North Korea

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at
Mon Apr 24 14:30:36 PDT 2000

On Mon, 24 Apr 2000 TRox51 at wrote:

> In regards to NK economic development (or lack thereof), its interesting
> to note that the CIA put out a report in the early '70s that NK was
> ahead of SK in nearly every economic indicator. It was after the
> mid-1970s, when Japanese corporations and banks began pouring huge
> amounts of capital and technology into the south, that SK began to
> surpass NK.

Japanese direct investment into South Korea has been pretty limited; Korean firms had to rent Japanese technology out of their export-earnings. South Korea got rich thanks to a state-directed petrochemicals and heavy industrial push in the 1970s -- resulting in the Pohang Iron & Steel Co., the state-owned and highly profitable steelmaker. You might say that the South Koreans turned the North's main weapon -- the power of the state -- to their own advantage. In 1998, the EU countries actually invested more in Korea than Japan, but the relative amounts have been pretty small -- nothing like the tidal wave that financed Singapore.

-- Dennis

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