(AQA/ Human Geography, Development & Globalisation) SOUTH KOREA - A MATURE NIC

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Emily Hancock AQA Geography A2 Human ­ Development & Globalisation 30/05/13
Key facts:
1 of the most successful newly industrializing countries in world
Per capita GNP = only $100 in 1963 ­ exceeded £100,00 in 2003
This was accompanied by improvements in social sectors:
o Life expectancy risen from 54 to 76 yrs
o Rate of infant mortality fallen from 8% to 0.8%
o Income more evenly distributed across population
1 of the `Asian Tigers' = `a mature NIC'
World's 11th largest economy
Population ­
o 49 million at 500 persons per sq km = 3rd most densely populated country
o It has doubled since 1950
o Capital, Seoul = pop. 9.6 million within greater metropolitan area: 20 million
o 5 other cities has pop. in excess of 1 million:
History ­
o North Korea + South Korea = single country in 1945 but...
o Dominated by China and Japan
o Japan: annexed Korea in 1910, made it a typical colonial economy ­ exploiting Korea's natural
resources for own purposes
o Japan was defeated in 1945
o Korea occupies by Soviet troops from North + US troops in South
o The 2 armies met @ 38° north line of latitude
o Communist government in Soviet zone + Capitalist government in US zone
o North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950 = Korean War
o United Nations troops led by US forces repulsed invasion and threatened to occupy the whole of
north = China invaded, throwing back UN troops
o Armistice line (now `demilitarized zone) = boundary between North and South Korea
o US army of 29,000 troops remains based on S Korean soil
Economic growth:
Not richly endowed in minerals ­ small reserves of coal, iron ore and copper but... no petroleum or
natural gases
However, achieved fast rate of economic growth:
o Economic aid from USA for S Korea's recovery from war ­ USA keeping it
o capitalist
o Well educated work force with cheap wages ­ 1965: workers paid av. of 1/10th of Japanese
o Growing number of gifted entrepreneurs
o Strong government - crushed opposition + prevented trade unions
o Protective tariff barriers ­ shelters S Korea industries from foreign competition
o Strong interventionist policies by government = strict planning/ ownership of enterprises + financial
institutions/ control of foreign exchange
Began in early 1960'sbut stagnation followed
GNP (gross national product) grew by av. 8.4% per yr over 1963 to 1983
Late 1980's, GNP growth rates = 12% per yr ­ maintained in 1990's but...
Economic crisis in 1997 = negative growth
Growth recovered to 10% in 1999 + 2000 but by 2011 stayed at 5%

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Emily Hancock AQA Geography A2 Human ­ Development & Globalisation 30/05/13
Industrial Development:
Manufacturing industry comprises of labour intensive consumer goods:
o Textiles
o Clothing
o Footwear
Early 1970's, focus changed to more capital-intensive industries:
o Electronics
o Machinery
o Shipbuilding
o Petro-chemicals
o Steel
Since 1980's focus changed again:
o High technology ­ suited to S Korean's highly skilled labour + efficiency in using both
energy and resources
Economic management has dominance over few giant family-owned business groups = chaebol:
o Hyundai/ Samsung/ Daewoo/…read more

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Emily Hancock AQA Geography A2 Human ­ Development & Globalisation 30/05/13…read more


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