The History of Korea
The Modern South Korea
Growing into an Economic Advanced Nation
Recently, Koreaâ€™s information and communicatin technology developed into one of the best in the world. Consequently, semiconductors, computers and mobil phones became Koreaâ€™s major export items, and presently the Korean usage of mobil phones and internet services in the highest in the world. As a result, peopleâ€™s usage of information and communication in their daily lives is ubiquitous and digital culture is spreading rapidly.
Following its economic growth, Korea has emerged as an industrialized country and today, its economy ranks 11th to 12th in the world in terms of its Gross National Product (GNP) and trade volume. In 1996, Korea joined the OECD, the economic cooperative body of industrialized countries, and is an enthusiastic member of the Asia Pacifid Economic Conference (APEC). Along with the United States and Japan, Korea is working to achieve economic development in Asia.
The Image of Todayâ€™s Korean Society
During the 50 years following Koreaâ€™s independence from Japan, the Korean society has undergone rapid transformations. The extended family system where three to four gerneration lived together under one roof has changed to a nucleus family system, where single household members consist of parents and children. Recently with the sharp decrease in the birthrate, the population is in decline, and improved living standards, as well as medical insurance benefits, have extended the average life span; the society has been transformed into an aging society with the number of elderly people increasing at a rapid speed.
At the time of Koreaâ€™s independence form Japan, the urban population only accounted for 20% of the total population, however, with industrialization, more than 80% of the total population live in urban cities presently. In particular, Seoul is facing many problems including housing shortages, environmental pollution and traffic congestion due to the excessive concentration of the population and businesses in the city.
Meanwhile, in tune with the trend of globalization, Koreans are moving overseas for the purpose of work, education and tourism. World renowned Korean perform on stages around the world. Recently, the Korean media culture such as movies, TV soap operas and music have been exported to places like China, japan and Southeast Asian countries, and have stirred up the â€˜Korean Feaverâ€™ with sensational popularity.
Presently, most households own private cars and following the governmentâ€™s policy to shorten working hours to five weekly working days, people spend time enjoying sports and recreational activities.
Peaceful and Prosperous Nation
Meanwhile, internationally, by maintaining a cooperative system with neighboring countries like Japan, Russia, China, and the United States, Korea has greatly upgraded its international status. Recently, the divided railways of South and North Korea were reconnected to pursue peace and economic cooperation with North Korea.
urthermore, Korea is studying the possibility of constructing the Trans-Siberia Railway to advance into Russia and the European Union. Korea is also taking initiatives for a space development program. The new challenges being embraced by Korea signify that it is shaping into a fully developed country.
Both the Korean government and the people are striving to build a peaceful and prosperous nation through economic development, the establishment of a permanment peace between the two Koreas and the formation of stable international relations. With increasing numbers of Koreans advancing into other countries around the globe, Koreaâ€™s development became more accelerated.