South Korea is a country located in Eastern Asia and one of the four developed country in Asia according to Abbreviationfinder. Prime Minister Kim Jong Pil of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) resigned on the first day of the year and was succeeded by his party brother, Park Tae Joon. Kim wanted to concentrate on leading his party in the upcoming election campaign. The government’s coalition partner, President Kim Dae Jung’s National Congress for New Politics (NCNP), uploaded to the election by renaming the New Millennium Democratic Party (MDP).
In February, the coalition between the MDP and the ULD, when the ULD decided to leave the government, apparently broke up in order to run its own election campaign. However, Prime Minister Park remained in government.
In March, President Kim proposed high-level talks between South Korea and North Korea. There were no negative reactions to the speech from North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, and in April it was announced that South Korea and North Korea agreed to hold a summit in June between the two countries’ presidents.
The sensational news was released just before the South Korean election to the Supreme People’s Assembly and was expected to give President Kim’s MDP great success. Although the ruling party increased, it achieved no more than 35.9% of the vote. Thus, the MDP became only the second largest party after the opposition’s Great National Party (GNP), which gained 39%. ULD, which came in third place, declined sharply and stayed at 9.8%.
In May, Prime Minister Park resigned after he was sentenced to tax fraud. President Kim replaced him with ULD leader Lee Han Dong, thus paving the way for a new coalition between ULD and MDP.
The historic summit between President Kim Dae Jung and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Il was held June 13-15 in Pyongyang. About 600,000 cheering North Koreans edged the shortcut as the South Korean guest traveled through the capital. Negotiations were conducted in a positive spirit and were followed by a written agreement on financial cooperation, on family reunification, on confidence-building measures and relaxation, on work for reconciliation and peaceful reunification between the North and the South. The contacts continued with ministerial meetings, which included agreed to open a railway line between the countries.
The family reunion began in August, when 100 South Koreans traveled to Pyongyang and 100 North Koreans traveled to Seoul to meet relatives they had not seen for half a century. There were very emotional meetings. Similar trips were also carried out later in the year.
Cohesion between the two Koreas was manifested at the inauguration of the Sydney Olympic Games, where the North and South Korean participants marched in unison.
In August, President Kim reformed the government and dismissed, among other things. Finance Minister Lee Hun Jai, who was replaced by Jin Nyum. It was believed that economic reform architect Lee ended up in too much confrontation with the big corporate conglomerates, chaebols. Several of these were deeply indebted after the Asian financial crisis a few years earlier. Banks that lent to chaebols had made huge losses, and the government was now pressing the lenders to demand painful restructuring as a condition for new loans. The corporate giant and the car manufacturer Daewoo with 17,500 employees were the worst off.
When the union at Daewoo in November refused to accept a plan for the dismissal of 3,500 workers, the loan opportunities were exhausted for the company, whose debts corresponded to more than SEK 100 billion. Daewoo’s bankruptcy was labeled as the largest in South Korea’s history. At the same time, the banks gave a deadline for the other hard-pressed company, the construction company within the Hyundaik Group. Hyundai was postponed to the end of the year by paying its debts to South Korean lenders.
The economic crisis was temporarily suspended in December, when the entire world’s media focused on South Korea’s President Kim Dae Jung, who in Oslo received the Nobel Peace Prize. Kim received the award for her so-called sunshine policy towards North Korea, which allowed the South-North approach after half a century of hostility on the Korean Peninsula.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of South Korea in 2000 was 47,379,130, ranking number 24 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.910% yearly, and the population density was 487.2903 people per km2.