chapter  5
22 Pages

The road to economic revival

When Kim Dae-jung’s new NCNP-ULD coalition administration took office in 1998, clearly the major task facing it was to bring the economy back into shape. For many Koreans, that was the only priority, and the squabbling within the ruling coalition and between it and the opposition described in the previous chapter only served as an unwelcome distraction from what they considered to be the most urgent business at hand. President Kim faced three interrelated problems in the economic area. The first was to restore normal growth and financial stability in accordance with the dictates of the IMF-imposed programme. The second was to address some of the underlying problems of the economic structure, particularly through corporate restructuring. The third was to enable the workers and unions, who would be severely affected both by the economic downturn and by the subsequent corporate restructuring, to survive.