An Inconvenient Truth

"Undoubtedly, Korea maintains the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the exclusive club of advanced economies." *
Doh Chull Shin, University of Missouri-Columbia
Chong Min Park, Korea University

Corruption is by no means a problem unique to South Korea. In some measure it exists in all countries. However, within the OECD, South Korea, sadly, is distinguished by ubiquitous, pervasive corruption that has become an integral part of government - from the offices of presidents to the lower level officials who staff regional and district offices.

At least, this is the conclusion of Doh Chull Shin and Chong Min Park, based on a research project into the lives of ordinary Korean citizens which they reported in a paper in the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies in 2005.

One example of this problem is the way government plans for the restoration of Bukchon, a historic district of North Seoul have been subverted.

In our view, the problems are a direct product of corruption in the relationships between government officials, construction companies, and land speculators. The officials have permitted the Bukchon Plan to be subverted and also turned blind eyes to sweeping violations of applicable laws and regulations. Documents in this web-site provide evidence to support this assertion. These are not matters of opinion - the physical evidence of the plan itself, the demolitions, and the new buildings, and the plans that were approved for these, are there to see, yet officials refuse to compare these. The beneficiaries of the plan have proved to be a small group of speculators rather than society at large.

Click here to read what Shin and Park have to say.
Click here to reach the index for this web site and read about the problems in Bukchon

.Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies. Vol. 5, No. 2. 2005. pp. 183-217
"Appraising the Quality of Democracy in South Korea: From the Perspectives of Ordinary Citizens and their Daily Experiences
" by Doh Chull Shin, University of Missouri-Columbia & Chong Min Park, Korea University

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