Korean War Legacy Project

The Legacy

Explore the legacy of the Korean War in creating a strong democracy and economy in South Korea



South Korea’s development over the last six decades has been nothing short of miracle. Sixty years after the Korean War, the country was poorer than Guatemala and Zimbabwe; today, it is richer than Spain and Greece, with a per capita income of almost $27,000. For last 60 years, South Korea’s economy has grown by an average of seven percent annually except two years and Korea has become of global power with the world’s 14th largest economy.

In 1996, South Korea became the 29th country to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) which is largely composed of advanced countries. Furthermore, it has successfully turned into a donor country and became the 24th member nation of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 2009. Korea was among the 186 aid recipient countries back in the 1960s. This marked the first case of its kind since the establishment of the OECD in 1961 that a recipient was successfully transformed into a donor and joined the DAC.

Now the country is rich, technologically advanced, and matured democracy with an impressive record of innovation. A lot of the futurist like Alvin Toffler applauded Korea’s achievements with saying that “Korea has gone through an amazingly rapid and successful technological transformation and this is fabulous.”

Furthermore, in 2010, Korea became the first nation in Asia to host the G-20 summit meeting which was held in Seoul, Korea. Indeed, Korea is taking on new challenges for the world’s future as a responsible member of the international community.

Political Legacy Economic Legacy Social Legacy Geographic Legacy