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Road to Democratic State without Corruption
  • Sung-Soo Han

It was not until liberation from Japan in 1948 that democracy was first introduced in Korea. For the past 55 years, Korea has developed democracy by trial and error. However, we still have a long way to go before achieving the true democracy. During the past century, Korea experienced 36 years of colonial rule by Japan, Korean War and the foreign currency crisis. In the meantime, she has also achieved the Miracle of Han River on the territory reduced to ashes due to Korean War, which was enough to attract the attention of the world. The Korean government has emphasized only the external economic development and disregarded the development of an internal control system which is very important for the operation of a nation. As such, corruption budded in every corner of the Korean society and is in a dangerous level of shaking the nation. Nevertheless, there is a sign of change. The Korean society recently started to recognize the seriousness of corruption and is making efforts for eradication of corruption. Of course, everything cannot be changed for the better in a short time period. But what is clear is that the Korean society cannot undergo further development without eradication of corruption. I had a privilege of learning about the U.S. society with precious taxpayers’ money from July 1995 to July 1997. For me, the period was both the hardest and the happiest time in my life. Above all, I consider this period my golden opportunity to learn the U.S. society. After passing the overseas study exam given to government officers, I went to the United States in July 1995, and acquired both the LLM degree in May 1996 and the LLM in Taxation degree in May 1997 at the Temple University. I never even dreamed of studying overseas during my childhood due to economic reason. Had it not been for the government fellowship, I could not have had a chance to study in the bigger world. Thus, I gave my best efforts in understanding the true democracy and the new world. While studying there, I came to understand why it is so difficult for the Korean society to develop further. It was a good chance to study how the Americans have developed their democracy, what the merits of the American society are, and what we should learn from them. This book has been already published in Korean in April this year. Since I believe that the core contents of this book can be commonly applied to each country, I felt that it would be useful to publish this book again in English for more people to share my idea. Developed countries and underdeveloped ones coexist in the global community. Peoples who made great efforts are in an advanced position in terms of development of democracy and economy while peoples who did not are in an inferior circumstance. Just as Korea can never become a developed country without resolving its corruption problems, other countries which desire to become a developed country should also solve their corruption problem which is an impediment to the advance into a developed democratic country. Solving corruption problems is also necessary for the promotion of international transactions between developed and underdeveloped countries. Since the problems of Korea are discussed through citing various cases in the United States, readers might feel that my writing is based on focusing on the United States. This is partly because I try to set forth my thought in short pages and partly since my knowledge is not the most profound. I think that there will be chances to further discuss the related problems by citing cases from various countries in the near future. Although the Korea and the U.S. systems are compared and analyzed, I do not assert that we should simply take the U.S. system and incorporate it in Korea as is. What is important is for Korea to adopt aspects that not only work but are also applicable to Korea. In order to set forth the principle of operation of a nation, the wide-ranging areas such as law, tax, and economics which are not normally handled in any single book are discussed in this book. While writing, I sometimes felt that explanation might not be sufficient. However, it is thought that there would be no great difficulty in understanding my writing since I tried to explain difficult situations in a comprehensible manner whenever needed. It is difficult to understand or explain how a nation is run and developed on the basis of only one field of study, especially in the age of international competition. Although we can discuss national development based on economics, we cannot set forth the management of a nation and solve the problems of the Korean society based only on economics. Jurisprudence also, we cannot deny, has such limitation. Therefore, every field of study should be systematically combined, exerting synergy effect, in order to develop the Korean society. I developed my thought with this respect in mind. We are living in the age of severe international competition. In order to survive the international competition, I believe it is necessary to study the science and system of more advanced countries with greater knowledge and develop them in a way suitable to each country. It is a base of competitiveness. When each citizen has the competitiveness, a nation also can have it. This book presents a solution to problems which the Korean society faces by synthetically analyzing law, tax and economy, etc. which are the essentials to operation of a nation. Thus, I think that readers will be able to understand the operation of a nation to some extent by understanding this book. Democratic society cannot be developed by only the efforts of a few persons having political power. When the people have an active interest in the operation of a nation, logically expose its problems and present solutions, only then can democracy develop. Although each sub-title of this book is independent from each other, the entire contents focus on anti-corruption. Thus, it is necessary to read the entire contents of this book in order to more clearly understand the anti-corruption theory. If we study developed countries, we could ascertain the difference between these countries and underdeveloped countries and also know what the underdeveloped countries should do.

Publication Date
Summer July 25, 2003
Istory Co. Ltd.
89-952611-4-5 03300
Publisher Statement
This writing was initially published by internet under the title “Reconstruction of Korea” in both Korean and English versions in January 1999 and then published in a book under the title “Road to Democratic State without Corruption” in both Korean and English versions in 2003. This PDF file of English version was edited in July 2008 again.
Citation Information
Sung-Soo Han. Road to Democratic State without Corruption. Seoul Korea(2003)
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