The Economic Growth of South Korea Since the Korean War and its Relationship with Cheabol (Conglomerates Enterprises)
Chang, Seung Woo
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This paper is about the economic development of South Korea since the Korean War. The analysis begins by examining the economy both before and after the Korean Was. After World War II, Korea, just liberated from Japanese occupation, remained in economic and political disarray. With the start of the Korean War in 1950, South Korea economic situation became even worse. After the end of hostilities in 1953, the South Korean economy gradually improved up through 1960. In 1961 the post war regime of Sung Man Rhee, supported by the United States, was over thrown by military coup. General Park, Chung Hee assumed the presidency and initiated a new Five Year Economic Development Plan. The plans concentrated on development of heavy and chemical industries and expansion of exports. A significant feature of the new economic direction was termed, "Cheabol." Cheabol designates large industrial manufacturing enterprises that are initiated and encouraged with government support and protection. The Cheabol concept is very similar to corresponding enterprise in Japan. Cheabols were initiated shortly after the end of Japanese occupation of Korea, and achieved significant growth after 1961. Since then most Korean economic activities have been managed by Cheabols. Even though with Cheabols Korea achieved rapid economic expansion, the dominance of the Cheabol concept itself created new kinds of economic problems. Today Korea requires new economic research and policies to improve economic conditions and to be included with the advanced economic countries of the world.