2007: Democracy and Peace in Korea

The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 5 | Issue 6 | Jun 04, 2007
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus


Democracy and Peace in Korea Twenty Years After June 1987:
Where Are We Now, and Where Do We Go from Here?

Nak-chung Paik


The June Struggle for Democracy and the Regime of 1987

The nationwide uprising of June 1987 put an end to the tyrannical rule of Chun Du-hwan’s regime and opened a new chapter in South Korea’s contemporary history. True, it has had its background in the April 19th Student Revolution of 1960, the Pusan-Masan Uprising of 1979 and the May Democratic Struggle of Kwangju 1980.

But it represents a categorically new achievement in having initiated a democratization process that has continued for the past twenty years without experiencing reversals such as the military takeovers of May 16, 1961 and May 17, 1980. At the same time, there is a prevalent sense of crisis in Korea today that the so-called ’87 regime that was formed after June 1987 has now reached its limit and is in need of a new breakthrough. 

While searching for an answer, some analysts offer a diagnosis that although formal and procedural democracy was achieved through the June Struggle, substantive democracy in the economic and social fields has remained inadequate or has even suffered a retreat. ,,,,

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