REGIONAL STUDIES PAPER
1. Have you ever sat back and wondered what it would be like to live in another country. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of South Korea? Most likely it will probably be the Korean War or maybe even the 1988 Olympics. You may even, some day, be stationed there. I personally experienced the country first hand through a tour between 1988 and 1989. Korea is one of our major theaters of operation so it is very important for us to understand a little about their culture and where they came from to prepare for any future missions or tours in their arena. In order to introduce us to this fascinating country we will ...view middle of the document...
There, they stood off superior North Korean forces until Sept. 15, when a major UN amphibious assault was launched deep behind Communist lines at Inchon, the port of Seoul. By Sept. 30, UN forces were in complete control of South Korea. Cease-fire negotiations dragged on for two years before an armistice was finally signed at Panmunjom in 1953, leaving a devastated Korea in need of large-scale rehabilitation. To date, no official peace treaty has ever been signed. Now that I’ve shared a little of South Korea’s history with you, I’ll continue with some of the country’s culture.
3. The South Korean people, as a whole, are very culturally proud. According to the “South Korean Culture” website, Koreans are descendants of the Mongol tribes, yet they are a homogeneous people who have their own language culture and customs2. While stationed at Kunsan Air Base I interacted with Koreans on a daily basis. Through my experience I felt that they were very generous, warm, kind, and friendly. They don’t get the chance to interact often with Americans except in Seoul and other major cities. In some instances they are very shy and will come up to you to say hi and run away. While in other situations, primarily with younger generations, they want to talk to because they are trying to learn English. The older generations can be leery of foreigners since throughout Korean history they have been invaded and under subjection of foreign rule. Now that we have learned about this very open caring culture let’s take a step into the trade center to learn about their economics.
4. The Republic of Korea's economic growth over the past several decades has been spectacular. South Korea is now the United States' seventh-largest trading partner and is the 13th-largest in the World. In the early 1960s, the government of Park Chung Hee instituted sweeping economic policy changes emphasizing exports and labor-intensive light industries, leading to rapid debt-finance industrial expansion. During this time they implemented a currency reform, strengthened financial institutions, and introduced flexible economic plans. In the 1970s Korea began directing fiscal and financial policies toward promoting chemical industries, consumer electronics, and automobiles. Manufacturing...