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Based on personal interviews with the principle policy-makers of the 1970s, Korea's Development under Park Chung-Hee examines how the president sought to develop South Korea into an interdependent, autonomous sovereign state both economically and militarily. Kim provides a new narrative in the complex task of exploring the paradoxical nature and effects of Korea's rapid development which maintains that any judgement of Park must consider his achievements in the socio-economic, cultural and political context in which they took place.
Aspects of Park's government analyzed include:
* his abhorrence of Korea's relaince on the US presence
* the Korean model of state-guided industrialization
* Park's rapid development strategy
* the role of ruling elites
* Park's clandestine nuclear development program
* the heavy chemical industrialization of the 1970s
. The prevailing popularity of Park in the eyes of the Korean public is significant and relevant to their acceptance of how their national development was achieved. This book tells that story while simultaneously recognizing the flaws in the process. With a great deal of material nver before published, scholars of Korean politics and history at all levels will find this book a stimulating account of South Korea in the 1960s and 1970s.