The most efficient way to accelerate the growth of agricultural and fishing villages was to build processing plants directly in the production areas. The so-called “parallel development of agriculture and industry” refers to the concept of fostering the prosperity of the agricultural economy in order to ultimately narrow the gap that exists between cities and villages that rely on agriculture. Korean ginseng is well known worldwide for its medicinal efficacy, an attribute that has helped it carve a firm place in the global market. Most of the Korean ginseng that is grown with intense care for six years is processed for export, and it has become a very popular item among foreign tourists who visit Korea.
Sericulture, the methods of which have been passed down in Korean agricultural villages for centuries, has grown into an industry that contributes greatly to increasing the income of farmers and boosting the economy. Silk fabrics are popular in overseas markets and their production has risen remarkably. For the past six years, the industrial production index has risen threefold and textiles registered the highest growth rate by rising fourfold. The looms that were used by Korean women with much sadness and difficulty in the past are now mere historical relics. They have been replaced by machines located in large factories that employ many women these days. The textile industry produces Korea’s central exports, accounting for 38.5 percent of the country’s exports in 1970. Korea has grown 9.9 percent annually in the ten years that have passed since 1962, rising to become the third fastest-growing economy in the world. The POSCO plants that are currently under construction are part of a strategy designed to develop Korea’s heavy industries. Steel production capacity is expected to increase to 1.03 million tons annually and explode from 1.1 million tons to 10 million tons by the early 1980s. Korea has now entered the phase of heavy and chemical industrialization. This is one of the core objectives of the Third Five-Year Economic Development Plan. The new steel plant will allow for the domestic production of steel which will in turn significantly boost the growth of the steel and mechanical industries as well as that of other related industries. Automobile production, currently at 30,000 units annually, will jump to 50,000 units by the early 1980s and exports of motorcycles and automobiles will increase remarkably. In Ulsan, an industrial city, nine new petrochemical plants were completed at the same time, positioning Korea as the second largest industrial nation in Asia after Japan. Refineries that are currently producing 300,000 barrels of oil will increase their capacity to 940,000 barrels by the early 1980s. Additionally, with the plan to build as many as six additional industrial complexes larger than the one in Ulsan underway, we have almost realized our dream of becoming “a nation built upon industrialization.” Excavators are boring the ocean floor and several drilling operations tasked with finding petroleum are underway in many coastal waters. Such miraculously rapid economic growth that has attracted worldwide attention was not achieved using only ambition and ability; rather, it was heavily supported by effective implementation strategies and by technology. The talents of scientists have also significantly buttressed the nation’s industrial development. The Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) is developing new technology at its advanced research facilities. Moreover, by pushing for science in our daily lives, by the early 1980s the dream of “a Korea built upon science,” where everyone is impacted by technology, will be realized. The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute is carrying out research and development on the use of nuclear energy for medicinal and other non-violent purposes. In Korea, the construction of nuclear power plants is underway and power generation will increase to 10 million kW by the early 1980s. Water mills in the countryside are now being made obsolete by a wave of modernization. No longer simply an idyllic river, the Hangang River that flows through Seoul is being developed as a source of electricity. In addition to providing bright light for every corner of darkness and a sufficient energy supply to the new plants that are continuously being built, the power generated by the river will also bring new hope to the people.
The Korean people have not fallen into despair in spite of the fact that they have experienced every imaginable trial during the last century. Crossing a thorny path, we have built a base for prosperity with our bare hands. Thanks to excellent leadership as well as our own tenacity and perseverance, Korea now produces many products that we could not have even imagined just a short time ago. Our shipyards are currently building 20,000- to 30,000-ton ships ordered by foreign customers. As early as the 16th century, Admiral Yi Sun-sin invented the Turtle Ship, the first iron-clad battleship in the world. He is remembered as a hero by the Korean people because he was a great naval commander who defeated many enemy ships. Korea’s shipbuilding industry has achieved remarkable growth thanks to the young engineers who inherited the outstanding wisdom of our ancestors and thanks to our domestic steel production. Shipbuilding is expected to see a 20-fold increase from the current 250,000 tons to 5 million tons by the early 1980s.
Korea’s world-class fertilizer plants paved the way for self-sufficient fertilizer production in the country within the first three years of the First Five-Year Economic Plan. Still, to meet the ever-increasing demand for fertilizer, plants have continuously been built, with eight large plants now in operation. As a result, fertilizer has been one of our major export items to Southeast Asia. The economic development of the 1960s also saw the construction of many cement plants. Since these plants produced more than the domestic demand, cement was exported to Southeast Asian countries as well as to Japan. By the early 1980s, these plants are expected to double their amount of cement production to 16 million tons. Moreover, a nationwide campaign to cultivate the country’s natural forests is underway so that in the 1980s the whole nation will be covered with new forests. Some firms are going as far as the South Pacific to lumber and process hardwood in order to earn foreign currency. Plywood, along with textile, represents a major portion of Korea’s exports. Korean wigs are very popular because they are made with exceptional skills so they are selling well overseas. Moreover, the dexterity of the Korean people and the large number of workers in Korea complement labor-intensive industries such as electronics. Accordingly, Korea has steadily drawn foreign direct investment and the government has granted various preferential treatments to attract foreign investment Totaling USD 50 million 10 years ago, exports have grown 41 percent annually on average to reach USD 1.8 billion in 1972, and they are expected to reach USD 10 billion by 1980. By then, about half of Korea’s exports will be heavy and chemical industrial products.
Three sides of Korea are surrounded by sea. Fishermen are now focusing on sea farming that is safer and more profitable, meaning the fishing industry is changing from merely “catching” to “growing.” Cultured marine products such as laver, oysters, seaweed, shrimp and so on are being exported which dramatically increases the income of fishermen.
Like fishermen fighting against high winds, young people in Korea are full of enthusiasm and confidence. Experiencing the success of two economic development plans has given them the confidence that they need to continue the forward momentum. Korea, which was once closed to the outside world, is now ready to open its arms and embrace the world. Young fishermen are battling the waves in the five oceans. The Korean people are known for being exclusive and closed off from the rest of the world because they live on an isolated peninsula. Now, with great ambition and vision, they are taking a grand leap into the wider world and their dreams are coming true one by one across vast oceans. Agricultural and fishing products are being delivered between cities via expressways crisscrossing the nation, radiating in all directions. These expressways serve as industrial arteries that connect production sites with consumers. In autumn, the season of fruition, the people who live in farm and fishing villages are happier than they have ever been. With its long history and beautiful nature, Korea has abundant tourist resources. The numerous islands that comprise Hanryeosudo off the southern coast offer stunning natural scenic beauty. After working hard during the 1960s, the Korean people are now taking the time to rest. With the construction of expressways and the expansion of high-speed transport such as railroads and airplanes, one can travel anywhere in the nation in a day. The Seoraksan Mountain that overlooks the East Sea, famous for its masculine and majestic peaks and fallen leaves, represents the highest level of natural beauty and attracts many climbers in the fall. Korea’s political, economic and social stability has at last brought about a boom in tourism and foreigners regularly come to visit. Jeju Island, where one can enjoy fishing, pheasant hunting and golf under the snow-covered Halla Mountains, is especially popular among foreign tourists. At the Walkerhill Hotel, a hotspot in Seoul that overlooks the Hangang River, foreigners can place their bets at the casino or enjoy entertainment that showcases Korean culture and traditions. Department stores and supermarkets now sell quality, locally-made products. People who once loved foreign brands now turn to local brands, a testimony of the quality improvements that have been made. Women are more sensitive to patterns and fashion trends because they spend more time at work. In the home section of the department stores, Korean people are now developing nobler hobbies and applying the beauty of traditional Korean culture to their daily lives. Although the secrets of making the famous Goryeo porcelain have not been passed down to the present generation, contemporary ceramic artists still produce the finest porcelain in terms of pattern and shape, objects that are recognized by pottery enthusiasts all around the world. Unlike mass-produced porcelain, these pieces reflect the personal dedication of the artist and the passing down of the technique. In this and other areas, the young inherit the excellent achievements of their ancestors and are devoted to applying this knowledge in a new way in order to achieve a bright future for Korea.
The Korean people have long respected and been passionate about education. At the time of Japanese colonial rule, education was viewed as a way to achieve national unification, and after liberation from Japan, education was considered the means by which Korea could advance in the world. Based on the principal of equal opportunity, Korea values democratic education and the schools operate under the “6-3-3-4 system,” meaning that there are six grades in primary school, three in middle school, three in high school and four in universities. Under the government’s People’s Scientization Movement, the focus of this subject area shifted to technology in order to support economic development as well as pure learning. Further national development has been achieved by forging a harmonious relationship between work and learning and by fostering cooperation between industry and academia. There are eight million students enrolled in school, ranging from elementary to university. Korea, with its abundant educated workforce, has a very bright future ahead of it. The Korean people are no longer restricted to their nation, but are coming out as “Koreans in the world.” They are doing this by diligently increasing their capabilities. With such a solid base for prosperity, Koreans are more optimistic, hopeful and confident about tomorrow. Moving forward, they are prepared to tackle any difficulty on their own.
Every Korean has an earnest desire within his or her heart; national unification. Red Cross talks between South and North Korea have enlivened hope that this will be achieved. The declaration that President Park made on August 15th was endorsed by many nations around the world and North Korea finally accepted our proposal. South Korea’s humanitarianism paved the way for dialogue between the two Koreas, melting the distrust and the hostility that has persisted for the last 27 years. We now envision a hopeful future as a unified Korea, leaving behind the sad history of territorial division. As the Korean people fully awaken to the realities of their world, one can feel the vigorous longing for modernization everywhere. Just as a new baby is born after the long, hard labor of a mother, the rebirth of Korea as a prosperous and unified nation is dawning.