(.) -

> (.)
: 6/8

Note: Figures in parenthesis represent percentage of the total.

Active Participation in Multilateral Economic Forums

Korea has actively participated in virtually all major multilateral forums. During the Uruguay Round of trade talks, finally concluded in December 1993, Korea tried to make conrtibutions commensurate with its capabilities as a major world trading power, and play a mediating role between the developed and developing countries. Korea introduced various proposals in the Uruguay Round negotiations to reduce tariffs, eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize the textile trade, improve safeguards and reduce subsidies and countervailing duties.

The Republic of Korea is actively participating in global efforts to protect the environment, a crucial task facing all of humanity. In recent years it has joined the Convention on Climate Change, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, also called the London Dumping Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Korea has also begun an informal dialogue with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and has expanded participation in its various committees . Korea hopes and intends to improve its economic systems to the level of advanced countries so as to join the OECD in 1996.

One organization in which the Republic of Korea has played a particularly critical role has been the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a forum for multilateral discussions on economic issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region.Two examples of Koreas valuable efforts have been the Seoul Declaration adopted at the third APEC Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Republic which laid the foundation for the institutionalization of APEC, and its diplomatic role in bringing China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, three key regional economic powers, into the APEC fold, giving the forum a new impetus. Subsequently, the Republic played a leading role at the first APEC Leaders Economic Meeting in Seattle in November 1993, which coincided with the fifth APEC Ministerial Meeting, and was elected the chair member of the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).


The rise of the Korean economy over the past several decades, often called the Miracle of the Han, has been an inspiring model of modern economic development. The rapid pace with which the Koeran economy rose from the ashes of war and expanded stunned the outside world. However, this rapid growth was not unaccompanied by growing pains which began to manifest themselves in all sectors of society particularly during the late 1980s. Excessive wage hikes, high capital costs and an overly bureaucratic administration, not to mention institutionalized corruption, served to weaken Koreas international competitiveness, and this was aggravated by unfavourable external circumstances. In the past year, though, strenuous efforts have been made to overcome these impediments and through this, as well as improving international economic climate, it appears that the Korean economy is regaining its former vigor. The upcoming years pose severe challenges for the Republic in light of the December 1993 conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the rise of the Asia-Pacific region as the new global economic center, but with the increasing emphasis in both the public and private sector on globalization and internalization, the Republic seems braced to meet these challenges.


The Basic Goals and Reform Process of the Kim Young Sam Administration

What are the vision and goals of the Administration of Kim Young Sam, inaugurated on February 25, 1993. In a nutshell, the answer is the creation of a New Korea through Reform Admist Stability. This concept was the keynote of the Presidents inaugural address as well as the main slogan of his presidential election campaign in December 1992.

I have a dream. It is the creation of a New Korea in which a new politics, a new economy and a new culture will bloom. This is my dream and vision; it is the dream and vision of all our people. This quotation appears in the book, Kim Young Sam: New Korea 2000, published in Korea in October 1992 prior to the presidential election.

In his inaugural speech on February 25, 1993, President Kim Young Sam defined the three major priorities of his policies to create a New Korea: the eradication of social injustice and corruption, the revitalization of the national economy and the establishment of official discipline and public order.

The President declared that the eradication of corruption was a vital foundation for reforms in every sector of the country, and that there would be no sanctuary from the investigation of misconduct. The movement to establish official discipline and public order, which began with high-ranking government officials, is intended to ensure integrity and high ethical standards by purifying the upper reaches of the stream, i.e., the upper levels of government and society.

The main purpose of these reforms is to revitalize the nation and elevate the overall standard of living. President Kim Young Sam has thus pushed ahead with firm determination since his inauguration, bringing about enormous changes in this country.

From the very start of his Administration, President Kim Young Sam concentrated on eliminating corrupt practices and behavior which arose from decades of authoritarian rule. This kind of housecleaning was unhead of in the past. President Kim believes, and popular opinion supports him on this, that such reform must be carried on without letting up in the interest of the long-term stability and economic development of Korea.

The Concept of a New Korea

The creation of a New Korea means the building of unified, fully mature democratic state. To that end, drastic changes and reforms are being pursued to raise the quality of life for all those who were sacrificed in the blind quest for rapid growth over the past 30-odd years.

What will the future New Korea be like? Koreas first non-military President since 1961, President Kim in his inaugural address said the New Korea will be:

      A freer and more mature democratic society.

      A community where people share, work and live together in harmony. A higher quality of life will flourish and the dignity of the individual will be upheld.

      A state where justice flows like a river throughout the land. In other words, it will be a just society in which honest and earnest individuals live well.

      A new country in which human dignity is respected and culture is valued.

      A unified land where the presently divided people live in peace as one.

      And, it will stand tall and proud on the center stage of the civilized world, making vital contributions to global peace and progress.

Curing the Korean Disease

The problems which are widespread in Korea today are often referred to as the Korean disease: (1) Korean industriousness and ingenuity - long the envy of the world - seem to be evaporating, (2) values continue to erode, due to injustice, corruption, lethargy, bigotry, inertia, strife and confrontation, and narrow self-interests, and (3) self-confidence has been lost and defeatism has set in.

To create a New Korea, the new Administration has been vigorously addressing these symptoms through drastic change and reform. The President outlined the goals of these changes and reforms in his inaugural address: (1) the establishment of a new era of courage and hope by shaking off frustration and lethargy, (2) the replacement of bigotry and inertia with openmindedness and vitality, strife and confrontation with dialogue and cooperation, mistrust with trust, and (3) the building of a society which sees all citizens not only living together but also truly carring about one another, discarding narrow self-interests.

Three Tasks

The President outlined three essential tasks in his inaugural address.

First, misconduct and corruption must be rooted out. He defined misconduct and corruption as the most terrifying enemies attacking the foundation of society, and called for an end to all manner of impropriety and graft, allowing no sanctuary. He called for immediate reform starting from the very top.

Second, the economy must be revitalized. He vowed that the new Administration would do away with unwarranted controls and protection and instead guarantee self-regulation and fair competition. Private initiative and creativity will thus be allowed to flourish. He went on to say. The Administration will be the first to tighten uts belt. Our citizens must also conserve more and save more. Extravagance and wastefulness must be eliminated... Only when the Government and the people, and labor and business work together with enthusiasm will it be possible to turn our economy around...

Third, national discipline must be enhanced. Respect for authority must be reestablished... Freedom must serve society... The true meaning of freedom is in using it to plant a flower in the park rather than picking a flower from the park. The President also said, Ethics... must be made to prevail. To this end, education must henceforth cultivate wholesome character and unwavering democratic belief, as well as equip our young people for the future with knowledge and skill in science and technology...