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A developing country is defined as a country whose average per capita GNP is a fraction of that in more industrialized countries 8 With an average per capita of 16000 US dollars South Korea fits into this category but is very close to achieving the title of a developed country 6 Korea won independence from Japan on August 15 1945 after the end of World War II 4 The United States encouraged the south to start its own independent government and the Soviet Union encouraged the north to do the same 1 In 1950 the south declared its independence 2 Soon after the north attacked starting a war that lasted for three years ending with a cease-fire agreement and two independent countries 2 After many years of semi democracy martial law was declared in 1972 1 Later in the decade citizens started protesting for more rights like freedom of the press democratic elections and the release of political prisoners 3 The protests reached a peak in 1980 when 200 student protestors were killed in a riot later named the Gwangju massacre 7 Protests continued to increase and a civil war was seen in the future when the current president suddenly decided that he would grant everything the protesters asked for 1 In 1988 the protestors got one thing they asked for democratic elections 3 Many years later the current president of South Korea Kim Dae-jung was elected to office in 1998 1 During the election South Koreas economy had started to fail 3 The won South Koreas currency dropped in value and tourism was decreasing 3 Slowly the economy started to improve and is still improving to this day 3 In 2000 Dae-jung visited with North Korea to try and improve relations and as a sign of good terms he allowed the country to arrange for his own security 2 Currently the country is trying to improve relations with Europe 1 Population health and
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