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Reflections on the past and present(우리의 어제와 오늘)

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Reflections on the past and present(우리의 어제와 오늘)04

Title Reflections on the past and present(우리의 어제와 오늘)
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Date 2014
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language Korean
File Type Link
Original Format pdf
Subject Industry and Technology < General
Government and Law < Internal Conflict
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Crossing beautiful mountains and valleys under the dark blue sky, our ancient ancestors continuously migrated east in an attempt to reach the place when the sun rises. Finally, they settled down in this peaceful and inspirational land. With pure hearts and brotherly love, always helping each other out and free of envy for others, our forebears wished to live here forever, laughing and singing joyful songs next to the murmuring brooks. However, as time passed our people we forced to endure numerous difficulties such as the Japanese Invasion of 1592 and the Manchu Invasion of 1636. Nevertheless, each time our people rose from the ashes like a phoenix. We enjoyed the pleasure of liberation when the 36 years of Japanese colonial rule ended but a dark cloud covered our mountains and rivers once again when communist North Korea invaded the South on June 25th, 1950. Lands were divided, buildings were demolished, homes were burned to ashes and people cried out in the streets, not knowing where to go. Under the bloody aggression of the Communists millions of people were killed and the young soldiers that fought courageously and died defending their homeland now lie quietly here. Even after all of this, greedy politicians continued to spread social disorder and fear, leading to the collapse of the economy. The fate of Korea hung by a thread amid confusion and insecurity but the people stood up and held these politicians accountable for their actions. Inheriting the legacy of generations of patriotic martyrs, young students rose up to save their nation. Nevertheless, corruption and backward politics returned and the nation was soon confronted by yet another crisis. Heeding the call of the people, the Armed Forces rose to free the nation from turmoil and, as a result, we regained a ray of hope and smiles returned once again to our misery-worn faces. The confusion and social disorder were replaced by new order and discipline. The people joined the ranks of the revolution and could finally see a bright future. We worked hand in hand to accomplish the goal of the revolution in order to build a Third Republic that would not submit to fear and confusion. With the restoration of the social order and the bold implementation of various community relief projects, beggars and vagrants on the streets received aid from the government and the families of the policemen and soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend the nation received the kind support of various aid agencies, including the Suwon Veterans Aid Center, located here. We did not forget our agricultural villages, which were suffering from poverty and hunger. Despair and destitution once led many farmers to desert their farmlands, but look at our agricultural villages today. With the enthusiasm and hope of building a new nation, farmers came together to cooperate and rebuild their impoverished villages. With strong policy support from the Revolutionary Government, farmers united under the NACF to make funds available for implementing agricultural projects, running additional businesses, raising livestock and working together to construct prosperous, comfortable agricultural villages that would allow the people to raise themselves out of poverty. The farmers who had left their villages to settle in the cities came back to their rural workplaces, including the one located in Sinchon, in response to a government program that encouraged them to return to their farms. They reclaimed wasteland, plowed fields, planted seeds and finally created fertile land that produced abundant crops. This miracle was not limited to only a certain area; it occurred nationwide. As part of the national construction projects underway throughout the country, farmers and fishermen took to the water to reclaim new agricultural land while fighting against the roaring waves. Furthermore, the repairs carried out on the many sea ports that had been paralyzed by the devastation of the Korea War revitalized marine transportation and facilitated the development of marine resources. Our fishing villages experienced great change as reconstruction and improvement projects were implemented throughout the nation. Fishery organizations, which used to exploit the fishermen, were dismantled, and fishermen were free to enjoy their work on the seas. Also, wireless communication facilities were installed in remote fishing villages to further improve the standard of living. The earthshaking sound of the motors in heavy industrial plants and the colorful flames that burst into the sky were undeniable signs of nation-building. At this automobile plant, the first to be built after Korea’s liberation, 300 small cars were assembled in a month, instilling in us the hope of one day being able to manufacture cars purely domestically. The production of local goods was revitalized after the revolution and the purchase of foreign goods was discouraged. Of particular interest, various medicines made locally contributed greatly to improving public health, something that was beyond imagination in the past. At this time, factories were producing new products and miners were sweating away as they explored the nation’s underground resources. In particular, our coal production set an unprecedented record under the five-year coal production expansion plan. In addition, in order to support the nation’s agricultural development, relieve the shortage of fertilizer and eventually meet domestic demand, fertilizer plants were built in Naju and in Chungju, and a third one is being established in Ulsan, promising a bright future. This is when another miracle emerged in Ulsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. As part of the five-year economic development plan designed to raise Korea from destitution and establish a self-reliant national economy, an oil refinery, a fertilizer plant, integrated steel works and power plants were all built in Ulsan, transforming it into a modern industrial city. Power plants, a critical resource for industrial development, were under construction in various locations, including a 132,000-kW thermoelectric power plant in Busan, while repair work and expansions of existing power plants were being carried out. A 57,600-kW hydroelectric power plant in Chuncheon, whose construction had begun under the national development plan, was near completion, and the repairs and expansion of other hydroelectric power plants were also underway. A merger of several power companies was initiated to ensure the rational management of power generation, which eventually led to the remarkable development of Korea’s power generation industry. As we began to enjoy life again, leaving behind the pessimism of the past, streets and roads that were once dilapidated lit up like a stream of water flowing from a fountain. We also began to contemplate a more hopeful future. One could hear the laughter of happy travelers in the newly renovated railway stations. The railroads were extending endlessly with the opening of the Neungui Line and Hwangji Line, and no one could have ever imagined that we would make such wonderful train cars domestically. But, at that time, we had realized our dreams and we were ready to achieve more. There were scenes of dynamic reconstruction everywhere, including in Busan, a port city which had undergone vast changes. A row of new buildings located in front of the railway station were built using only domestic resources. Citizens were busily improving Busan because the city was designated a “directly-controlled municipality” by the central government. Roads were built twice as wide as before, and tunnels were dug through the mountains in order to adapt to the rapid modern lifestyle. Inconvenient pier facilities were renovated and ships were built in Korea’s largest shipyard completely domestically and launched into the ocean. This is Busan Port seen from the top of Yongdusan Park. From this view, we can look back on our past for a moment and be proud of our achievements. This is the railroad bridge over the Hangang River that was destroyed during the North Korean invasion, but now it is a symbol of the “Miracle on the Han River.” Vehicles and people now flow ceaselessly across the Hangang Bridge, over which countless refugees once crossed the Hangang River. This is the new shape of the Seoul City Hall, which was destroyed by bombs during the Korean War, and this is the past and present of Toegyero and the Cheonggyecheon Stream, where only muddy water once flowed. Today’s miracle was built on all of these achievements, which at the time seemed to be merely distant dreams. But these are the roads and buildings that we, ourselves, constructed with dedication and hard work. Seoul, the capital city, is changing on a daily basis. Skyscrapers are being built and modern residential apartment buildings are continuously being constructed row by row. Our spirit and wisdom is now rising over our beautiful mountains and rivers. Ahead of the Third Republic, we are striving towards a glorious tomorrow and our homeland is now ready to make a great leap forward. A new and different Korea is becoming evident everywhere. Leaving behind the past and living in a wonderful present, we are strongly united in ushering in a bright and prosperous future.