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Mangao, Michael Kevin Edgar B. 4POL2 Feb.

18, 2013
South Korea is considered the most unlikely bearer of the Asian Miracle. Under a
Democratic system only after the end of the Second World War and under the incompetent rule
by President Syngman Rhee, South Korea was in the brink of communist confluence, or worse,
possible domination of its North counterpart. South Korea was not entirely in ruin as private
businesses, American Support, and educational systems still supported by the Japanese still
thrive to keep this Democratic country afloat. However, with only U.S. aid dominating most of
its hard currency and the rampant graft and corruption going on in the government, it was
enough for Park Chung Hee, a major general in the South Korean Army, to take up a coup and
steal the government from incompetent hands. For Park, there was imminent danger of
communist domination. Furthermore, poverty is adding up by sloppy seconds and one could not
fathom how Korea will fare knowing that the North Koreans are considered to be doing well
with Soviet aid going on and about the country. South Korea was in trouble and, for Park, it was
enough to take action with his own hands.
South Korea under Park was greatly modelled after the Japanese way of economic
development: To build an entirety of a bureaucracy dedicated to economic growth and building
lasting relations with the private firms; for the government to create in itself a corporation in
which all strategies, relations, and incentives are based exclusive only for the benefit of investors
and private firms, hence, giving them space for long term strategies and viable competence.
Korea Incorporated was Parks adaptation of Japans MITI model to develop with him being the
sole CEO. Unlike MITI, Park was the sole boss who has the final word on the strategies to be
implemented for South Korea. His plans can be rejected by his economic board the EPB even
his political colleagues. It can be deemed as foolish by international organizations and experts.
Still, Park only has one say and the whole process should be off despite negative reception of the
plans. South Korea until 1979 was Parks Korea. In his philosophy, a country should not be
forced of a new political system without first fixing the social imbalances within it. Meaning, to
apply a country with a new system, everything must start off from the beginning and industries
must first be revived. Furthermore, the entire political bureaucracy must be swept. For a new
political system to be imposed on a country, Park knew that everything must be filtered and the
dirt kempt must be completely obliterated. Parks coup was a success and government officials
and bureaucrats who are deemed to have given the country abuse with either graft and corruption
or incompetence are either imprisoned or executed. In this chaos ironically starts Koreas
salvation with Park at the head to drive it the way he wants to.
Economic development is driven by Authoritarian rule. The last statement is apparent in
every great Miracle that had happened in Asia. South Korea had it as a basis and Park Chung
Hee made it hard-lined. It was the Japanese model on steroids while the plans emanating from it
is like strategizing with acid. Park Chung Hee has a notepad and every plan from it is deemed
valid by him and that is enough. Truly, strategic economic development by Japan or Singapore
had the same impact and dissent from Western experts. Yet, it developed unlikely as to what
these experts thought. For this development to be attained, however, people once in power must
be tortured or executed; protesters or dissenters must be beaten to suppress as is the case with
South Korea. To attain development there must be an authoritarian aura to impose as in the case
of the many Asian development models. Incentives are given to corporations who are directly
involved with projects that are deemed by Park as substantial to the furtherance of his strategies,
tax credits, lowering of tariff rates, and pledged financing are but three of the many things the
government can give in order to show its full support for the projects. Much like in Singapore
and Japan and the other Asian countries with the same strategy, exporting is given the most
emphasis and focus and different imports are the most analyzed to be used, in turn, for
ecxporting once South Korea learns how to develop in itself. Furthermore, Park favours
corporations with the capacity to compete internationally as proof of his focus on international
notice of South Koreas products. Not for long, South Korea has become a large hub for
competition among different corporations vying for governmental favour and support, as such,
Park made these corporations to build new products and compete internationally despite its
potential to lose. The logic here was to test and create a better product modelled after the
competitors who won. To surmise, government intervention to economic development was
booming in South Korea leaving weaker firms to dust and incorporating the stronger ones, the
eventual Chaebols, to partner themselves with Parks Korean Inc.
Kim Chung Yum was in New York when Park Chung Hee started the coup. Once staffer
in Koreas Central Bank, Park appointed him to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency to
design a major currency reform that could, as Park had in mind, spur more investment and alter
the current banking system to better serve these new potential investments. Kim is particularly
known for the trust and respect Park has given him when he first warned about the potential
detriment of such a reform to the countrys entire economy which park rebutted as necessary as
these are drastic times. The currency reform did indeed fail despite the warnings but that did not
deter Park from his way of playing rough on the system.
Park Chung Hee wanted South Korea to have a highway system that would connect Seoul
to Pusan. He planned to model it after West Germanys extensive highway network. Rejected by
the World Bank for support, and even his ministers, Park strived to do the project on his own.
The project was successful showing the resilience of Parks dedication no matter what the odds
are. Park Tae Joon a supporter of Parks coup was tasked to head the project of building South
Koreas first Steel Mill the Poshang Iron and Steel Company but first he needed to find investors
for such a project. Unfortunately, due to a negative World Bank study even the Koppers
engineering firm in Pittsburgh declined to such a project considering that Korea, according to
experts, had a weak base as of now to handle such a mill. Using the war reparations from Japan,
however, the government was able to fund the Steel Mill, furthermore, it had become one of the
largest in the world. Chung Hyu Jung, the founder of Hyundai Industries was the most influential
when it comes to Koreas structural development. Having developed a construction firm which
evolved into technological and semiconductor business, he furthered South Koreas industrial
structure by creaking his own brand of automobiles and shipbuilding.
South Korea developed for the better and, in my opinion, the country is different from
that of Singapore and Japan. For one, Korea has had the imposition that it is a democracy yet,
true enough; it lacked the predisposition to be one. While Singapore and Japan had a fresh start
in attaining their respective developments, Korea had a coup chaos first before imposing
authoritative order. In essence, even when assassinated and accused of being abusive of power in
the late 1970s, Park had once held within him true concern for his fellowmen. He has seen his
fair share of hardships that pushed him to end the suffering of his fellow South Koreans. If I was
asked if I would agree to his cloning, I wouldnt. Different times call for different persons to
handle it. Park Chung Hee has done his time.