The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic RiseHardback
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- Publisher: Amacom
- Format: Hardback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 160mm x 229mm x 30mm | 544g
- Publication date: 1 April 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0814414893
- ISBN 13: 9780814414897
- Sales rank: 664,980
In 1953, South Korea was rated by the U.N. as the poorest country in the world. Five decades later, it is the fifteenth largest economy. Now, South Korea's decisions on how to manage its society and its role as a modern democracy while also establishing its policy regarding reunification with North Korea will determine where the country will go in the next fifty years. "The New Korea" examines the political, economic, industrial, and societal aspects of Korea today. Will it continue to enjoy an economic boom through new industries while competing against low-wage countries like China and India? Will it return to its role as a stomping ground for other powers? And what should Westerners pay attention to in terms of investment and business opportunities? As South Korea enters the most critical phase of its journey, it is crucial that we understand the factors involving its decisions and evolution. "The New Korea" is a fascinating account of what is and may become the state of this important region.
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Myung Oak Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She worked for 15 years as a jour nalist, including as an investigative reporter for the Rocky Mountain News and Phila del phia Daily. She's currently a communications manager for Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. Sam Jaffe is a senior research analyst with IDC Energy Insights and a former jour nalist whose work has appeared in the New Republic, BusinessWeek, and Scientific American.
..".this in-depth examination of Korean attitudes, religion, and culture makes for an interesting read that is pleasingly informative...highly recommended." --"Midwest Book Review"
Back cover copy
A fascinating look at South Korea's miraculous path from postwar rubble to affluence and influence. Once an impoverished nation destroyed by war, South Korea has emerged as a major technology innovator and manufacturing powerhouse, with the world's 15th largest economy. Once an insular "Hermit Nation," it has opened itself to capitalism, democracy, and an emergent multiculturalism--all forces that have driven its growth and prosperity. Yet the nation maintains a distinctly Korean perspective, including unique work habits, cultural obsessions, and tangled relationships--with its oppressive northern half, its competitors China and Japan, and its former protector, the United States--that make it difficult to navigate for outsiders. "The New Korea" provides probing insights into the diverse historical, political, cultural, and industrial forces that have helped define Korea in the past half century, and looks at the challenges ahead, as Korea faces new competitors and obstacles to growth. Can Korea compete with low-wage countries like China and India? Will it mimic Japan's safe, zero-growth economy? Will its closed social structures and government involvement in every step of technological development prevent it from continuing on a path of dynamic growth? And what should Westerners pay attention to in terms of investments, markets, and partnerships? "The New Korea" answers these and many other questions, as it explores Korea's remarkable evolution, its complex challenges, and its potential impact on international business.
From the shattered, war-torn nation of the mid-twentieth century to the global economic powerhouse it is today, South Korea is an exemplar of meticulously planned growth and sheer communal effort--a dynamic and mature nation that has forged its own path to prosperity. But where will that path lead in the future? As "The New Korea" explains, Korea stands at a crossroads, with challenges ahead. It continues to live in a tense stalemate with the North. It faces daunting competition from the cheap labor pools of China and India. And Korea veers between a safe, zero-growth mentality adopted by Japan and applying its mental toughness and capacity for hard work to continue charging forward. "The New Korea" helps readers understand the key political, cultural, and business developments that have defined Korea in the past half century. Packed with colorful profiles of prominent figures in Korea's success story, along with keen historical and cultural insights that inform the Korean perspective (and obsessions), "The New Korea" gives you a broad understanding of this prosperous yet often perplexing nation, including: - How South Koreans view North Korea not as an aberration, but as a continuation of the Hermit Kingdom that Admiral John Rodgers encountered 150 years ago - How the 1997/1998 financial crisis led to a broad restructuring of the economy and impacts Korea's response to the current economic downturn - How Korea navigates its fiercely competitive relationship with China and Japan, fighting to avoid Japan's stagnation and to compete with China's exploding white-collar industries - How Hyundai--once a laughingstock of the auto industry--managed to recreate itself and win a coveted 2009 "North American Car of the Year Award" - How the global gadget headquarters switched from Tokyo to Seoul with the emergence of giants like Samsung and LG, along with government support of next-generation software protocols and wireless technologies - How extremely long workdays (the highest in the world) and intensely rigorous educational standards (the highest in the world) have created a formidable workforce--and a stressful workplace - How a weak environmental record, excessive centralized planning, closed social systems, and political unrest hamper future progress--and whether Korea can shed the final vestiges of its Hermit Kingdom mind-set and meet the challenges ahead With the 15th largest economy in the world, Korea is a serious competitor and a fertile, yet complex, ground for pursuing investment and business opportunities. "The New Korea" opens a window on this dynamic nation, exploring the forces that drive it to succeed, as well as its strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, and potential. Myung Oak Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She worked as an investigative reporter for 15 years, most recently at the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado and the Philadelphia Daily News. She currently works as a communications manager for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. Sam Jaffe is a senior research analyst with IDC Energy Insights, specializing in renewable energy. He worked as a magazine journalist for more than 15 years, with work that has appeared in "The New Republic," "BusinessWeek," and "Scientific American." He is coauthor of "Jewish Wisdom for Business Success."
Table of contents
CONTENTS Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 PART ONE: HISTORY 1 Still Living in the Past: Why History Matters 8 2 North Korea: A Distorted Mirror 23 PART TWO: ECONOMICS AND TRADE 3 The IMF Crisis and Its Impact on South Korea 46 4 The Middle Nation: How Korea Navigates Between Japan and China 63 5 So Long, Uncle Sam: The Korean-U.S. Relationship 79 PART THREE: INDUSTRIES 6 Korea in the Driver's Seat: A Short History of the Korean Car 100 7 Samsung Eternal: From Rice Trading to $174 Billion in Sales 118 8 LG's Rebirth: Lak Hui Learns to Create Its Own Luck 132 9 Technology Nirvana: Korea's Wired and Wireless Leadership 148 10 The Korean Wave: Ebbing or Flowing? 163 PART FOUR: SOCIETY 11 The Culture of Business: What It's Like to Work and Play in Korea 176 12 Teeing Off: Korea's Obsession with Golf 193 13 From Homogeneity to Multiculturalism: The World Comes to Korea 209 14 A Changing Society: Shifting Roles in Modern Korea 224 PART FIVE: THE FUTURE 15 Whither the North? Four Scenarios for the Future of North Korea 242 16 Toward Korea 3.0: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Forty Years 257 Index 273