Netizens Discuss Korea’s Strength in the World

From Ilbe:

26 reasons why Korea is objectively a great power

Before judging whether Korea is a great power, let’s make sure we know Korea’s development status. Being a developed country is clearly a different notion than being a great power. People are well-off in developed countries and great powers exert significant influence on the international stage. For example, China is not a developed country but it is a great power. To give you an answer first, Korea is undeniably a ‘developed’ country. Korea is classified as a developed country by all common criteria.

List of developed countries

Lefty zombies may say, “Why is life so tough if Korea is a developed country? Korea is still a developing country if you consider public awareness, ke ke ke” but Korea is internationally recognized as a developed country. It’s not self-proclaimed. Most Koreans tend not to think Korea is a developed country, but foreign institutes already classify Korea as such.

It is certain that Korea is a developed, well-off country. Then let’s see whether Korea is average or above average, weak or strong through a 26 item checklist. First of all, let’s take a look at public security and democracy that those whiners always complain about, and then, economy and military.

You should keep in mind that there are more than 200 countries in the world. Top 5 means fucking superb, top 15 means superb and top 30 means good. Sometimes, you see retards who are like “Only 20th? 30th?”, but there are over 200 countries in the world. Top 20 means like top 10%.

1. Fragile States Index (2014)



2. Quality of Democracy (2013)



3. Democracy Index (2012)



4. World Competitiveness (2014)



5. World Competitiveness Within G20 (2009)


6. National Brands (2013)



7. GDP






8. 10 Biggest Trading Countries



9. The countries China imports the most from:



10. Motor Vehicle Production



11. Construction Industry’s Competitiveness



12. Most Innovative Countries (2014)



13. Steel Production



14. Semiconductor Sales



15. Military Expenditure (2012)



16. Firepower Index (2014)



17. Education System



18. Human Development Index (2013)



19. OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (2012)



20. International Tourist Arrivals (2011)



21. OECD Income Inequality (2010)



22. […]

23. Life Expectancy



24. Diplomacy Index (2011)



25. National Power Index (2011)





26. G20


So is Korea a great power? It is if you think India, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands are great powers.

Comments from Ilbe:

What a load of bollocks. A great power is supposed to have strong diplomatic power, but whenever you watch news, Korea gets owned by neighboring countries due to shitty diplomacy. ^오^

더글라스맥아써: [Responding to above]

Just because Korea gets diplomatically owned by China, which is like number 2 in the world, and Japan? Duh;;

린샹: [Responding to above]

Conclusion: National power is relative. In a place with no tiger, a rabbit can be the king, but in a tiger den, weaker tigers are treated like house cats.


Does it have any meaning if our country belongs to the top 10% of the world when you include Africa and all kinds of countries in Oceania? Ke ke.


Korea may look like a great power if you only look at good things. Why not comprehensively consider things like suicide, unemployment and birthrates?

Dashoubi: [Responding to above]

Those contribute to whether the country is developed, not whether the country is a great power. Make the distinction.


Ah…people are like this…because this is a developed country… [Sarcasm]

섹스박스360: [Responding to above]

Hey, think about it… Because this is a developed country, we can be as we are now. Even at this very moment, 2 billion people have trouble getting food. Somewhere in the world, a whole village is being massacred because they believe in the wrong religion. Take it easy…


Because you guys always look at countries like the US and Japan, you tend to underestimate your own country. If you travel Southeast Asia, you will realize that Korea is indeed a developed country, ke ke.


That doesn’t make sense at all. The OP himself said a developed country is different from a great power. But he included indices for judging whether the country is developed, and then he claims Korea is a great power. So what is this about?


What kind of developed country exports prostitutes and orphans?


Compared to the size of the country, Korea is a great power, but they pick population, territory and natural resources as three essentials for a great power… Two of those are severely lacking in Korea, so there are obvious limitations.


Developed country? Complete horse shit. If you want to see whether a country is developed, you have to look at working conditions, and things besides those things in the post. The minimum wage is only 5 dollars and the economic structure depends on the conglomerate Samsung. Companies like Samsung, Hyundai and LG have become international, but their employees are world-renowned “hard workers”. This is not something to appreciate if you know how employees work at Google or Apple. Because of the hierarchy between big companies and their subcontractors, employees at big companies act like nobles and look down on employees at small companies. Moreover, small companies offer their employees no benefits besides bonuses and the employees often have to do someone else’s work. In developed countries such as the US and Japan that rose to power with manufacturing industries, small and mid-sized companies support big companies within a solid structure. In Korea, if a big company goes under, smaller companies go bankrupt in a chain reaction and the government does nothing about it. The government is encouraging young people to start their own businesses due to the youth unemployment problems, but that would only turn them into fish feed in the Han River. Due to low birthrates, an aging population, and free welfare, Korea will only flop in the future.

Dashoubi: [Responding to above]

If you think that way, there may be less than 10 countries that can be considered developed. Japan has big income inequality and the UK will be shaken if their financial industry flops. The Netherlands’ economy will flop if Shell flops. Are they not developed?


That is a really retarded collection of tables;; Did you analyze any of those indices in depth? Did you seriously look at how those were measured and what they could mean on the flip side? Why did you even put as many as 26 items?


But you shouldn’t regard Korea as a developed country or a great power. A great power should have significant international presence which comes from economy and military strength. But our country depends too much on trade. If two regional great powers impose economic sanctions on Korea, Korea will be done. Korean economy is a heavily trade-dependent house of cards. Also, most of the main Korean export products can be immediately replaced by products from Japan, the US and Germany. You shouldn’t also think Korea is developed. There are too many small and big conflicts. The economic culture exploits and manipulates wages and there is boundless competition. Korea is physically affluent but mentally, it is not there at all.


There are too many Korea bashers and weeaboos on this site who try to make Korea look like some retarded shit hole, but Korea is decent. But you shouldn’t relax and masturbate. Our goal is to catch up with better-off countries and compete with them. We should never be satisfied with the current state. That would be the most dangerous thing. I hope Korea does better.


Korea may be a developed country if you look at statistics, but there is a pile of social problems caused by rapid development. Who’s going to resolve them? Politicians? The establishment? Corporations? The public?


It is true that Korea is a developed country. Shit, all reputable international institutes say so but its citizens deny it, ke ke ke ke ke. It is a bit ambiguous whether Korea is a great power, but if your criteria are a little broad, you can consider Korea a great power. The OP put many irrelevant indices, which rather undermined the post’s credibility.

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  • Mac and Kimchi

    ILBE ? Seriously ???? That insane scum gathering , vile rumor mill site ??? What’s wrong with Korea Bang writers ?

    • I see nothing wrong with this article or any of the comments featured in it.

      • Walking man A

        I was writing reply then ..some idea hits me. Are you by any chance guy who is running “occcid*******” ? You have same name and I cann’t help feeling there are similarity between your writing style and that guy’s.

        • Occientalism? Nope. I think someone asked me the same question a few years ago.

          I see he started blogging in 2005. In 2005, I was but a wee high school student.

          • Walking man A

            Humm… You are right and slimy creature like that guy wouldn’t show his face in the day light . I am sorry I offended you. No one should accuse like that just because they share same name..

    • Hwang Dongseong

      If daily humor has more quality article, why writer translates ilbe’s? This contents is really good.

  • Boris

    Korea is physically affluent but mentally, it is not there at all.

    • Doge Wallace

      Physically affluent means what?

      • Boris

        I’m guessing the original person who wrote it meant that they have all the trappings of a developed nation but mentally they are not there (or in original commenters case, not there at all).

        • Doge Wallace

          Oh, I didn’t realize you were quoting a Korean netizen, because the quotation marks were missing. Now that I read the whole original comment from the Korean netizen, it makes more sense.

          • Boris

            Adding the marks so hopefuly it doesn’t happen again. Sorry, I was lazy.

  • linette lee

    So basically is always those 5 countries. USA, China, Canada, Japan, Uk, also Germany and South Korea. When it comes to education is always the East Asian countries. I wonder if it’s really true how they compare.

    • Magness

      That surprises you? Those countries all have large developed economies.
      Why wouldn’t it be true? These catagories are pretty easy to quantify.
      GDP. Industiral production etc.

      You see with things like life expectancy and human development that other countries feature a bit more

  • commander

    The big differences in viewpoint on South Korea’s status in the world is attributable to the fact of the nation’s awe-inspiring development in a short period of time.

    Foreigners are surprised that South Korea have achieved modernization at a breakneck speed, joining the ranks of advanced nation and now hosting high-profile international conferences, sporting events and international organizations.

    For other nationals, South Korea appears an extraordinary exception to ordinary development course in history.

    But locals remain cynic about the outside observation primarily focusing on adverse effects the rapid modernization brought to the nation, including high youth unemployment, high suicide rate, widening wealth disparity, and fragile safety nets.

    Skeptical locals tend to dismiss statistics released by institutions overseas that substantiate Seoul’s growing international stature, as superficial reading of the nation and oblivious to grim reality in South Korea.

    The compromise in conflicting views should be made while understanding merits and demerits of the swift development that the nation has accomplished.

    Seizing the middle ground means we need to be encouraged by statistics praising the nation’s performance in development while keeping cautious about falling into pessimism about the dark side of Korean society.

    Neither being blissfully ignorant about gloomy aspects in the nation is helpful for future development of this nation, nor is blindly upbeat about its heretofore success.

    Rigorous assessment of the past success and failures is the key to designing a prospering South Korea.

    • Magness

      I don’t think foreigners are suprised by Korea’s speed of development.
      The “miracle on the han” is something that is mostly known by those who have more than a passing familiarity with world economics. It’s mostly spouted by Koreans themselves.
      Most “foreigners” see Japan, Korea, China and to a lesser extent Taiwan as very similar in there economic development. Of course they aren’t, but that is how they are viewed. Rose from the ashes/poverty. Used large labor pools/cheap labor cost. Produced low cost products…..profit!

    • What?!!!

      Foreigners aren’t surprised when they learn about Korea’s rapid developement. It’s not like Korea had to slowly forge its way into the future with miraculous advances in science and technology. Europe and America did all that. All it took for Korea was massive international funding, lots of guidance and a military dictatorship to crack the whip.

      • Guest

        I think Korea is not only country that got a lot of international funding and Park Chung Hee mostly ignored guidance from foreign countries. Let’s give credits is due. Miracle of Han was a great achievement and was not something that was inevitable.

        • Rutim

          > Miracle of Han was a great achievement and was not something that was inevitable.

          And surely it won’t happen anymore as there aren’t any other countries in the world which would pour their money in such an amount in one country.

          • Chucky

            The United States “poured” far more money on Japan, than anybody ever did for South Korea. The US even was behind forming Japan’s political system, and designed Japan’s national constitution. Japan has a democracy today, not because they fought for it, but because it was hoisted upon Japan, by the Americans. After WWII, Gen McArthur restored order in Japan, and the US was behind Japan’s war recovery and repairs. But the biggest money of aid and investment poured into Japan during the Korean War (1950-1953), when the US needed Japan as their main base in Asia to fight the North Korean, Chinese, and Russians. It is funny that no Japanese today say the Americans were entirely responsible for the Japanese economic miracle. Of course not. Right Rutim?

          • Rutim

            > Japan has a democracy today, not because they fought for it, but because it was hoisted upon Japan, by the Americans.

            Japanese democracy had been in very good shape even throught the WWII when even opposition made their way to the Diet and later on became the Japanese government after the war (Abe’s grandfather was on of the opposition leaders who opposed the Tojo’s government and got elect during the war even though the government made it’s best to keep people like him quiet).

            > Gen McArthur restored order in Japan

            Order vanished after the end of the world and Japan entered the darkest 5 years in it’s history.

            > funny that no Japanese today say the Americans were entirely responsible for the Japanese economic miracle

            Well, mainly because it was more like making up for stupid decissions which US made after the war (destroying machines etc). US wasn’t perfect in that aspect but later on helped giving the food to the starving Japan which was more than a half of US help (overall around 2 billion $, that’s between the sums the France and Western Germany received in 4 years thanks to Marhall Plan). If it comes to Japan benefited most from US idea of agrarian reform and they were again able to feed Japan from Japanese products. They aimed to get Japan on the level from before the war (which wasn’t small by any means!) I assume and after they made it the rest has been done by Japanese. Without 10 year of US help it would take more time and maybe the peak Japan made would be smaller or way to it longer.

          • nip

            yes, democracy is certainly fantastic when one party ruled the country for over half a century and laws simply get ‘reinterpreted’ when people don’t want it changed. BANZAI!!!

          • Vasilios81

            Democracy was hoisted on you as well. The majority of Koreans would probably have chosen “People’s Democracy” given the choice. The events of 47-50 pretty much prove that.

          • Rutim

            > The United States “poured” far more money on Japan, than anybody ever did for South Korea.

            Oh, chucky you should read something about 1965 treaty before writing such stupidity. If you want to write that Japan rise was due to US support you should also write that South Korean was the work of Japan on much bigger scale…

      • Sillian

        I’m certain that Korea wasn’t the only nation that received post-war international aid for development. The leadership at the right moment played a crucial role.

      • bobsaget8492

        mor dureros

      • johnroberts2383

        go off yourself dude…

  • takasar1

    developed country by international standards but with regards to national power, it doesn’t have the size, population or resources to be classed as ananything more than a middle power. doesn’t help that it is stuck between 2 giants. all in all, not surprising to see koreans slag of their own country using invalid arguments.

  • Insomnicide

    Korea is not a great power. They have very little resource based industries and most of their economy is based on tertiary sectors. Their entire military and government is dedicated to preserving the status quo, leaving not much room for innovation and reform.

    The reason why South Korea is getting mentioned in the news all the time, and Korea is becoming more socially popular as a nation is because of their cultural impact on the world. Korean dramas and music are becoming increasingly popular, overtaking it’s former Asian predecessor in cultural powerhouse, Japan. So Korean brands, Korean media and Korean corporations are becoming popular which leads to investments in the economy. Which explains South Korea’s increasing presence in the world. I would say South Korea is definitely becoming a cultural power, almost tied with Japan and second to the US.

    All of the comments are on the right point, but pointing at the wrong flaws.

    • PanConCafe

      Korea a cultural power??
      No way…at least yet,
      Korea still so far of being tied with Japan and USA!
      In all the fields, entertainment industry, gastronomy, etc.
      USA and Japan when comes to culture defenitely is superior you see japan, American culture almost everywhere people barely will know where in the map is Korea situated!
      You are being too delusional!

      • rogersi489

        die painfully waste of oxygen.

      • faweawr2fawefaew

        die painfully mate.

  • Chucky3176


    “There are too many Korea bashers and weeaboos on this site who try to make Korea look like some retarded shit hole, but Korea is decent. But you shouldn’t relax and masturbate. Our goal is to catch up with better-off countries and compete with them. We should never be satisfied with the current state. That would be the most dangerous thing. I hope Korea does better.”

    The goal of Korea is not being a “great power” whatever that means. The goal should be to make Korea better than it is now.

    I’m tired of arguing with other Koreans on Korean sites that Korea is not “developed”, that it’s such a shit hole, and that such problems don’t happen in other “developed” countries. These people probably have never traveled outside of Korea. Only in Korea, such a large debate exists if Korea is developed or not. The excessive bagging on their own country, sometimes expecting impossible standards when talking amongst other Koreans, yet displaying at times, over sensitivity toward criticisms from global medias from outside of Korea is another interesting trait of Koreans. The nation needs to be a bit more confident and find a balance between excessive pessimism and excessive optimism.

    • Vasilios81

      How many hookers does Korea send abroad compared to other “developed” nations?

      • mark roberts

        off yourself mate.

        • Vasilios81

          But seriously ” mate”, any other developed nations send hundreds of thousands of women to sell their bodies abroad every year ? So many in fact that Japan recently cut off work visas for Korean women only in order to clean up Tokyo before the Olympics.

          • Chucky3176

            Exaggeration of numbers by Korean media hype which in turn get reported in Korean expat sites, because those numbers are not supported by any credible sources, including the US State Department, which rates South Korea’s fighting of human trafficking highly, giving it the tier one level reserved mostly for highly developed countries. Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality office (Women’s Rights) who stated in 2009 that over hundred thousand Korean women are abroad, including 50,000 South Korean women in Japan issued an apology and retraction after they were pressed and could not come up with a source of their numbers. And Japan didn’t “cut off work visas for Korean women’. Japan simply does not issue working holiday visas to Korean women who are over the certain age. Japan does not state the reason why. But then again, South Korea also does not issue working holiday visas for Japanese women who are over the certain age.

            “So many in fact that Japan recently cut off work visas for Korean women only in order to clean up Tokyo before the Olympics”

            Source? Japan is rated poorly and rapped for its poor record of human trafficking both as a source and destination point for traffickers by the US State Department. Are they finally trying to do something to clean up their sorry record before their Olympics? I doubt it.

          • Chucky3176

            Oops sorry, I meant to say the Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality denied the Korean news media reports that this Ministry is claiming there are 50,000 Korean prostitutes in Japan, and 30,000 in the US. You will need to open the Korean word processing program HWP to open their explanation report as to why there was a misunderstanding, but I’m going to post it anyway, just to prove that I am quoting a source, not making up something.


          • Chucky3176
          • Chucky3176

            For some reason I can’t post the link without the link getting broken. Please go here, and click on the “” link in the article.


          • wrle

            is it a coincidence the only people who claim korea sends so many women overseas are japanese netizens? Do they think this makes japanese women look less promiscuous?

          • wwww

            As a person who used to live in Japan for two years, here’s my take on this: YES AND NO. Japanese women are having less sex, but Japanese men need to vent out their sexual frustration. You don’t vent out any frustration towards Japanese people or Japanese things. This would disrupt their social harmony (‘wa’ in Japanese). So Japanese men would vent out their concerns to someone Korean. Obviously, Korean women.

  • Science Patrol

    It ain’t easy being a superpower.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    There is a serious case of insecurity here. No amount of progress is enough. Real sad.

    • Chucky3176

      There’s a good explanation for that. Considering that the country’s wealth and status is a fairly recent phenomenon, there are many people (of yesteryears who still remembers foraging the garbage for food) who are worried that all this development will quickly vanish if something major happens. Koreans are constantly on the edge of worry and in crisis. I read that everyday in country’s major newspapers, with screaming eye catching emotional over the top headlines of major calamities that are on the horizon for South Korea. Fear that any moment that all the wealth built up over the years will evaporate overnight.

      • vincent_t

        When you have so many tanks, missile, artillery aiming at you country and the 1 who have the launch button is a illogical lunatic, the sense of insecurity makes perfect sense.

      • Uolla

        How much of that is real and how much of it is just the media trying to sell papers. Also, fear is a great motivator for buying.

  • nita

    “In developed countries such as the US and Japan that rose to power with manufacturing industries, small and mid-sized companies support big companies within a solid structure. In Korea, if a big company goes under, smaller companies go bankrupt in a chain reaction and the government does nothing about it.”

    I have no idea what this means. In the US, a big company going under will cause small businesses to go bankrupt too. That’s part of the reason the govt bailed out GM in 2009, because GM going under would have bankrupted small businesses.

    • Chucky3176

      The grass always looks greener on the other side.

      • Blue

        But sometimes it really is greener.

        • Green

          After coming back and living in the US for 4 years and racking up $55,000 in medical bills, suffering one theft, one mugging, living barely hand to mouth in an overpriced expensive old apartment, I’m ready to go back to Korea. Yes, you are right, Korea’s grass is better.

    • Rutim

      I think he wanted to write that US or Japanese (or German) economy isn’t so dependent on big companies and more on a small and medium businesses which contribute greatly to the economy and people’s wealth contrary to Korean chaebols which 10 of biggest contribute much more than half of GDP.

      I assume of course.

      • Chucky3176

        Favorite bogus numbers used by Japanese right wing to predict the South Korea’s collapse (one of the three wishes by Japanese right wing). But in reality, most of the sales numbers for the biggest companies in Korea, which often get compared to the total Korean GDP in percentage form, have sales generating overseas. So for instance, the Samsung sales figures that are generated in Europe are calculated as part of the EU’s economy, not South Korea’s. So are the job numbers. If Samsung hires Europeans in Europe, they become part of the EU employment stats. In other words, Samsung Europe is part of the EU economy. So it’s totally misleading to take Samsung’s total sales globally, and compare that to Korea’s total GDP, when in fact, Samsung’s output and sales in Korea are tiny compared to the global total of that company’s sales and output. Same thing with the manpower where 100’s of thousands of employees are non-Koreans, employed in other countries. Any unemployment figures arising out of Samsung’s bankruptcy overseas, will reflect in those country’s unemployment figures, not South Korea’s. South Korea only has 10,000 workers in South Korea.

        I’m not saying the death of Samsung will not hurt the Korean economy, it definitely hurt and it will hurt a lot. But it definitely does not mean that 25% of the GDP in Korea will sink with Samsung, just because the total sales of Samsung is about the size of total GDP of South Korea.

        • Chucky3176


          “Samsung only has 10,000 workers in South Korea”.

          • Chucky3176

            Another correction,

            “just because the total global sales of Samsung is about 25% of the total GDP of South Korea.”

        • Rutim

          Some of the cash must stay abroad to run the business there but the rest comes back to South Korea and it’s not like the money from South Korea keeps them running. You reminded me the third principle which makes country’s economy stable – US, Japanese or German economies are based and grew on local demand, not overseas sales which means that they’re much less vulneralbe to the currency exchange rates etc. China will probably make the same with internal demand for goods.

          > will reflect in those country’s unemployment figures, not South Korea’s

          And where they do hire so much people overseas that it would have any effect on that given country’s overall unemployment figures?

          • rutimgodiepainfully5826

            die painfully you waste of space

  • Blue

    I don’t think that you can be considered a world power until can show that you are able to steamroll at least one of your neighboring countries, economically or militarily. I’ll make an allowance for Canada, because it would be a bit absurd for that particular country though.

  • One for all

    “Does it have any meaning if our country belongs to the top 10% of the world when you include Africa and all kinds of countries in Oceania?”

    Korea would lose a war against many African nations.

    • Sillian

      You are a military person, right? You mean if Korea deploys troops all the way in Africa? I think there are very few countries that can wage long-distance war effectively.

    • johnny law

      hmm interesting..

    • guest

      umiru bolno…

  • IM

    korea need to invade japan. only then can it be a great power

  • Yaminah Jamison

    …Africa isn’t a country…. it’s a continent. The whole entire place isn’t all poor starving kids like commercials show, geez.

    • Tim

      It annoys me whenever I hear that living in Korea. I hear it from everyone. There is so much ignorance about the countries of Africa.

      • Jesus

        I can’t speak for other continents, but living in New Zealand and Australia… yep, “Africa” is a poor, dangerous place (or country, whatever, it’s all the same to us).

    • uknow 강

      the average per capita of an african country is like $1,000 so yea… the whole continent starving might be an overstatement but it’s definitely pretty close to it lol and no one said africa was a single country

  • Nyai

    Those types of stadistics are shit. They don’t take real life conditions in them, I’m glad knetizens see that.

    I mean… USA is the first most of the time but if you think about it tons of their people are as poor as in “undeveloped” countries. At the same time, my country is quite bad now but we still live better than in most of the countries.

    I wish countries would work for something more than economic grow, as in Buthan for example.

    • It’s called wealth inequality. That’s another statistic. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking you’ve cleverly thought up something that economists already haven’t.

      Besides, countries aren’t judged by their lowest common denominator. If they were, ALL countries would come across poorer (some more so than others).

      Bhutan’s “Gross National Happiness” is a perfect example of shit statistics. People need certain physical requirements to be happy on the most basic level, and those physical requirements cost money.

      Incidentally, by Bhutan’s metric of success, South Korea is even poorer than it is by mainstream economic standards.

      • Nyai

        As if I said I invented anything. What you are saying doesn’t clash with my opinion.

        Did I say that Buthan was a wonderful country where everyone is happy and healthy? I know about Buthan conditions and I know that is far from being a country with a good level of life but it’s a country that is trying to put in practice a system that takes account more than just economic grow.

        Yes, I know that there are stadistics about wealth inequality, difference between higher income and lower income and all that, what doesn’t have a stadistic these days?. But there aren’t taking with enough consideration.They are just stadistics but they represent the hard live that tons of people have in “developed” countries and they have to be taking in count, not just do the media and keep focusing in economic.

        I’m not saying economy is not necesary, I’m saying that we are focusing too much in the economic grow and we could do it in a different way because there are other ways to do it.

        • There are statistics for everything you’re talking about. Paid-vacation days is a statistic for how much leisure time employees get. Maternity leave is another statistic for how much support women get from their employers. Labor productivity is another statistic for how much wealth is created by employees when their working hours are held constant. Life expectancy and suicide rates are other statistics reflecting health and happiness, respectively. Statistics are nothing more than quantification of reality. There’s no reason to jettison them as not being rooted in reality. They are reality, but you just have to use them correctly and know what they’re really expressing.

          • Nyai

            I think you are missing the point that i’m trying to make with my comment… what you are saying doesn’t clash with what I’m saying (again)

            First, that’s why I said “what doesn’t have a stadistic these days” .-.

            But those stadistics doesn’t have the impact that the stadistics in the article have (that are based almost exclusevly in economic grow)

          • The article was confusing because it mentioned both Korea being a great power and a developed country, which are two separate things. Some of those statistics reflect the former while others reflect the latter.

          • Nyai

            Ok, I can see that…

          • BillBo

            So what country do you live in that is so much better then the US? I’m curious.

  • guest

    Koreabang. Please bring onto the able the topic 122 korean ex-comfortwomen sued korean government (and possibly US government)

  • Markus P

    10 A-Z big Korean international companies:


    Hynix Semiconductor



    LG Chem

    Lotte Group





    • PanConCafe

      I only know Samsung, Hyundai, LG, KYA.
      Pretty much the same goes for the rest of the people around the world!

      • Markus P

        I guess in a way you are right, but, it depends where the person is in the world and what business they are in, for example: Lotte group is well known in Asia and Hynix and hancook would be well known in certain industries.
        Naver owns many products such as LINE app but doesn’t stamp its Naver name all over things…
        NCSoft is a big studio that owns many games such as Guild wars. Posco is a big Iron and Steel Company.

  • donscarletti

    “So is Korea a great power? It is if you think India, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands are great powers.”

    So, um, that’s a no right?

    At least India has a strongish military and Brazil has a largish economy (Italy’s is somewhat large as well). I’m not sure how Netherlands got there, unless its because of their football team. However, by all account, these are still not the heavyweight states, nor are they even the cruiserweight states. They are the super-middleweight or light-heavyweight at best.

    Realistically, Korea’s military is probably a little stronger than Australia’s and a fair bit stronger than Canada’s. However, having a war with one of those two would be having a war with both, not to mention their other two big brothers in the world top 5 strongest. Korea on the other hand is politically isolated and completely surrounded by enemies, so while Canada and particularly Australia are free to project whatever meager power they have worldwide with impunity and leave the home front utterly undefended should they wish, Korea’s military is taken up by defending from the pyschos in the north and watching the two huge brooding powers over narrow seas in the west and east who have grudges all round. Strategically speaking, not just India but Brazil, Italy and Australia too would by far more fearsome for your average country to get into a fight with than Korea, despite having weaker militaries on paper.

    So how does Korea rank amongst the not-so-great powers? Luckily those countries are clustered together on the “list of countries by GDP”, with Spain just above Korea and Netherlands just below. The others are all ordered above that. This is a pretty arbitrary measure, but economic output is important and it looks better for Korea than ranking by land area, where it fits between Iceland and Hungary.

    There is no clear marks to rank states into first tier, second tier, etc. But clearly Spain for instance, is not of the same rank as Germany/France/UK, which are clearly not of the same rank as America (unless counted together). So one might say for instance place the markers at 5 trillion and 1.5 trillion, meaning South Korea is a 3rd tier country along with Spain and the Netherlands. I think this might be a little generous to Australia or Canada for instance, but you have to draw the line somewhere and both of these countries are geographically huge and therefore important in some respects.

    So there you go. Korea: stronger both economically and militarily to the Netherlands (pop 15m).

  • norimix

    Korea needs to at least pat themselves on the back for pulling themselves out of poverty after a devastating and brutal occupation and civil war.. But I understand that most Koreans tend to be cynical of Government, Police, and Chaebols due to their history of dictatorship and corruption..

  • bultak23

    They could really use some better income equality.

  • Zappa Frank

    the problem is that India, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Canada are not that great powers at all.. nor ever claim to be..(maybe india, and in this case it is partially true)

    • Luigi

      and who says that Italy is not a Great Power?, ITALY IS A GREAT POWER!! is part of NATO QUINT( the Directorie of the world)!

      • Zappa Frank

        i wonder if he can understand even a single word during that meeting

        • Luigi

          about what? you mean about the French, German and Italian prime ministers? however I think you don’t understand nothing about the term ” Great power”.

          • Zappa Frank

            yes sure, italy is a great power, ok….. let’s change the meaning of “great” in “almost failed”…

            about what is not even a question that makes sense…. in case who.. and i mean Renzi, whose english is simply “none”

          • Luigi

            so you say That Italy is failed or almost failed right? and why do you think that Italy is failed tell me please …. Well I tell you something That maybe you do not know, I think that you don’t know nothing about economy , well you don’t know NOTHING!,.. National wealth of Italy last year was about 12.5 trillion and Germany have 14.1 trillion, and for per capita of Italy is: $ 241.383 and Germany have 192.232 $ and Japan have $ 216.694, the debt of Italy is about 2.1 trillion of Euros and most of the Italian debt are in Italian hands (68%) but wait.! Financial wealth of Italy of May of last year was about 4.0 trillion of Euros, wait a second…. the German bank Allianz and the Swiss bank credit suisse said that the per capita financial wealth of Italy is larger than that of Germany, Italy: $ 65,000, Germany: 63,000 $.

            and tell me who says to you that Renzi don’t know to talk in english language, the neighbor of Renzi has told you something? you think that Hollande and Merkel have a better english than Renzi ?LOL !

          • Zappa Frank

            please take a look to the +0.9% of gdp grow that in Italy is considered enthusiastic and the 3.5% of Spain the 2.5% of UK…
            A national debt that is 120-130% of gdp. How to deal with it? cannot rise taxes anymore because are already too high and cut down any economy grow. To evade taxes is normal and considered moral…Cannot cut services and welfare because there will be a revolt and corruption, groups of power, labor unions and so on will never allowed…..
            Any attempt to reform italy is always boycotted by 90% of the population that want to keep safe their small privileges and don’t give a fuck of the rest. No reforms, everything is like in the 70s…
            About Merkel and Hollande yes, they proved to have a better english then Renzi, by far… actually seeing that picture i think Renzi didn’t understand a single word. Just check on youtube the pathetic attempt of Renzi to speak english

          • Luigi

            Japan has a debt three times larger than their GDP and this year Japan will grow by only 0.6% , the nominal GDP of Japan is not growing since 1995! However the Financial wealth of Italy is the double of our Debt ! and total National wealth of Italy is the same of Germany!, We are also the third gold reserve in the world, 2,451,8 tonnes the UK only has 310.3 tonnes and is the 18th place!

            Italy grows by only 0.9? we would see what happens until the end of the ‘year !, industrial orders in Italy rose more than the rest of Europe, Italy is the second European manufacturing power after only Germany, Italy has twice as industrial production compared the UK !, tourism with the EXPO has grown a lot in August, then we will see what will happen ,!

            ok you hate Renzi and I understand, but I think that Renzi along with Hollande are talking with Obama how to build a rocket Space, maybe they’re talking about the Italian Vega Rocket (Vega rocket is the fastest in the world and faster than the American missile LGM-30 Minuteman) or the French Ariane, or maybe they talking about building a Intercontinental ballistic missile (only Italy (Alfa rocket) and France (S3) tested their own Missile and they are the only one of EU that have the Ree-entry tech :) ) , missile trident is made by the US is American tech!. auch!

            Perhaps Renzi with Merkel with Obama talk about the new global satellite system “Galileo” for civil and military use that is made by Italy and Germany., Galileo is the same like American GPS or Russian Glonass, Italy and Germany will be able to have better control and spying to the Chinese and the Russians, perhaps Hollande speaks too that France will do a system but only regionally. then I do not know honestly what Obama talk with Cameron.

          • Zappa Frank

            sono felice che tu mi abbia portato a conoscenze di positività italiane che non conoscevo… grazie :)

            purtroppo da bravo italiano anche io sono uno di quelli che si da le martellate sulle palle e critica tanto il proprio paese.. critica perchè ama.

          • Ning Xian

            Italy? All of us know how that country is getting to be destroyed more and more.

  • Marcus Muller

    “Even at this very moment, 20 billion people have trouble getting food. ”
    Is this the result of the #1 educational system in the world? Last time I checked There was 7 billion, not 20.

  • ottosilver

    Sure, some of these table might be questionable, but lets assume they are correct.
    In ever single graph Korea is not just on the top half, or top quarter, but often higher. In all those tables Korea is close to and often higher than the USA, the supposed top god when you call countries developed.

    I come from a developing country. I have the perspective. Korea is not hand haven’t been for a long time, a developing country. It is developed. There is no argument about it. Spewing rubbish about this little problem or that little problem does not make a country not developed. if that was true the, again, the USA.

    Reading the comments it seems that “everything where I’m from is better than anywhere else” and the “Korea must be small otherwise how will I justify my own feelings of powerlessness” people are doing way to much shouting again.

  • Guy Forget

    And none of these stats mean anything if Korea has minus population growth, and will import all its population from foreign countries over the next 50 years. All this means is the beneficiaries of Korea’s hard work will be handed to foreigners who come and settle in Korea and replace the dying ethnic korean race. So be proud for a couple more decades, after that, kiss it all goodbye. This is what happens when you lose your way. Stay humble, stay modest, then you will continue to work hard, grow families, and have an honest difficult life. But seek for comfort, self-centered, simple life full of guilty pleasures, you will destroy everything in a matter of one generation, and the beneficiaries will be the “new” people that migrate to Korea to claim all the treasures and riches left behind by the old and stupid race that was too blind to see where they were heading. Learn and change before it’s too late.

    • Guy Forget

      If you need more evidence, just look at every single korean diaspora in the world. They are shrinking and dying out due to miscegenation. Less ethnic koreans are migrating outward so whatever korean community is left in your country (US, Canada, Europe, S. America, Africa, Mid East, etc.), they’ll be non-existent in 1 or 2 generations. Nearly 1/3 to almost 1/2 are abandoning their korean roots and heritage and just taking up a new identity in their new found union outside their ethnicity. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and it’s appalling how easily they disregard and throw away any and all traces that they were ever even Korean to begin with.

  • MericaRules

    Well what can I say about this? South Koreans must defeat their own demons.

    When policymakers of ROK always had their own short-term gains in their minds (wealth) and care not much about their people’s welfare, it is only inevitable that their sovereignty will be vulnerable and in danger in the near future. The people must be unified and have strong faith in their own country for a nation to even have the minuscule potential to become a “great power”. Contrary to all this, I noticed that the lot of Koreans are starting to lose faith in their country, only to leave their country for greener pastures without looking back or just give in to the corrupted, exploiting system of their government. With such general sentiments, what more is South Korea, other than a nation that give birth to fake leaders who would most likely abandon their own country for wealth, rather than serving his/her nation like a true leader would with his/her blood on the line?

    It doesn’t help that South Korea, a small, divided country that still has problems with sectionalism and divided political stances. It also doesn’t help that the Koreans have been nurtured to be mostly “fast followers”, instead of giving themselves the chance to innovate even more (both in physical and mental form), accepting more mistakes in the process. Just as importantly, South Korea must forge stronger ties with other nations, not just with the US, militarily and China, economically. I will acknowledge that Koreans, in general, are hard workers, but it still doesn’t change the fact that properly addressing these issues and taking the necessary actions is integral for Koreans to securing their place in this world. Only once the South Koreans find the implementable solutions that would solve these problems can they have a fighting chance to reunify and potentially becoming a “great power’.

    • Attitude2Disqus

      United Korean Peninsula geographical size Britian Island would be much better. Korean Peninsula population 88 Million.

  • dark

    This is a pathetic case:
    1. You have democracy – but all the politicians are backward, old cronies, of the same crap background. The opposition are just pathetic in their execution level (they cannot seem to shake their communist image).
    2. Democracy requires freedom of speech. This is ridiculous when you have N. Korean influence in society. You can’t even criticize the president.
    3. S. Korea = Samsung Inc. >30% of GDP by a single company? Wake up!
    4. Gini coefficient – just ahead of African nations. This is a factor for social unrest.
    5. Finally – power means ability to influence. S. Korea has NONE. It cannot influence anything in Asia, much less the world. Not even with ridiculous Hanliu (Korean drama and K-pop can only do so much).

  • KoreanPeninsulaDisqus

    Yes, South Korea is great power.. Korean Peninsula United can become Regional Super Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ChosunPeninsula

    Korean Peninsula united be better.

  • Attitude2Disqus

    Past 70 years South Korea/ Korea developed rapidly G20.

  • Luigi

    South korea is a middle power ! the reasons :

    1: south korea have 3 trillion of national wealth less than, Spain 5 trillion $, Canada 7 trillion $ and so less than the Great powers, Italy 12 trillion $, France 15 trillion or UK 14 trillion

    2 Financial wealth of Korea is about 1,8 trillion of euro compared with France that have 4,4 trillion or Italy that have 3,9 trillion of euro

    South korea have less gdp nominal than Canada and Australia and isn’t even in the top 10, PPP isn’t not important with PPP south korea can’t have a great Voting power inside IMF or become a great donor of money inside UN, the Voting power of south korea inside the International monetary fund is the 1,41 % and is the place 18th, the power of south Korea inside the United nations is at 13 th place, Canada and Spain are in the middle rank and have more power than south korea ( 8th, 9th place respectively).

    3 , in military terms South korea buy all the arms to US and EU, South korea no have aircraft carriers, great defense systems, no have global satellite system, South korea have just one rocket space and is almost Russian tech, South korea don’t have reentry space tech, South korea don’t is inside in the International space station, south korea don’t have the most fastest supercomputers of the world, South korea isn’t a great exporter of arms, south korea don’t have the great companies that make weapons , not even in the top 70 th, South korea isn’t part of NATO, south Korea isn’t one of the great contries that have the Embargo power of the arms ( see : NATO QUINT ), south korea does not produce great plane Multirole fighters , sk only have a training plane: KAI T-50 Golden Eagle (which is not even the most important, the most important trainer today is the Italian : M-346 Master., South korea no have major military training schools .

    4 Politically : South korea isn’t a Founder of G7 isn’t part of NATO QUINT ( US, UK, Germany,France and Italy) south korea isn’t part of the United Nations Security Council (US, Russia,China, France and UK), South korea don’t host the most largest reserve of the Gold .

    5 in cultural terms : all the gold medals of south korea at olympics are just 107 at 16th place, so many Korean people likes pizza, pasta, hamburgers, Gucci, Dior, BMW, Ferrari,( south korea is part of Formula 1?), Coca cola, Hollywood,( South korea host some of the greatest cinema events like Cannes, Venice or the Berliner?) etc some of Korean people are Catholic Roman religion, some of Korean people must need to learn English( Germanic language with Latin alphabet) , unlike in western world we don’t know much about korea apart for the taekwondo.

    south korea is just a middle power.

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