Yeon Young Kim
Why did Saemaul movement occur in Korea in 1970? And what was it about? After Korean war ended in 1953, people in Korea lost many things; for example, houses were destroyed, properties such as livestock were lost, and families were scattered. The outbreaks of the Korean War led to chilling effect on people. In April 22, 1970, President Park Jung Hee had a conference with the government leaders in Korea and they laid out a plan called Saemaul movement. The movement resulted in three ways: all the villages recovered quickly, citizen consciousness changed, but the compulsion of modernization by government brought side effects. First, the government in Korea helped people to repair environments. At first, the government helped rural areas by giving 335-500 free bags of cement and rebar regularly in 1971 in order to fix thatched root to slate root. At that time, most of the houses in country sides were made of mud, and some people built houses from cement that were donated by the government. Moreover, people supplemented their own money to extend roads, to repair electricity, and to purify rivers and streams. From 1972, the government expanded their efforts to find leaders of each village and train them to continually develop their regions. In 1971 to 1973, the formed base of the spirit of the movement started the ignition and was spread all over Korea. Because the project was successfully done in country sides, it expanded to the cities. People who lived in cities, tried to make better environment; for example, by planting more trees, starting to recycle garbage, and developing undeveloped area. Second, the government conducted a movement for reforming people’s consciousness. At the time, the biggest problem in Korea after the war was people’s lack of motivation. Saemaul movement was based on three spirits: diligence, self-help, and cooperation, which led to achieving good result...
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