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Bribery is important for the Korean economy
Konstantin AsmolovLeading Researcher, Center for Korean Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
The level of corruption in feudal Korea was quite high, and I have to admit that this was one of the reasons for the failure of Korean modernization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially after the yard actually dispersed all the "progressists". An unpleasant element of Japanese enslavement of Korea was that the Japanese successfully loaned Korea loans on extremely unfavorable conditions for the country, while 80% of this money was plundered by court cliques. After that, the Japanese declared that the Korean ruling regime was incapacitated and insolvent. Despite the active mass movements, including the movement to pay Japan's Korean foreign debt (Koreans gave their money and jewelry), in 1905 Korea was imposed a protectorate.
Then came Pak Jung He who became the author of the "Korean economic miracle" and led a rather tough fight against organized crime and corruption. Although Pak himself was a fairly modest man, many of his associates periodically came across serious corruption scandals. Later, approximately since the moment when the power was handed over from the hands of the military to civilians (1986-86 - EastRussia.ru) And at the helm was a democratic government, the fight against corruption became an integral part of the Korean political landscape.
South Korea - Confucian Society. At the same time, informal connections play a big role here. A significant number of South Korean corruption schemes are not bribes in monetary terms, but the constant payment of bills of a certain official and gifts to him from, say, a businessman. Thus, he binds an official with peculiar moral obligations, and when he comes to him with a request, he does not have the moral right to refuse. One of the corruption scandals was connected with the fact that the president’s son traveled with a group of businessmen who paid all his bills.
It was in the order of things that the press presented the people accused of corruption as criminals, and when the suspects were called by the investigators, the case was presented as if they were guilty and looking for evidence was only a matter of time. This is due to developed regionalism and the existence of a “recruitment of officials”. The new president or the head of the structure of lower rank, who comes to a new place, brings with them new people - largely due to loyalty considerations. Since jobs need to be vacated, it is not difficult to find what can be considered a crime of corruption using a personal communication system.
They tried to fight against such corruption in different ways, including focusing on moral motivation, namely the introduction of codes of ethics for officials - to report on gifts or limit their size. However, it cannot be said that this method is effective: a system in which “they are judged not for being stolen, but for being caught” actually operates to this day.
The material was prepared on the basis of a report from the round table of the Higher School of Economics "The cultural perception of corruption in North and South Korea».