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South Korea

South Korea

Research papers on South Korea can focus on their history or the political separation between North and South Korea. Paper Masters will help you write your history or political science paper on South Korea today.

The United States has always played a quintessential role in developing South Korea into a formidable force in world economics and national stability. Since the division of the Korean Peninsula after World War II, the US has maintained, according to former President Bush, a policy of a steadfast commitment to peace and security. In light of this commitment to peace and security, and other varying political interests in the Korean Peninsula, the United States' became one of the principal players in bringing about the 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The steps taken towards the creation of the agreement began under the auspices of uniting the two Koreas, however, to date, the unification has not taken place, however, what evolved by 1992 was a much needed step towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Since WWII, the political and economic climate in South Korea had slowly evolved into a stable and strong voice in an era of encroaching globalization. Prior to the end of The Cold War, Korea was a symbol of the United States' commitment to the ideals of the cold war. Korea had been under the control of the Japanese since late 19th century. At the Cairo Conference (1943) it was suggested that the independence of Korea should the follow defeat of Japan. However, after August of 1945, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred, the Soviet forces occupied the area to the north of the 38th parallel and the US forces occupied the area to the south. More than a message to Southeast Asia, the bomb was the Cold War weapon that the government threatened to produce to keep Russia in tact. The US set out on a campaign to "out-do" the Russians in a race that amounted to a gross storage of atom bombs in occupying nations. Development of the Cold War precluded co-operation by the way of the occupying forces. Therefore, by end 1948 there were two Koreas: the Republic of Korea (South) and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North).

Seeking to discern why South Korea began to sink into this economic pit of despair, analysts examining the situation have noted that the government's policy toward radical economic development that had spurred improvement in the 1980s and early 1990s was largely to blame for the crisis. In particular, researchers have noted the following:

  1. When Woo left office, state control of the financial and industrial sector tightened-mostly as a result of the money that Woo had managed to steal.
  2. The new government that took over after Woo failed to invest in projects that could benefit the country in the long-term.
  3. What is perhaps most interesting about this realization is that it does not hinge on a cataclysmic event; rather it was simply a direct result of the government's policy, which had, in the past, been successful.

In spite of the fact that the financial crisis of 1997 was short lived, researchers have noted that the changes that occurred as a result of this crisis sent shockwaves through the South Korean community. Many citizens lost their livelihoods and became poverty-stricken. Many more lost their standard of living and now subsist in a hand-to-mouth type of environment. Bargaining power of labor in South Korea was lost, making it even more difficult for citizens to regain control of their lives. Widening income gaps have occurred and South Koreans are no longer guaranteed lifetime employment. In the end, contemporary Korea is still at a crossroads. Even though the country has weathered many storms, in many respects, the division between North and South is still as dominant as it was after the end of World War II. In addition, the financial crisis that hit the country in 1997 has created a new society for South Korean's, one in which tradition values of work and education are not upheld. What this suggests is that Korea still has a number of obstacles to overcome. While it is possible that Korea will one day emerge as a unified democracy, this process will take a number of decades to come to fruition.

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