Park Chung Hee's Contribution To The Economy Of South Korea

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During the 1950s, South Korea was “the poorest, most impossible country on this planet” (Daniel Tudor). The Korean War left a third of the South Korean population homeless; orphaned children roamed the streets looking for food. The GDP per capita was far below $100, and the government was completely dependent upon foreign aid, principally from the United States. Its political stability appeared to be among the world’s poorest as well. After President Rhee Syngman’s bloody and repressive regime, Korea was in turmoil. The country seemed nearly impossible to reconstruct, and certainly unthinkable for it to prosper. Yet, in this circumstance, army general Park Chung Hee took his chance. On May 16, 1961, Park seized power as president and soon started putting the changes in place that would make South Korea flourish. President Park was undoubtedly the man with the greatest influence on South Korea, for better or worse. Without him and his valiant rule, South Korea would not be a nation of such thriving success as it is today.
Park Chung Hee was the president who laid the foundation to the rapid economic growth of Korea during his regime of 1961-1979. Despite Park’s controversial policies due to his autocratic rule, no one can overlook his contribution to the economy of South Korea. Park Chung Hee understood that successful economic development would build an industrial base for military power. Not only did this mean individual prosperity, but it also entailed military

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