Friday, January 24, 2014

South Korea still dependent on Chaebol's

The family-run conglomerates known as chaebol are very powerful, with annual revenue equivalent to the nation’s GDP. They were central to the efforts of Park Chung Hee, the military ruler from 1962 until his assassination in 1979, to propel the nation from war to prosperity in one generation. The chaebol were granted tremendous economic power and near-monopoly control in autos, electronics and other industries.

Ironically, Park’s daughter, who is now president herself, was elected in part on her pledge to restrain and clean up the chaebol. So far, she has little to show for her efforts: Last year, sales of the largest 30 conglomerates accounted for 82 percent of GDP, up from 53 percent in 2002.