Throughout the period from the end of the Korean War to the present, Fowler (1999) contends that American policies have been heavily influenced by events occurring in South Korea itself. For example, during 1979 and 1980, that country experienced a failed transition to democracy after the assassination of authoritarian leader Park Chung Hee in 1979. Martial law was declared in 1980 after demonstrators were killed and it was not until 1987 that the countryĂs leader Chun Doo Hwan agreed to step down and allow democratic elections.
Awanohara, S., & Hoon, S.J. (1993). Win, hold, confuse:
As Eberstadt (2002) pointed out, despite South KoreaĂs economic difficulties in the 1990s, the country is again on track to continue its progress toward economic development and stabilization. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s made it possible for the United States to again focus its attention on creating positive and proactive trade relationships with countries such as South Korea and to assist such countries in maintaining their national sovereignty.
A critical element in American policy toward the ROK has been the assumption on the part of the U.S. of much of the countryĂs defense burden (Lee & Heo, 2001). In the beginning of the alliance period between the two nations, South Korea maintained a relatively low defense budget. In the 1960s, this amounted to no more than 4 percent of ROK gross national product (GNP). U.S. military aid to the country, including both direct and indirect assistance, was more than the South Korean defense budget in the 1960s. Later, in the 1970s, American policy shifts caused the ROK to substantially increase its spending on defense. In 1969, the ROK agreed with President Jimmy Carter to raise its defense burden to 6 percent of GNP in return for cancellation of CarterĂs plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country. Since the late 1980s, however, South Korea has decreased its defense spending in parallel to the United