[Oh, Korea-⑦] The Nation's Achievements
[Oh, Korea-⑦] The Nation's Achievements
  • 김정남(본지 고문, 전 청와대 사회교육문화수석)
  • 승인 2022.06.11 06:08
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By Jeongnam Kim
(Former Senior Presidential Secretary for Education·Culture·Society, World Korean News advisor)

We have passed the 60th anniversary and are presently advancing to the 70th anniversary of our Liberation (1945) and the Inauguration of our Republic (1948). The modern history of our politics was really hectic. It is assumed that no nation in the world has experienced such a tumultuous modern history.

Due to the fact that our Liberation was not achieved with our own power but by the heteronomy, our history could not but be an important chapter of world history. The establishment of own government itself was a vicissitude. It was the military government, timed with the division of our peninsula. And furthermore we failed to clean up the miserable waste of the Japanese Imperialism. The initiation of our government without the establishment of our national spirit was a fatal blow.

The start was so poor, as was the development process afterwards. It was not fair and square. As someone said, it was a history of a victory of injustices. Opportunists were rampant all over. It was not a history seen through the prism of self-disdain, it was a truthful testimony based on the fact.

Despite the poor beginning, the road we traveled along was filled with a history of accomplishments. Our accomplishment was based on th big flow of the world history since the establishment of our government, but our own experience and our own efforts should not be sold short.

We had suffered through huge labor pains for the establishment of our government. It was not only extremely painful, but very divisive. In less than two years after the establishment of the government, we were hit by the Korean War, a war that almost destroyed our nation. But generally speaking, the establishment of our government and the accomplishments afterward were monumental.

The Republic of Korea is the only country among almost 140 which achieved independence after the end of the Second World War in 1945, and that succeeded to achieve perfect modernization. The achievement of the Miracle of the River Han and high level of the industrialization have become a milestone in the history of the world.

Only seven U.N. member countries have achieved a per capita income of more than $10,000.00 annually. They are Singapore, Brunei, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and the Republic of Korea. Our country has already passed the $20,000.00 mark, and seen in light of the normal statehood and normal standards of modernization, the other six countries cannot hold a candle to ours.

We are now competing with the most developed countries in the world in such industries as electronics, steel, automobiles, and in the field of information. In addition the achievement of freedom and democracy, our country provides us with liberty, equality and welfare that the Korean people are enjoying for the first time since the nation building days of Dan Gun.

The freedom and democracy that we Korean Republic citizens enjoy is the achievement of the Republic of Korea, created for the first time in the history of the nationthat spans over 5,000 years. The freedom of politics and the press is the highest among the 46 countries in the Eurasian continent, the Pacific and the Indian Oceans between the Japanese Islands and the Ural mountains.

Our nation’s strategy for an overseas expansion and democratization, and the development of higher education have promoted the cultural plurality and diversity beyond our economic progress. In particular, the religious plurality is salient, thus our country being the only country in the world where Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity coexist with balance. The Republic of Korea is the only country in Asia where the Western religion of Christianity is practiced by 30 percent of its population.

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