Sociocultural factors have been an important but little discussed element in Korea's extraordinary 30-year ascent from poverty to one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced economies in the world, according to this paper. The paper first reviews Korea's economic performance since the early 1960's, and discusses the factors to which its phenomenal growth have traditionally been attributed: consistent commitment to export- and growth-oriented policies; a strong private sector dominated by large conglomerates pursuing long-term growth objectives and capable of adapting technology to market forces; and a dedicated and submissive workforce. The paper then discusses underlying sociocultural factors which make possible such a degree of unity among government, business, and workers. Korea's cultural homogeneity is reflected in a set of widely held social values, including eagerness to learn, drive to improve one's socioeconomic status, willingness to sacrifice for children and invest in their education, and a tendency to return home from study abroad. These values have contributed to the development of an educated, capable workforce, a strong work ethic, and extensive meritocracies in government and business. Korea's successes have given rise to a "virtuous circle" of growing confidence, adaptability, and intensified effort throughout the economy. Ironically, however, economic success, by raising expectations for social equity, may undermine the unity which made it possible; Korea has experienced an eruption of social tensions, especially since democratization began in 1987, and many are wondering if the so-called Korean miracle has come to an end. The author feels, however, that Korea's political and economic institutions have adjusted well and the economy is recovering its extraordinary dynamism.