South Korea after the Korean War

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    United States Army Military Government in Korea

    The official ruling body in South Korea. The provisional government was run under Lt. General John R. Hodge. The transitional government passed control over to Sygman Rhee with the formation of the First Republic of South Korea. Further Reading
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    First Republic of South Korea

    A republic was established to govern South Korea with a constitution with a strong President indirectly elected by a national Assembly. Sygman Rhee would be the President and autocratic leader of the First Republic. More Info
  • Bodo League Massacres

    Bodo League Massacres
    After the start of the Korean War, Syngman Rhee ordered the exectution of suspected communist supporters. Estimates of deaths from 100,000 to 200,000. The discovery of mass graves have prompted investigation into the incident. image source
    Bodo League Massacres
  • United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA)

    United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA)
    he proposal for the program was drafted by the United States in 1950 after victory by United Nations forces appeared rapidly obtainable. On December 1, 1950, the General Assembly enacted the program. image source
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    UNKRE begins reconstruction efforts

    After the Armistice and the end of conflicts, the UNKRE that was established earlier began reconstruction efforts for South Korea spending nearly 150 million dollars.
  • Kim Young-sam Elected President

    Kim Young-sam Elected President
    The first civilian president in over 30 years. Led a campaign against corruption requiring high level officials to show their financial records. Also put on trail the two past presidents for corruption. image source
  • Division of North and South Korea

    Division of North and South Korea
    A armistice agreement is reached by North and South Korea partitioning the peninsula at the 38 parallel. image source
    Armistice agreement
  • April Revolution

    April Revolution
    Wide spread student protests erupted when the vice-presidential elections were rigged. It was an explosion of public distaste with the Korean government of the First Republic and lead to the resignation of Sygman Rhee. image source
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    Second Republic of South Korea

    Established when widespread protest brought the Sygman Rhee out of power. It was the first and only parlimentary system used in South Korea. It lasted less than a year. More Info
  • Chang Myon Elected Prime minister

    Chang Myon Elected Prime minister
    The second Republic was a parlimentary system and had elected the prime minister as Chang Myon. Instituted many political reforms and began negotiations with Japan. Ultimately was ousted by military coup. image source
  • May 16 coup

    May 16 coup
    A coup d'état led by Park Chung-hee which overthrew the South Korean Second Republic. There was a growing concern my the military majority that politics were corrupting the senior leadership. The lack of economic reform and weakness of the economic reform post war motivated the military takeover. image source
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    Supreme Council for National Reconstruction

    A coup dissolved the Second Republic and a military Junta took its place. The president of the Second Republic stayed on as president but merely as a figurehead. More Info
  • Implementation of First Five Year Plan

    Implementation of First Five Year Plan
    Five Year economic plans were put into place to improve the economic condition of the country. This moved Korea from attempting to create its own domestic markets to an export oriented economy. Further reading
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    Third Republic of South Korea

    A return to civilian rule, the Third Republic was still largely controlled by a strong president Park Chung-hee who was the leader of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction. The third republic marked the begining of greater economic growth for South Korea. More Info
  • Korea-Japan Treaty

    Korea-Japan Treaty
    Helped bring loans and compensations from Japan in reparations for the damages caused during colonial occupation. Further Reading
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  • Park Chung-hee Elected President

    Park Chung-hee Elected President
    After retiring from his military position, Park Chung-hee successfully runs for president of the Third Republic of South Korea. image source
  • Saemaul Movement

    Saemaul Movement
    Was a government program to try to bridge the income disparity between rapidly industrializing urban areas and poor rural areas. It promoted community assistance, and self-help, with materials and resources given to rural villages to use to assist their needs. Further Reading
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  • Creation of the Yushin Constitution

    Creation of the Yushin Constitution
    The national assembly was largely dominated by Park Chung-hee's allies and allowed for the passage of a new constitution which gave him a legal dictatorship with unlimited terms. Further Reading
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    Fourth Republic of South Korea

    Yusin Constitution helped usher in the Fourth Republic. Under the new constitution President Park Chung-hee consolidated and monopolized power for him and his party the Democratic Republican Party. More Info
  • Assasination of Park Chung-hee

    Assasination of Park Chung-hee
    Kim Jae-kyu the director of KCIA and the presidents security chief shot and killed Park Chung-hee Further Reading
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    Fifth Republic of South Korea

    With the assasination of Park Chung-hee a new Fifth Republic was formed with the deceased president's military collegue Chun Doo-hwan. The events during the Fifth Republic eventually lead to the first democratically elected president in South Korea. More Info
  • Coup d'état of December Twelfth

    Coup d'état of December Twelfth
    Major General Chun Doo-hwan took control of the South Korean government with the assistance of several military divisions. Further Reading
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  • Gwangju Uprising

    Gwangju Uprising
    Citizens in the city of Gwangju began taking to the streets and raiding police stations in protest of the oppressive action of Chun doo hwan. The coup and institution of martial law exacerbated social conditions and resentment of the lack of social and political freedom. image source
  • Chun Doo Hwan Elected 5th President of South Korea

    Chun Doo Hwan Elected 5th President of South Korea
    After the coup and solidifying control over KCIA and the military, Chun Doo Hwan was elected president. A with a new military Junta and a new constitution, the Fifth Republic of South Korea was formed. Further Reading
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  • June Democracy Movement

    June Democracy Movement
    The Fifth Republic declared Roh Tae Woo as the next president without direct elections. Seen as the last straw, people in over 22 cities mobilized mass protest for democratization. Further Reading
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  • June 29 Declaration

    In response to the massive protests of the Democratic movement, a declaration is made to: Provide for the direct election of the president; Ensure free candidature and genuinely competitive elections; Grant amnesty to political prisoners, including Kim Dae-jung; Protect human dignity and extend the right of habeas corpus;
    abolish the Basic Press Law and restore the freedom of the press; Further Reading
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    The Sixth Republic of South Korea

    The Sixth and current Republic in South Korea finally obtains democratic and stable transitions of power between elected officials and parties. More Info
  • Roh Tae-woo elected as President

    Roh Tae-woo elected as President
    The election of Roh Tae-woo was the first truly democratic election. Begining the current Sixth Republic of South Korea. Further Reading
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  • South Korea Hosts the 1988 Summer Olympics

    South Korea Hosts the 1988 Summer Olympics
    A significant event for South Korea helping to promote the country internationally. It helped to pressure the government for more democratic reforms such as the June 29 declaration. Further Reading
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  • North and South Korea Joins the UN

    North and South Korea Joins the UN
    With Bilateral talks on de-nuclearization between the North and South, Both countries were admitted to the UN under United Nations Security Council Resolution 702 More Info
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  • 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

    1997 Asian Financial Crisis
    Many companies were overextending themselves by taking loans to grow into large competitive entities but unable to ensure profitability and returns. This led to many large companies holding excess debt and the collapse of many conglomerates such as Kia motors. Further Reading
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  • International Monetary Fund Provides Bail-out

    International Monetary Fund Provides Bail-out
    US$57 Billion was provided to South Korea in exchange for financial reforms such as allowing greater foreign investments into South Korean Companies, and restructuring of the financial sector with mergers and closings of several banks. Article
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  • Kim Dae-jung Elected President

    Kim Dae-jung Elected President
    Following the 1997 Asian Crisis, Kim implemented many economic reforms such as more transparency in large companies imposed by the IMF helping to create a dramatic recovery. Was awarded a Nobel Peace prize for direct meetings and opening up of relations between North Korea. image source
  • Roh Moo-hyun Elected President

    Roh Moo-hyun Elected President
    Presidency marred with anti-American policies and policies which confounded the public causing them to view him as incompetent. Toward the end of the presidency, Roh was marred by a large bribery investigation. The events of the presidency would eventually lead to the suicide of Roh Moo-hyun. Further Reading
  • Lee Myung-bak Elected President

    Lee Myung-bak Elected President
    A business person and former Ceo of Hyundai engineering and Construction. image source
  • Park Geun-hye Elected President

    Park Geun-hye Elected President
    The first Woman President in South Korea and in the Northeast Asian region. source