How Did The Us Influence South Korea

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While the U.S. helped South Korea to develop economically, it also heavily influenced politics and governance. As a “price” for its assistance, the U.S. wanted South Korea to adopt a democratic ideology and kept the nation under its ‘U.S. umbrella’. Despite being such a powerful nation and being a huge aid to Korea, the U.S. actually had a difficult time implementing democracy into South Korean government. Both Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan were very authoritarian rulers that seldom hesitated from using military suppression on its own people. The U.S. almost had little influence over these two leaders, and it took the coming of Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, along with many determined civil protests such as the Kwangju Uprising in 1980, to finally instill democracy into South Korean politics. Korea eventually was able to undergo a successful…show more content…
South Korea was well under direct U.S. influence ever since the establishment of the Republic of Korea, and were always advised and kept in check to practice democratic ways. The United States, in trade of great monetary and economic assistance, were in control of many aspects of Korea’s politics, and so had a lot of power to direct South Korea in a way that is in line with its democratic ideologies. But even with such direct influence, the U.S. had major ‘bumps’ with instilling democracy in Korea, most notably with Park and Chun’s reigns that would not have ended without civil protest (the U.S. were often powerless in stopping these rulers’ authoritarian practices). Therefore, given China and its strong connection with communist nations such as the Soviet Union, it would be very difficult for the East Asian nation to even consider the idea of democratizing, especially given that they have been fairing well economically in the recent
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