Country: South Korea (The Republic of Korea)
Event: Pearl-MUN 2003
Student: Muneera Al-Jouan
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2005-2006 Team page
The formal name of South Korea is the Republic of Korea; the country’s capital is Seoul. South Korea is made up of nine provinces and seven administratively separate cities, which include Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Ulsan. South Korea was liberated from Japan in August 15Th., 1945. The South Korean constitution was put in force in July 17Th., 1948. Its legal system is based on the combination of elements of the continental European civil law system, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought.
The government type is a republic with powers shared between the Presidency, the legislature, and the courts. The president is elected by popular vote for a single five-year term. The current president is President Roh Moo-hyun. The South Korean government is divided into three branches: The Executive Branch, The Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The Executive Branch consists of the chief of state, head of government, and the cabinet. The chief of state is the President Roh Moo-hyun, the head of government is the acting Prime Ministers Han Duck-soo, Deputy Prime Ministers Kim Jin-pyo and Kim Woo-shik. The Cabinet is the State Council who are appointed by the president with the Prime ministers recommendation. The Legislative Branch consists of the unicameral National Assembly or Kukhoe, which means they only have only legislative chamber. The Assembly consists of 299 seats, 243 in single seat constituencies and 56 by proportional representation. Members of the Assembly are elected for four-year terms. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, and Constitutional Court. The Judiciary is independent under the constitution. The Supreme Court includes justices who are picked by the president with the approval of the National Assembly. The Constitutional Court are justices who are chosen by the president partly based on the nominations by the National Assembly and the Chief Justice of the court.
Political Parties include the Democratic Labor Party which is led by Kwon Young-ghil; the Democratic Party, which is chaired by Hahn Hwa-Kap; the Grand National Party, which is chaired by Park Geun-hye, the People-Centered Party, which is led by Sgum Dae-pryong; and the Uri Party which is chaired by Yoo Jay-gun.
South Korea is located in northeastern Asia on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea borders it on the north, the Sea of Japan on the east, by the Korean Strait on the south and southeast, and by the Yellow Sea on the West. The eastern region of South Korea has high mountains and narrow coastal plains; the western area has wide coastal plains, river basins, and hills; the southern part is full of mountains and valleys. The volcano, Halla-san, is South Korea’s highest point at 1,950 meters. It also forms Jeju Island, which is the country’s largest island. The South Korean coastline forms the southern, western, and eastern side of the country at 2,413 meters. The country has an estimated 3,000 islands, which are mostly small and populated.
South Korea has a temperate climate. Its winters are cold and windy, and snow falls in all parts of the country except the southern part. The summers are hot, humid, and rainy. Rain is more common in the summer than in the winter. The country’s weather is affected by the Asian continent and the neighboring seas.
When compared to North Korea, South Korea has a meager amount of natural resources. They include coal, tungsten, graphite, molybdenum, lead, and hydropower potential. 16.58% of South Korea’s land is arable land, which is suitable for growing crops. Only 2.01% of the country’s land has permanent crops, like citrus, coffee, and rubber. South Korea’s agriculture products include rice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit, cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs, and fish. The natural resources don’t contribute much to the economy.
Though, South Korea strives to be self-sufficient in rice and livestock production, it doesn’t have enough cropland and pasture to help human food use and animal feeding. South Korea imports most of its agriculture products since the 1960s. However, in the 1990s, trade liberalization opened a large and growing trade in high value commodities like meat, fruits, vegetables, and processed foods. In the future, South Korea is expected to import a larger number of agriculture products because of market access measures discussed in bilateral and multilateral agreements.
South Korea has one of the world’s highest population densities with a population of about 48,846,823. The population’s growth rate is estimated to be 0.42%. South Korea’s population is one of the most ethnically homogeneous in the world, which means that most of them come from the same ethnic group, Korean. Except for about 20,000 who are Chinese. About all South Koreans have the same cultural tradition. The main language is Korean, although English is commonly used.
The Korean language is connected to both the Japanese and Mongolian language, and a lot of Chinese cognates are found in the Korean language. English is taught in most primary and secondary schools as a second language. In addition, both Chinese and Japanese languages are extensively taught at high schools. 46% of Koreans are not affiliated with a religion. However 26% of the population is Christian, 26% practice Buddhism, only 1% are Confucians, and 1% practice Shamanism and Chondogyo. Although only a percent classify themselves as Confucians, the Korean people are deeply inspired by the Confucians values and beliefs. Most of the population lives in the northwest and southeast and in the plains south of Seoul-Incheon. Most of Koreans, about 97.9%, over 15 year of age can read and write. South Korea experiences one of the largest rates of emigration. Most ethnic Koreans leave South Korea to live in China, the United States, Japan, and former Soviet Union Countries.
South Korea has a very stable economy with a GDP of $1.180 trillion, the country’s economy is the eleventh largest economy in the world. In the early 1960s, South Korea experienced fast industrialization; previously its economy was based on agriculture. Currently, South Korea is the United Nations seventh largest trading partner. It has also been one of the leading countries in developing technology South Korea GDP growth rate is 3.9% as of 2004 and its public debt is 30.1% of the GDP. During 1997 and 1998, South Korea was one of the many Asian countries that suffered from an economic crisis.
In December 1997, South Korea accepted one of the largest aid packages arranged with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The conditions of the package required South Korea to work on its economic reform, including reforming the corporate and financial sectors. The South Korean economy showed strong signs of recovery and repaid all its IMF loans by 2001. 3% of the GDP comes from services, while 40.1% comes from the industries and 3.7% from the agriculture. 67.2% of the labor force work in services, 26.4% in the industry, and 6.4% in agriculture.
Its industries include electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, and steel. South Korea’s export commodities include semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, and petrochemicals. Its export partners are China, including Hong Kong, the United States, and Japan. South Korea’s import commodities include machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, and plastics. Its import partners are Japan, China, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. South Korea’s currency is the South Korean won also known as KRW. 1,024.1 won is one US dollar.
South Korea spends $16.18 billion on defense, only 2.8% of South Korea’s GDP and 16.2% of the South Korean government budget. The country’s military branches consist of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the National Maritime Police, which is the Coast Guard. The president is the commander in chief of the Army. The Army has 560,000 soldiers, the Navy consists of 63,000, and the air forces consist of 64,700. In total, the active military forces stand at 687,700. In addition, under the 1954 U.S.-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty, the United States agreed to help South Korea defend itself against external violence.
Since then, there has been U.S. Troops in South Korea. Currently, there are an estimated 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in the country. In 1978, to organize operations between the American troops and the Korean Armed Forces, a Combined Forced Command (CFC) was created. South Korea has an active ballistic missile program and admits to possessing chemical weapons. Moreover, South Korea has the technical capability to produce nuclear and biological weapons.
Views on World Problems:
Since the United States the US-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty was created, the United States has been one of South Korea’s allies. Therefore, South Korea fully supports the War against Terrorism. Along with the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Australia; South Korea joined the "Coalition of the Willing", completely supporting the United States on US Military led action against Iraq. About 3,300 South Korean troops are stationed in Iraq to help the United States War against Terrorism. South Korea has the third largest military in Iraq after the United States and Britain. There is also a multitude of South Korean mercenaries from a private South Korean security company, NKTS, working in Iraq.
South Korea is having occasional disputes with North Korea over the Northern Limit Line, which is a maritime demarcation line in the Yellow Sea between North Korea and South Korea. South Korea is a member of these following organizations: AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (South Korea is the dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (it’s the observer), OECD, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC.
During 1945 after World War II, Korea was liberated from Japan. The United States and the Soviet Union agreed to divide the Korean Peninsula at the 38Th. parallel. The part of the peninsula south of the 38Th. parallel was under the American military control. That part of the peninsula was under the US military control for three years. The Republic of Korea was established on August 1948 with Syngman Rhee, the first president.
On June 25th, 1950, the Korea War starts when North Korean forces invade South Korea. The United States instantly got support from the UN Security Council to help defend South Korea and had American troops on the South Korean land. The Korean War ended in July 1953 by a peace agreement signed by the United Nation, North Korea, and China; South Korea refused to sign. South Korea recovered very slowly from the war because Rhee was unable to create any important economic development even though it many help and support from the United States.
In 1960, President Syngman Rhee resigned after protests against electoral fraud. On June 29Th., 1960, a new parliamentary election was held and the Democratic Party easily won. A new constitution forms the Second Republic, however political freedom is still limited. The revised constitution stated that the Second Republic should take the form of a parliamentary cabinet system instead of a presidential system where the President took an insignificant role. On August 13Th., 1960, Yun Po Sun was elected President and Chang Myon becomes the Prime Minister and head of government. On May 16Th., 1961, a military overthrow led by Major General Park Chung Hee puts an end to the Second Republic. Hee ran for the presidential elections and won the election.
The Third Republic had a more defined role in international relations. Japanese relations with South Korea returned to normal in an agreement approved on August 14Th., 1965. South Korean relations with the United States was still strong and the country still received aid from the US. Afterwards, South Korea fought alongside the US in the Vietnamese War sending out a total of 300,000 soldiers.
The economy grew spectacularly during the 1960s. On November 21St., 1972, the Fourth Republic was adopted under the Yusin Constitution. This constitution gave Park control over the parliament. In 1979, Park is assassinated by his intelligence chief. General Chun Doo-hwan took over. In 1987, Roh Tae-woo was elected to the president by the popular vote. A year later, the Sixth Republic of Korea is established. In 1992, Kim Young-sam became the first civilian President in thirty years.
In 1997, an economic crisis occurs in South Korea but the country makes a full recovery by 2001. The same year, Kim Dae-jung was elected President and pursues the "Sunshine Policy" which is an offer to give unconditional humanitarian and economic aid to North Korea and an effort to resolve problems with North Korea. It ended in creating a summit talk between North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il and the South Korean President. Kim Dae-jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the "Sunshine Policy." Roh Moo-hyun was elected president.
(1) Question of: Detention without trial in the war on terrorism.
Since the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11Th., 2001, the United States established a detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba called ‘Camp Delta’. At Guantánamo Bay, prisoners are held without a trail, without charge, and without a charge because they are suspected of being terrorists or because they have a connection to Al-Qaeda. Instead of being called Prisoner of War, the detainees are recognized as ‘enemy combatants’. In July 23, 2003, the US Major General Geoffrey Miller said that about 660 detainees have confessed that they were somewhat involved in terrorism. About 750 detainees are held at Guantánamo Bay; only 250 were released or were transferred to their native country.
How detainees are treated at Guantánamo Bay has worried human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International that say that the detainees are being tortured or are treated poorly. Although, the United States has dismissed reports that the prisoners are tortured or are being treated poorly. In fact, the United States says that the prisoners at Camp Delta are probably receiving the best food and medical treatment they have ever received. Nevertheless, a lot of the released prisoners have complained that, during their time at Guantánamo Bay, they have suffered from beatings, sleep deprivation, and have been mistreated physically and psychologically. About 28 detainees are on a hunger strike and are refusing to eat until they get a proper trial or are released. Also, at least 29 prisoners attempted suicide in protest in August 2003.
Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called the situation at Guantánamo Bay a ‘human rights scandal’ and that the United States is violating human rights laws. The Human Rights Watch has also criticized the United States in its 2003 World Report stating, "Washington has ignored human rights standards in its own treatment of terrorism suspects. It has refused to apply the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war from Afghanistan, and has misused the designation of 'illegal combatant' to apply to criminal suspects on U.S. soil."
South Korea supports the United States 100% on the War against Terrorism. It also believes that the United States having been treating the detainees properly. However, it believes that before the United States detain a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, they should have a proper trial. South Korea thinks that if the detainees are given a proper trial, it will show that the prisoners that are detained are involved in terrorism. By doing this, the United States will have the right to detain the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. It will also lessen the anger of the human rights organization.
(2) Question of: Improving the living conditions of Africa.
Africa is a continent torn by poverty, war, and famine; therefore it has very poor living conditions. One of the main causes of Africa’s poor living conditions is poverty. Poverty is defined as "a condition of life so degraded by disease, illiteracy, malnutrition and squalor as to deny its victim basic human necessities." Every three seconds, a child dies due to poverty. Although Africa has received $500 billions of direct aid, poverty is still affecting the people of Africa. One of the causes of poverty is overpopulation. Lagos, Nigeria is an example of a town suffering from overpopulation. In the 1960s it had a population of 40,000, but now it has a population of over 13 million people. Another cause of poverty is misused money.
Africa has been given over $500 billion of direct aid, but a small amount has been spent on social services like education and medical care. Instead, a large amount of the money is spent on developing big project when the money could be spent on something else. Ghana is an example of country that misused its money. When Ghana got its independence in 1957, it was the richest country in Africa. But it spent the money on large projects like a two-lane paved highway that turned out to be a waste of money because Ghana has very few cars that needed such a highway. An additional cause of poverty is capital flight.
Africa has been suffering of capital flight since the start of European colonization. Instead of improving, it’s worsening because the majority of African nations are in debt. Therefore, most of the nations’ export income goes to pay interest. A further cause of poverty is education. Although a large number of Africans speak two or three languages, illiteracy rates are still high. Elementary education is lacking focus and higher education is almost unknown. For that reason, parts of Africa do not have lawyers, engineers, and doctors. If children are educated then there will be a less number of people affected by AIDS. That leads to another major cause of poverty in Africa, disease and sickness. In Africa, the infection rates of diseases reach 30%. Although the AIDS situation is improving in many African countries as infection rates are dropping, AIDS affects a large number of people. 3,000 people die every day because of AIDS. Common diseases in Africa like malaria, tapeworm, tuberculosis and many others infect more people, especially children.
Famine is another reason why living conditions in Africa are low. Famine occurs when "a large percentage of the population of a region or a nation that is so undernourished that death by starvation is common." Famine occurs in other continents, but Africa is suffering the most from it. Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe are labeled by The Famine Early Warning Systems as an emergency status. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that 11 million people were at risk of starvation in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia because of a harsh drought and military conflict.
The Republic of Korea is extremely alarmed of this issue as thousands of peoples are dying because of the causes of the low living conditions in Africa. It wishes to stop the poverty and famine that Africa is suffering from. It applauds the members of the G8 - the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia - for canceling debt for some of the poorest countries in Africa and for increasing aid for Africa. South Korea believes that the vital steps to improve the living conditions in Africa are by ending poverty and famine. In addition they provide a free education to African countries.
(3) Question of: The control and guidance on the media.
The media is composed of newspapers, magazines, billboards, radios, televisions, and the internet. Most people read, listen, and watch them and develop their opinions and judgments on what the newspaper or magazine is saying. Most of the newspapers and the media in countries, like the European nations, are given freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is having the right and liberty to say what you want and hear what you want. But sometimes these newspapers print stuff that is offending to others. For example, when Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed. One of the pictures showed the Prophet with a bomb in his head. Not only were these pictures insulting to Muslims, but to illustrate the image of the Prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemous in Islam. This caused riots that killed over 130 people.
The Republic of Korea is a country that fully believes in freedom of speech. Article 21a of South Korea’s constitution states, "all citizens enjoy the freedom of speech and the press, and of assembly and association." South Korea is a country that does not believe in censorship as Article 21b of its constitution states, "licensing or censorship of speech and the press, and licensing of assembly and association may not be recognized." South Korea believes that freedom of speech is important so those citizens can express their thoughts and opinions. However, it does not believe in censorship because people should see and hear what they want, without the interference of anybody.
Therefore, South Korea believes that countries should not control and guide the media so they can publish what the governments want to hear. South Korea thinks the those countries should accept this and come to terms with the fact that freedom of speech is vital to the people and if we take that away from them, we are taking away their right to speak.
(4) Question of: Towards eliminating arms proliferation.
Arms proliferation is defined as the increase and spread of weapons and armaments. The United Nations has taken many steps to stop the increase of weapons; unfortunately countries are still producing and spreading weapons. The UN created the NPT, which is an international treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The NPT’s purpose is to "prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, and to encourage cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the objective of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament." The UN has been trying to eliminate the spread of arms and weapons since these weapons are dangerous and can cause severe damage if used. Small arms and light weapons, such as handguns and pistols, are can be found easily and are cheap and reusable. About 639 million small arms and light weapons in exchange between citizens around the world. This is a major problem since small arms and light weapons are responsible of about half a million deaths a year.
The Republic of Korea believes that the producing weapons and arms and spreading them for terrorism should be condemned; however producing weapons is okay as long as the country is not sharing it with other countries and not planning to use it against another country. But the major problem is that weapons can be easily found among citizens. South Korea believes that in order to solve this issue, ALL countries should meet and discuss what is the most useful way to END arms proliferation. The Republic of Korea will be the first to follow these rules, as it wants to eliminate arms proliferation.
(5) Question of: Integration of women in development.
Women have been discriminated and singled out for many years in the past, however now they play a vital role in society. Women can now be leaders of a country, doctors, and engineers. However, some countries still don’t give women the rights they deserve. Although, most nations give women the right to vote, there are still countries that don’t. The Republic of Korea believes that women play a significant role in society, as they are half of the population. The United Nations has done many things to help with the integration of women in development. The UN has done several resolutions concerning this issue, including resolution no. 60/210 on Women in Development was recently discussed in the 60Th. General Assembly session. This shows how important the issue on integration of women in development is.
The Republic of Korea believes that ALL women and ALL men should be equal, no matter what color, race, or religion. In 1983, the South Korea established the Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI) to support and upgrade women's social contribution and welfare by implementing research and studies on women, by offering education and training for women, and by helping and supporting women’s activities. In 1982, a law passed by the South Korean National Assembly authorizes the KWDI to help the government in popularizing gender awareness and endorsing gender equality in the policy implementation. To solve this important issue, South Korea believes that a law should be made regarding women in development. The law should give women the equal rights as men in ALL countries.
Defining poverty as " the state of being deprived of the essentials of well-being such as adequate housing, food, sufficient income, employment, access to required social services and social status,
Noting With Deep Concern that an estimated 315 million people, one in two people in Africa, live on less than one dollar a day according to africa2015.org,
Defining malnutrition, according to CNN.com as "poor nourishment of the body often due to not eating healthy foods, improper digestion, poor absorption of nutrients or a combination of these factors,
Fully Alarmed that 184 million people in Africa, 33% of the African population, suffer from malnutrition according to africa2015.org
Expressing Its Satisfaction to the members of the G8 – The USA, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, and Canada - for canceling debt for some of the poorest countries in Africa and for increasing aid for Africa.
Deeply Concerned that ONLY 57% of African children are enrolled in primary school and one of three children don’t finish school according to africa2015.org,
Noting With Regret that 300 million African people do not have access to safe water according to africa2015.org,
Fully Alarmed that Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe are labeled by The Famine Early Warning Systems as an emergency status,
Keeping In Mind that famine is defined, according to wikipedia.org as, "a large percentage of the population of a region or country are undernourished and death by starvation becomes increasingly common,
Noting With Regret that one in six children die before they are five years old according to africa2015.org,
1) Declares the establishment of the United Nations Committee on Improving Living Conditions in Africa (UNCILCA);
2) Resolves that the UNCILCA will: A. Be composed of: i) A representative from all African countries, ii) A representative from all other countries wishing to join, B. Have its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, C. Have branches in: i) Cape Town, South Africa, ii) Cairo, Egypt, iii) Nairobi, Kenya, D. Have branches in other African countries, if thought to be needed, E. Have a president who will be African and will be chosen by the UN, F. Hill has a vice-president, who will be chosen by the president, G. Have a head in each branch and have as much stuff members as needed, H. Will meet: i) Every year with all nations in the UN to discuss the improvement of living conditions in Africa until the issue is completely solved, ii) Meet every six months with all UNCILCA nations, iii) Meet every three months will all African nations, iv) Whenever there is an emergency;
3) Further Resolves that the UNCILCA will provide incentives, such as: A. Money (from the World Bank and amount will be decided by the World Bank) B. Medical aid for children and adults, C. Food aid, D. Education, E. Building houses for people, who are homeless or live in an unsafe environment, F. Building hospitals in places that are in need for them, G. Building schools (primary school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and universities) in countries that don’t have enough schools for the population;
4) Have Resolved that the nations who join the UNCILCA will have to oblige to these following rules: A. Once the join the UNCILCA, the countries cannot withdraw from the UNCILCA, B. Will send UN investigators, with the consent of the country, to the investigate how the country is improving its living conditions, C. The investigators will write a report and say what else should be done, D. Each country will have to make a law that each child has to go to school at least until 8Th. grade, so they can get an education and this will be mandatory, E. Food will be sold for free for the poor population so they can get their nutrition back, F. All hospitals and schools will be free for the citizens of all African countries;
5) Further Resolves that after the report, the following should be done: A. Write a plan for what will be done, B. Send the plan to the UN to approve, C. Hire as much people if the plan is to build something, like a house or hospital, D. Get more doctors and build more hospitals if medical attention is what is needed in that country, E. Build more schools if there are more people to educate in that country, F. Get whatever is needed if the plan is not one of the above;
6) Declares that a benefit concert, like 2005’s live 8, will be held to raise awareness of living conditions in Africa, and the concert will: A. Take place in September 2006, and will be located: i) New York City, New York, ii) London, UK, iii) Paris, France, iv) Cape town, South Africa, v) Seoul, South Africa, vi) Dubai, UAE B. Accept any musicians and bands that want to perform,
7) Expresses Its Hope that all nations join the UNCILCA in order to solve this issue.
Honorable chair, most distinguished delegates,
Annyong ha shimnikka!
Welcome from the Republic of Korea. Our world suffers from many problems; one of the most important is improving living conditions in Africa. Africa, a continent torn by poverty, war, and famine. About 315 million people in Africa, one in two people, die because of poverty. And one in six children under five years old die every day. Why? This should be stopped! These are people, human beings. Children can no longer enjoy their childhood. They have no food and no water as 300 million African citizens do not have access to clean water. How can we, the world, let this happen? Delegates, together we must join hands in order to find a solution to this problem. Together, we should end poverty. Together, we will improve living conditions in Africa. Together, we will have a solution. Together, we will make peace.