ABSTRACT

One of Park’s pledges in the Special Martial Law Declaration of 17 October 1972 was to give priority to Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) in anticipation of the imminent Yusin (Restoration) reform (PPCHS vol. 9 1972: 326). The pledge affirmed Park’s ongoing reform program of mass training, especially as a tool for boosting the rural economy and inculcating a new set of national values and mental discipline as a prerequisite for state-led rapid development and modernization. This chapter describes and analyzes the Saemaul Movement, which Park initially launched in April 1970 as a top-down rural development campaign and then, after 1973, broadened into a community mobilization campaign to consolidate the “Yusin system” (yusin ch’eje). By promoting the renewal of the Korean people’s spirit of self-reliance and independence (chaju) and their determination to strive for their own betterment through national development, Park sought to build a new antiCommunist industrialized modern state as the means to solving the “Korean problem,” namely the Communist threats from North Korea, in a

rapidly changing international environment, particularly vis-à-vis American policy in North-East Asia.