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Conclusion

The slogan, ‘Physical Fitness is the National Power’ was based on the ideology that physical strength is national power, and the National Sports Promotion Acts promulgated in 1962 show that the government had great interest in the physical strength of its people and the importance of sport in achieving this. The Park Chung-hee regime, which had considerable awareness of the external ripple effect of sport, strengthened its sports policies, including that for soccer, in an attempt to hold an ideologically dominant position in relation to North Korea. Accordingly, during the 1960s-1970s, South Korean soccer accomplished remarkable development based on the strong support of the military government, which took the form of typical government-led sport. Thus, the so-called sports nationalism was born. The combination of statism,25 a principle that considers a state as the highest organisation and recognises national power as the centre of society as a whole, nationalism,26 a principle which differentiates one’s people from other nations or countries and is oriented toward unification and independence, and Park Chung-hee regime’s elitism resulted in the so-called sports nationalism. The Park regime’s sports policies largely had two characteristics: exalting national prestige and developing ideological dominance by nurturing elite players, and developing physically fit people who could contribute to the development of the country through the popularisation of sport.27 However, in the end, the two goals culminated in sports nationalism in an attempt to show dominance in relation to North Korea amid the ideology of the Cold War.