South Korea Table of Contents

This edition supercedes South Korea: A Country Study published in 1982. Some parts of that edition have been used in the preparation of the current book. The editors also wish to thank various members of the staff of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington for their assistance.

Various members of the staff of the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress assisted in the preparation of the book. Sandra W. Meditz made helpful suggestions during her review of all parts of the book. Robert L. Worden also reviewed parts of the book and made numerous suggestions and points of clarification. Timothy L. Merrill assisted in the preparation of some of the maps, checked the content of all of the maps, and reviewed the sections on geography and telecommunications. Thanks also go to David P. Cabitto, who designed the cover and chapter art and provided graphics support; Marilyn L. Majeska, who managed editing and production and edited portions of the manuscript; Andrea T. Merrill, who provided invaluable assistance with regard to tables and figures; and Barbara Edgerton, Alberta Jones King, and Izella Watson, who performed word processing.

The authors also are grateful to individuals in various United States government agencies who gave their time and special knowledge to provide information and perspective. These individuals include Ralph K. Benesch, who oversees the Country Studies-Area Handbook Program for the Department of the Army.

Dr. Cho Sung Yoon, Far Eastern Law Division, Library of Congress, reviewed the sections of the manuscript on the judiciary and the legal system. John Merrill of the Department of State reviewed the text and also offered suggestions and points of clarification. The editors are also grateful to several academic experts on Korea: Gari K. Ledyard, Robert Ramsey, and Donald N. Clark. Although they provided advice on specific issues, they are in no way responsible for the views found in the book.

Others who contributed were Harriett R. Blood and Greenhorne and O'Mara, who assisted in the preparation of maps and charts; Katherine Young, who edited portions of the manuscript; Catherine Schwartzstein, who performed final prepublication editorial review, and Joan C. Cook, who prepared the index. Malinda B. Neale of the Library of Congress Composing Unit prepared cameraready copy, under the direction of Peggy Pixley. The inclusion of photographs in this book was made possible by the generosity of various individuals and public and private agencies.


Like its predecessor, this study attempts to review the history and treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of South Korea. Under Roh Tae Woo, who was elected president of the Sixth Republic in 1987 (as well as under the previous president, Chun Doo Hwan, 1980-87), South Korea has been struggling to maintain its economic successes. Movement in more democratic directions has been much slower than economic development. Political unrest, labor strikes, and student agitation continued to challenge the government in the early 1990s.

Sources of information included books, scholarly journals, foreign and domestic newspapers, official reports of governments and international organizations, and numerous periodicals on Korean and East Asian affairs. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book, and brief comments on some of the more valuable sources recommended for further reading appear at the end of each chapter. A Glossary also is included.

Spellings of place-names used in the book are in most cases those approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. However, the generic parts appended to some geographic names have been dropped and their English equivalents substituted: for example, Cheju Island, not Cheju-do, and South Ch'ungch'ong Province, not Ch'ungch'ong-namdo. The name South Korea has been used where appropriate in place of the official name, Republic of Korea. The McCune-Reischauer system of transliteration has been employed, except in cases of the names of some prominent national figures, internationally recognized corporations, and the city of Seoul, where the more familiar journalistic equivalent is used. The names of Korean authors writing in English are spelled as given.

The body of the text reflects information available as of June 1990. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Bibliography includes published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress