Whilst the process of catch-up in Korea – led by export-oriented growth – has been
rapid and, in a sense, very successful, it has also been subject to turbulence, not
least in a crisis of near bankruptcy that has dramatically revealed its Achilles
heel. Informed by the 1997 crisis, Wontack Hong writes a new history of the Korean
economy; one that seeks to understand export-oriented catch-up in newly
industrialized countries (NICs) whilst offering a realistic appraisal and
forewarning of the pitfalls which could signal self-destruction.