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PacNet #12A – Lee Myung-Bak’s victory: political configuration in Korea and Korea-U.S. relations

The Korean economy was a testbed of modernization in the 20th century . . . and it has been a success story.  From being one of the poorest countries in the world with a history of cruel colonization by the Japanese followed by peninsular division and a three-year international war, the Republic of Korea has become one of the most successful examples of modern economic growth.  There have been a few crises but Korea now has a GNP per capita of over $20,000 and competes with advanced industrial nations in sectors such as shipbuilding, semiconductor chips, automobiles, and iron and steel manufacturing.