Politics of North and South Korea

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Research Essay: North Korea and South Korea
Throughout the history of politics, our societies have encountered a large variety of different political and governing systems. From systems in which idealists introduced to our world, believing that they are capable of letting the world function and operate in a more efficient manner came two of the most popular political ideologies that most would recognize. They are known as democracy and communism. Even now during the twenty-first century, issues relating to the struggle between these two beliefs are still rising in different regions of the world where people are demanding more freedom. Knowing that both democracy and communism are pretty much the total opposite extremes of the other, often we hear events in which democratic countries such as the United States attempting to spread their political principles into other non-democratic areas. An interesting place to look at would be North Korea and South Korea, a place under the same name but ruled in totally opposite fashion as the North seems to valued control, while the South seems to valued freedom. Although people nowadays always encourage and promote individual rights and freedom, does democracy really allow a more efficient governing process? Or are the ways of communist still holding certain advantages over the idea of individualism? Perhaps a more in-depth look into the difference in North and South Korea¡¦s political system would bring answers to this question.

In a certain Point of view, Korea has 2 distinctive Political cultures and values. Starting off with South Korea, or the ¡§Republic of Korea¡¨, the political culture of South Korea is a mix of native, Chinese and Western elements. These elements includes things such as the ¡§belief that human society was an integral part of the whole universe interrelated with it in maintaining order and harmony¡¨, ¡§acceptance of harmony, order, and consensus as major political values and purposes.¡¨, ¡§preference for decision-making by consensus, rather than by majority vote or force of arms; yet at the same time, unwillingness to compromise on matters perceived to involve principle¡¨, ¡§emphasis on form and procedure, as well as substantive performance, as key elements in maintaining order¡¨, and a lot more1. In a certain points of view, South Korea¡¦s values are opposite to many of those of the West, as the West often value progress, individual freedom, change, adversary relations, equality of all persons, government by consent of the people, the importance of civic duty, and separation of political from economic and social affairs2. Due to the fact that it is similar to the ways of China and Japan, South Korea wants to modernize itself in order to meet the increasing expectations of its people, and for self-protection as a country. During this process, a mixed political culture is still developing from a freer course of action3. Although the country itself is significantly freer than those with an authoritarian system, South Korea¡¦s voting and citizen participation in other political events are still vaguely understood by the general public back in the late 1950s, as their political parties are often not clearly established, since the parties are still carrying much of the old fashion behavior in which the leader is leading for personal ambition and dictatorial tradition. It was not until February 26th of 1998 that South Korea¡¦s President Chun, peacefully retired and handed his power to the next successor after an 8 year president term, an act that created history for South Korea, the first event that represented a new way of government for law and public opinion4. During the mid 1980s, there was a debate between 2 major issues. The first one is regarding should the president be elected by the public citizens, or indirectly by voted by within the government as the way the government wants. The second issue is to pick between presidential system, the...
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