automobile company Hyundai stands at no.10th largest company in the world in the automobile industry Korea is also leading in heavy industry Samsung mobiles and steel industry.

South Korea established Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) near Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in North Korea in 2002 to uplift the socio-economic conditions of people of the North Korea in the best interest of the Korean peninsula. The Kaesong industrial complex is playing an important role in North-South relations.

Read more: North Korea agrees to inter-Korean talks next week: Seoul

Through this project, more than 54000 people of North Korea are working in this industrial complex. Basically Kaesong industrial complex was the “sunshine policy of South Korea.”

A symbol of hope?

Moreover, Dorasan railway station was named due to Mount Dora hill on the North bank of the Imjin River. The Dorasan railway station was built in 2002 which is 55 kilometers far away from Seoul and this is the last railway station of South Korea on the Gyeongui railway line which used to connect North and South Korea.

However, South Korea was planning to use this railway station for the export of trade with North Korea, China, Central Asia, and Europe to acquire market access in different countries of the world to increase the export of South Korean products.

Read more: South Korea to launch world’s first national 5G networks

Furthermore, the Dorasan railway station is a symbol of hope and economic development for South Korea. Currently, South Korea is the hub of economic activities in the region, moreover, Korea is also focusing to attract tourism in the country.

In the year 2012, more than 11 million people visited South Korea. Apart from this, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is playing a vital role in imparting education and capacity building to developing countries on a large scale. The education system of South Korea is one of the best in the world.

Read more: Religion and Education Around the World

Seoul also became the host of the Olympic games of 1988 and winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang South Korea in which North Korean leaders participated which is a big achievement of South Korea to bring peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea arming itself

Continuously, South Korea was focusing on the economic development of the country to bring the country into the top economy of the world.

The state-of-the-art Incheon International Airport was constructed in the yellow sea due to a shortage of land in South Korea and this airport is serving as a hub of the aviation industry in Southeast Asia.

Incheon International airport security system is one of the best in the world. Furthermore, this airport is connected through subway system metro service with Seoul and other cities of Korea.

Now South Korea is also focusing on increasing military power according to the current security scenario of the region. Korea has announced to build Fighter Jet Air Craft, K-F-21 fighter jets, which will be 5th generation fighter Jet.

Read more: South Korea ready for military response against North if agreement violated

Through this project, South Korea has entered the list of countries that are producing local fighter jet aircraft in the world. Induction of this aircraft into the service in the year 2025, air superiority of the South Korean air force will be increased in the Korean Peninsula and can protect the airspace of South Korea in a better way.

The writer holds an MPP from KDI School of Public Policy and Management Seoul, South Korea, an MA in International relations, and an LLB from Shah Abdul Latif University KhairPur. Currently, he is working as an Assistant Director in the Board of Investment Pakistan. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space. 

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