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The National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement in Korea
Table of Contents Ⅰ. Modernization through Saemaul Undong 1. Saemaul Undong’ Ideals s 6 2. Saemaul Undong’ Guiding Spirit s 7 3. Goals of Saemaul Undong 8 Ⅱ. Evolution of Saemaul Undong 1. Historical Background and Social Environment 9 2. Stages in the Development of Saemaul Undong 13 Ⅲ. Saemaul Undong’ Main Objectives s 1. Saemaul Undong in Rural Areas 21 2. Saemaul Undong in Urban Areas 25 3. Corporation, Factory, and Library Saemaul Undong 28
Ⅳ. Saemaul Leaders and Saemaul Education: Roles and Functions 1. Saemaul Leaders 31 2. Implementation Process and Results of Saemaul Education 32Ⅴ. Saemaul Undong: Systems and Methods of Implementation 1. Systems of Implementation 37 2. Methods of Implementation 47Ⅵ. Achievements of Saemaul Undong and the Factors behind its Success 1. Achievements 50 2. Factors behind Saemaul Undong’ Success s 55 3. Reflection on Saemaul Undong 63Ⅶ. Implementing Saemaul Undong in the 21st Century 1. Challenging the Future 65 2. Directions of the New Saemaul Undong in the 21st Century 67 3. Strategies to Revitalize the New Saemaul Undong 73
I. Modernization through Saemaul Undong4 We Koreans have always perceived modern- 1. Saemaul Undong’ Ideals sization as a macro-trend in world history andhave naturally striven to modernize our nation. In Saemaul Undong primarily seeks to facilitatethe early 1970s, modernization efforts implement- community development and modernization.ed by the incumbent administration included This ideal is not confined to efforts to improveSaemaul Undong, or the Rural Reconstruction individual lifestyles and living conditions, butCampaign. This government program, however, encompasses the whole community. The ultimateelicited criticisms from some Koreans who argued goal of the campaign is to develop villages wherethat the government at that time appeared to be people can enjoy both physical and spiritualwilling to sacrifice social values, including free- wealth.dom, for the sake of maintaining high efficiency The term“Saemaul”was coined by combin-and rapid economic growth. As the movement ing Sae, which means ‘progressive renewal basedwas initiated and implemented by the govern- on past experiences,’and Maul, which refers toment, Saemaul Undong was criticized as being ‘regional and social communities.’ Thus, Saemaulnothing more than a tool to prolong the rule, and Undong represents a continuous effort towardsimprove the legitimacy of the regime. community renewal and modernization for a bet- Saemaul Undong’primary objective was to s ter future.respond to the basic daily needs of the Korean The development of Saemaul Undong ispeople. The ideal and spirit of Saemaul Undong, characterized as follows:which steered the campaign, were explicitly stated Saemaul Undong emphasizes growth byin the following statements of then President Park manifesting and enacting the people’desire to be sChung-Hee:“Saemaul Undong embodies our free from the shackles of poverty and to join theefforts to improve and modernize our villages by ranks of well-to-do societies. Such an emphasisourselves in the spirit of self-help and indepen- was natural at a time when all developing coun-dence. The government has launched the national tries were supposed to follow, and were actuallycampaign in the firm belief that it would turn following, the western model of modernization.every village in Korea into a prosperous and com- Against this backdrop, Saemaul Undong surfacedfortable place to live in.” as the primary driving force of the nation’mod- s ernization.
5 Saemaul Undong stresses societal welfare mentality of its people. Although different civiliza-and signifies the nation’commitment to egalitari- s tions have developed different mentalities, the willan economic development. As a developing coun- to independently pursue one’future is universal stry, Korea was no stranger to regional, industrial to all cultures.and social disparities that accompany the blind Diligence is the result of activating this willpursuit of economic growth. The raison-d’ of etre and entails the realization of efforts to make theSaemaul Undong is a balanced pursuit of overall most of what is available. Diligence leads to sincer-economic growth and an egalitarian distribution ity, a value that does not allow for falseness,process. hypocrisy, vanity, or indulgence in luxury. A soci- ety whose members sincerely work hard is Saemaul Undong tries to harmonize two con- enabled to develop a sound community proppedflicting values. While accepting the need for mod- up by trust and social justice, and without corrup-ernization, Saemaul Undong also values traditions tion or irregularities.that have endured the test of time. Interpreting Sae On the individual level, the will to indepen-as referring to the pursuit of change and Maul as dently define one’fate based on personal efforts is ssignifying traditional communities, it can be manifested in the spirit of self-help, figurativelyinferred that Saemaul Undong stands for the con- illustrated in the time-honored proverb“Heaventinuation of old values. Common wisdom often helps those who help themselves.”The first stepcriticizes such an approach as unrealistic and towards self-help is to understand oneself andambiguous, but in fact it creates a balance between one’place in the society, live up to one’role, and s sthe two extremes, and opens up the possibility of fulfill ones responsibilities. Such self-understand-combining them. ing means that one neither depends upon others nor transfers one’ responsibilities to others, and s Saemaul Undong employs a holistic approach. instead, tackles any adversities on one’own, tak- sIt never exclusively stresses the enhancement of ing full responsibility for decisions.agricultural productivity in developing remote agri- It should be noted that diligence and self-helpcultural sectors, though this is a top priority. are necessary but insufficient conditions in life.Instead, it also develops physical and social infra- Cooperation is necessary to maximize the resultsstructure such as roads and education. Saemaul of diligence and self-help, and to maximize theUndong believes that economic growth in rural social validity of such efforts. Genuine coopera-communities should be compatible with efforts to tion, or pursuit of community growth based onpreserve conventional cultural traditions and a mutual trust, results only when the members of ahealthy natural environment. society share a common sense of destiny. The suc- cessful realization of cooperation not only gives rise to a tradition of mutual help but also assists2. Saemaul Undong’ Guiding s individual members of the society to improve their Spirit lives by promoting competition and the desire to participate. Saemaul Undong is guided by three central These three values of Saemaul Undong, eachsocial values in Korean society: the spirit of dili- an independent criterion for judging angence, self-help, and cooperation: individual’life worth, exert much more influence s History has illustrated, in East and West, past and have more value when combined and harmo-and present, that a nation’ fate hinges upon the s nized.
6 One who can help oneself and is diligent can As human beings are destined to live togeth-function actively and autonomously through cre- er, society formation and individual integrity can-ative thinking and independent judgment. Clear not be separated from the realization of the integri-understanding of one’social role and its entailing s ty of the whole society. Simply putting individualsduties and responsibilities enhances one’autono- s together does not create a modern and prosperousmy. One who is diligent and cooperative can sym- society. New social demands constantly emerge,pathize with others and appreciate the true mean- requiring harmonized collective approaches. Thising of sacrifice, and can therefore do one’part in s is the rationale behind Saemaul Undong’empha- spursuing overall prosperity by serving others and sis on common virtues or goals. This focus helpsrespecting law and order. One who is diligent, members of society develop a collective identitycooperative and can help oneself can help con- and sharpen their sense of mutual relative signifi-struct a mature and moral society characterized by cance. As a result, the community itself can servenational harmony and social integration. These as a cultivating ground for an indigenous culturethree working principles for social justice - self- pursuing environmental preservation.help, diligence, and cooperation - help our society Within this framework, the basic goals ofmove closer to a rational system based on honesty, Saemaul Undong are: (1) to develop a modern,honor, and justice. comfortable and convenient social community; (2) to establish companies that workers can be proud of and where sustained growth is3. Goals of Saemaul Undong achieved in a cooperative and trusting working environment; (3) to develop and maintain a Saemaul Undong strives to guarantee integri- sound and healthy society whose members arety on both individual and social levels, and able to enjoy pleasant and intimate relationships;believes that integrity can begin only when mini- and (4) to build a continuously improving nationmum physical demands are met. Based on this that everyone will be proud of. Such a society isbelief, the campaign puts improvement of physi- sustained by a mature citizenry, substantial eco-cal living conditions at the top of its list of objec- nomic development, and a culture strengthenedtives. by order and morality.
II. Evolution of Saemaul Undong 71. Historical Background and With the wounds incurred by the nation’ s forced division and the fratricidal Korean War still Social Environment unhealed, politics in South Korea remained marred by confrontation and chaos, alternatingA. Political Background between dictatorship and almost irresponsible The 25 years between 1945, when Korea freedom. The limited experience of party-basedregained her independence from the Imperial politics, lack of political leadership, lack of mod-Japanese Rule, and the end of the 1960s were ern citizenship, lack of trust in democracy, andmarked by unprecedented turbulence and chaos. unsound socio-political system, among otherThis period was highlighted by major events problems, combined to lead to unhealthy gover-including the resumption of independence, the nance, non-productive political activities, andconsequent division of Korea, the temporary occu- widespread corruption, irregularities and bureau-pation by the US military forces, the establishment cracy.of the Korean government, the Korean War (1950- The Military Coup in 1961 marked a histori-53), the dictatorship of first President Rhee Seung- cal turning point for Korea in almost every aspect.Man, the April 19th Student Revolution (1960), the A new group surfaced on the political front, and alaunching of the Chang Myon government (1960), new governing system changed the administra-the May 16th Military Coup, and assumption of tive framework. A drive to eradicate old societalpower by coup leader General Park Chung-Hee patterns and attitudes and establish a new order(1961). and code of ethics was launched and gained firm
8 ing stabilizing the national government, promot- ing new leadership, identifying sources of nation- al competitiveness, enhancing national productiv- ity, offering inspiring visions, and stimulating efforts for self-helpnecessitated a national drive anchored to a new idea or philosophy that could earn the general public’ support and mobilize s their participation. The political needs as well as the demands of the time combined to give rise to Saemaul Undong. Saemaul Undong’ precursors can be found s in the 4-H Movement or Community Develop- ment (CD) Campaign in the 1950s and the 1960s. These movements, however, were limited to cer- tain areas and targeted mainly rural societies.ground. The revolution of the system offered an Saemaul Undong, on the other hand, deepenedopportunity to bring about changes in the mindset efforts along this line, and implemented diverseof the general public. projects and events for the general public in all Despite these positive developments, howev- corners of Korea. The burgeoning stage of Saem-er, the Third Republic that emerged from the Coup aul Undong can be summarized as an effort todid not enjoy enthusiastic political support from create national energy to raise national competi-the Korean people. Saemaul Undong, which was tiveness. Specifically, the campaign sought toinitiated in the early 1970s, was closely embedded improve the general public’awareness and stan- sin its historical context and had far-reaching socio- dards of living by offering new and progressivepolitical implications. One cannot understand the motivations.multiple facets of the campaign without associat-ing one facet with all the others, as these aspectsproduce spiraling effects while interacting with B. Economic Backgroundone another. Extreme poverty and chaos also character- The political origin of Saemaul Undong is ized the period between resumed independencerooted in an attempt by the administration to con- and the end of the 1960s. The per capita GNP,verge and funnel public energy into productive which stood at a meager US$ 50 at the time of thefields. There existed a formidable need to provide independence, recorded a tediously slow increase,the general public with hopes and dreams so that amounting to $65 in the 1950s and $85 in 1960.they could move beyond disparity, frustration, The majority of citizens were unable to supportunder-motivation, and irresponsibility. There was themselves because the persistent effects of bothalso a need to draw out courage and further wis- Japanese plundering during the occupation anddom from the pessimistic public in order for them the Korean War drove them to the brink of starva-to help themselves and cooperate on a daily basis. tion. A substantial portion of the populace livedIt was suggested that awakening the citizens to on flour granted by US grain aid programs, sinceface reality and unite is conducive to enhancing the land was devastated and frequent attacks bynational competitiveness and stabilizing the alternating floods and droughts meant bad har-national foundation. The necessary tasks - includ- vests year after year. These economic difficulties
9left deep and direct marks on the Korean people The Five-Year Economic Development Plan series,and the society as a whole, giving rise to unsound first implemented in 1962, featured export-drivensocial practices and distorted attitudes. The economic growth and development of heavyprospect of democracy blooming in Korea seemed industries. Its effect began to be felt slowly in 1967,just about as likely as“a flower blooming in a during the second Plan, and consequently, perwaste basket.”Social order was threatened by capita GNP jumped to US$ 257 by 1970. Socialwidespread corruption and irregularities, orga- order also began to stabilize, albeit only throughnized crime, legal offences, and other illegal activi- regulations and external forces.ties. On the other hand, city-building and manu- Acutely aware of these problems, the general facturing-oriented policies began to take their tollpublic welcomed the ideas of economic develop- by creating wide disparities in living conditionsment and the establishment of order, two of the poli- between urban and rural communities, andcy goals proclaimed by the military government. between those employed in manufacturing and
10 the ever-growing disparity between urban and rural sectors would trigger mass migration, cre- ating over-crowded cities and deserted rural vil- lages. The economic gap among the different regions would also lead citizens to lose their community awareness, blocking not only the enhancement of social harmony but also the con- struction of an effective system of national secu- rity. In order to prevent such problems from becoming realities, the growing need for eco- nomic development of rural communities was recognized. Against this backdrop, Saemaul Undong was launched as a nationwide modern-agricultural sectors. People from agricultural com- ization campaign.munities increasingly moved to urban areas,resulting in a disproportionally large urban popu-lace. This tendency was most visible in the metro- C. Social Backgroundpolitan area surrounding Seoul, the nation’capi- s The coarse living environments representedtal. by inferior housing, undeveloped roads, and poor The most direct and essential cause for drinking water supply and sewage systems, fellSaemaul Undong involves economic concerns. short of meeting the basic requirements for a com-The strong commitment of late President Park fortable life. Better living conditions were vital toChung-Hee, then head of state, to eradicate pover- curbing the exodus from rural areas as well asty was met by the general public’yearning for a s enhancing the living conditions of those stayinglife free from poverty. This in turn lent energy to on. Since such a project required enormousthe launching of Saemaul Undong, the primary human, financial, and other resources, the govern-goal of which was to increase income. Saemaul ment could not fund it independently. Fortuna-Undong was accepted as a breakthrough based on tely, a consensus emerged between the govern-confidence and optimism in the campaign to ment and rural residents that improving livingescape from despair and frustration. conditions was in the interest of both public and Due to the successful Five-Year Economic private sectors, and that the needed funds shouldPlans, which was started in 1962, the nation’ s be shouldered jointly by the government andeconomy expanded and the average per capita affected residents. Saemaul Undong was imple-GNP rose. The economic gap between urban and mented based on this consensus.agricultural areas, however, widened further as Another social factor that prompted theagricultural areas remained neglected. Chances implementation of Saemaul Undong was theof overcoming such regional disparities became need for new mindsets and attitudes among theincreasingly slim as experts judged that it would general public. The lives of most Koreans in thetake a long time for metropolitan and industrial 1960s were dictated by irrationality, low produc-prosperity to spread to rural areas and rural resi- tivity, and disorder. Few people prepared them-dents. Until then, rural areas would become even selves for the future, out of pessimism or uncer-more remote, creating serious obstacles to com- tainty regarding the future. Many were accus-pleting national development. People feared that tomed to living in despair, frustration and idle-
11ness. It was only natural to try to awaken the Saemaul Undong evolved continuously forgeneral public to face its unhealthy attitudes and almost one generation after its official launch bylifestyles, and help people develop mindsets and late President Park Chung-Hee on April 22, 1970.attitudes that could contribute to the building of The campaign underwent a number of changes ina healthy, strong, and stable society. Such a revo- the course of its development. These changes,lution in attitudes could not be achieved without both positive and negative, contributed to makingdedication and effort from each and every citi- Saemaul Undong a source of the Korean people’ szen. Thus Saemaul Undong was born as a pride and self-confidence.nationwide drive, responding to the need for a With the passage of time, Saemaul Undongrevolutionary change in citizens’attitudes and has gone through different stages emphasizingmindsets. This very need, an essential factor in different developmental criteria. The main repre-the campaign’implementation, became Saemaul s sentative criteria included ideals, supportingUndong’basic goal as well. s philosophies and goals; main agents of implemen- tation and their functions and roles; overall orga- nization, functions and human power; prioritized2. Stages in the Development activities and projects, and their funding; and of Saemaul Undong strategies and tactics employed and effects achieved. The sub-criteria of these five categories varied, reflecting the demands of the time. It isA. Stages of Saemaul Undong’ s therefore possible to classify the overall develop- Implementation ment of the initiative into several stages based on
12 the scope and content of such changes in the government issued working guidelines for“Ten developmental criteria. Admittedly, however, Projects for Constructing Better Villages” a pilot as evaluation results vary depending on which crite- program. To improve living conditions, 335 bags ria are used and how they are weighted. This of cement were allotted to each of over 33,000 vil- necessitates a single powerful model to examine lages. One man and one woman were elected to the various aspects of the movement. One possi- lead each village in planning and implementing ble response to this challenge is to classify the projects needed by the village. developmental stages based on the relationships Projects to improve living environments between the different developmental criteria received the greatest emphasis, followed by pro- employed and their varying significance. The fol- jects to increase household income, and projects to lowing division of the initiative into five develop- reform attitudes. Projects to improve living condi- mental stages is based on such an approach. The tions were focused on expanding road networks first stage, the foundation and groundwork stage inside the village, opening common outdoor laun- (1970-1973), strove to create a foundation for the dry facilities, and replacing traditional roofs, program. In the second, the proliferation stage fences, kitchen facilities and toilets with more (1974-1976), the organization and activities gradu- durable or modern ones. Projects designed to ally grew. The third stage was the energetic imple- increase household income concentrated mainly mentation stage (1977-1979), during which the on raising agricultural income by implementing effects of the program were felt most. The fourth agricultural roads expansion, agricultural land stage is designated as the overhauling stage (1980- amelioration, seed improvement, and labor shar- 1989) when the movement redefined its organiza- ing among farmers. Attitude-reform projects were tional structure and activities as a private-sector geared towards improving undesirable mentality movement. The final autonomous growth stage and attitudes. Specifically, emphasis was placed (1990-1998) was characterized by strengthened on removing decadent social trends, promoting a self-reliance and autonomy (See Table 1). diligent and frugal lifestyle, and forming a cooper- ative environment. Separate organizations and support systems were established on both central B. Development, by Stage and local government levels to actively and effec- tively assist Saemaul Undong, and coordinate and (1) Stage 1: Foundation and Groundwork encourage the implementation of related projects. (1970-1973) The Training Institute for Saemaul Leaders was The launching of Saemaul Undong on April opened to promote qualified and able manpower.22, 1970 signaled the beginning of the nationwide Saemaul Undong began to spread rapidly“Constructing Better Villages”campaign. The across the country as people became enthusiastic <Table 1> Stages of Saemaul Undong Stage Characteristics Period Stage 1 Foundation and Groundwork 1970 ~ 1973 Stage 2 Proliferation 1974 ~ 1976 Stage 3 Energetic Implementation 1977 ~ 1979 Stage 4 Overhaul 1980 ~ 1989 Stage 5 Autonomous Growth 1990 ~ 1998
13about the campaign’tangible results. Rural living s include corporations and factories, and the scopeconditions changed radically, almost beyond and target of projects gradually enlarged.recognition, and poverty in agricultural communi- Accordingly, more organizations and greater man-ties became less grinding. Some signs of attitudi- power were engaged in the governmental, regional,nal changes on the part of the citizens also and corporation units of the campaign, and moreemerged. Most of all, per capita GNP rose sharply financial assistance and loans were provided.from US$ 257 in 1970 to US$ 375 in 1973. Saemaul Education was strongly reinforced The first four years of Saemaul Undong have to help campaign leaders develop their capabili-some noticeable characteristics: rapid establishment ties. Related educational opportunities werewith almost simultaneous laying of the ground- opened up to public employees, opinion leaderswork for the campaign and promulgating it; pow- and general citizens, in order to proliferate a cor-erful government involvement and initiation; and rect understanding of the campaign and promoteprioritizing of projects to improve immediate living attitudinal changes. In short, the effect of Saemaulconditions. The first phase of Saemaul Undong Undong in strengthening public order, and ratio-achieved greater success than expected owing to nalizing and modernizing the living modes of thethe government’ strong commitment, citizens’ s general public, is almost beyond description.active participation, and the social necessity for Various public events, including Nationalsuch a program. Saemaul Leaders’ Conventions, were also instru- mental in encouraging the leaders and promoting(2) Stage II: Proliferation (1974-1976) the campaign. The three years from 1974 bore witness to the Priority of projects during Stage II wasestablishment of Saemaul Undong as a national assessed in the following order: income-raisingcampaign. Saemaul Undong began expanding to projects, attitude reform projects, and living envi-
14ronment improvement projects. Strategies Impressed by the achievements in the agriculturalemployed to increase income included straighten- sector, urban citizens began to pay greater atten-ing raised footpaths between rice fields, streamlin- tion to the campaign. An increasing number of cit-ing small rivers, pursuing combined farming, izens participated in a drive to help their nativeoperating common workplaces, and identifying towns, and Saemaul Undong was launched inextra income sources other than farming, etc. As a urban areas as well.result, per capita GNP more than doubled during The combined pursuit of increased income andthe 1974-1976 period, standing at US$ 765 by the changed attitudes was another characteristic ofend of 1976. Stage II. This combination aimed at achieving a syn- Much effort went into rationalizing public ergistic effect by seeking physical wealth and men-thinking and attitudes through public education tal health concurrently. Another characteristic ofand public relations activities. Projects to improve Stage II was its successful establishment as a nation-living conditions, which received the greatest al drive. It began to penetrate the daily lives of theattention in Stage I, also received continued atten- general public by gaining their understanding andtion in the second stage: efforts to replace roofs, sympathy, and the campaign’success story began simprove house structures, install basic water sup- to reach other countries.ply facilities, and construct village centers.Traditional thatched-roof houses almost vanished, (3) Stage III: Energetic Implementationkitchens and toilets were modernized, and overall (1977-1979) The three years of the third stage of Saemaul Undong were marked by efforts to enhance the achievements of the campaign. Using villages as its basic unit of implementation had placed limitations on the program. Realizing this, the campaign began to focus more on improving economic gains by expanding the basic unit of implementation and scope of projects. It also sought to link the urban and rural areas more closely so that it could cover larger areas and create a closely linked com- munity encompassing both. Saemaul Undong reflected regional characte- ristics in its devising and implementing of plans. Emphasis was placed on raising income and expanding cultural and welfare-related facilitiessanitation improved considerably. It should be for rural areas. Raising livestock and growing spe-noted that agricultural household income was cial purpose plants were encouraged, and indus-higher than urban household income in 1976. trial parks that combined agriculture and manu- Stage II of Saemaul Undong featured spatial facturing were constructed, along with Saemauland functional expansion. The positive experi- factories, in an attempt to augment householdences of Stage I fueled the expansion of the drive income with non-agricultural sources of income.to encompass cities and various vocational organi- Village arrangements were also improved andzations, bringing some aspect of the campaign to refined, and convenient types of housing werecitizens living in every corner of the country. introduced to improve living conditions in rural
15sectors. The government guided the suppliers of movement’identity. In the earlier stages, individ- sconstruction materials to produce goods with ual villages were the campaign’basic implemen- sstandardized dimensions, and this greatly con- tation unit. This changed as villages developedtributed to the improvement of housing facilities. links with one another, thus expanding the basic On the other hand, material conservation, project unit to cover a region. This guaranteedproductivity enhancement, and healthier labor enhanced efficiency and economic gains by allow-relations were considered as the top priorities in ing several villages to develop and pool theirurban areas. Paving alleys, sweeping roads and respective natural resources. Consequently, projectalleys in front of one’house, and respecting pub- s volumes gradually enlarged, achieving greaterlic order were among the projects implemented in economies of scale. More village citizens were ableurban areas. Saemaul Undong was also expanded to use more and better facilities over a largerto include corporations and factories, where it region, and this in turn raised such facilities’uti-focused on raising productivity, conserving mate- lization rates. This trend accelerated as peoplerials, and building positive labor-management developed the capability to manage larger pro-relations, among other objectives. As a result, pro- jects, thanks to increased income and accumulatedductivity and incomes grew markedly. per capita funds raised jointly by linked villages. DifferentGNP doubled again during the 1976-79 period to Saemaul Undong entities, namely, rural andUS$ 1,394. Most of all, living conditions were urban communities, and corporations and facto-improved while regional disparities were less- ries, identified and conducted projects and activi-ened. ties tailored to their respective organizational Stage III can be generally characterized as the functions and demands. These combined to raisequantitative expansion and establishment of the the practical effectiveness of the campaign.
16(4) Stage IV: Overhaul (1980-1989) national scandal involving fund mismanagement The demise of President Park Chung-Hee sparked heated public denunciation, which inthrew the whole country into political and social turn lowered the morale of Saemaul Leaders, andchaos. The subsequent Fifth and Sixth Republics left lingering negative impacts on the campaign asrepresented a period of unprecedented turbulence a whole.and adverse history for Saemaul Undong. Led by The campaign, however, survived this adver-the government in the 1970s, it was taken over by sity and continued to implement projects such asthe private sector in the early 1980s. The Korea paving roads, giving education on combinedSaemaul Undong Center was registered as a legal farming, improving distribution, operatingcorporation on December 1, 1980. On December Saemaul Credit Union, and developing parks13, 1980, Saemaul Undong Organization Fostering throughout the country. During the 1988 SummerAct (Act No. 2369) took effect, a policy aimed at Olympiad held in Seoul, the campaign was a keyassisting and fostering Saemaul Undong organiza- to the success of the global event, organizing ations voluntarily formed by the private sector. The large-scale Olympics Saemaul Undong with thegoal of the act was to guarantee the continued working themes of order, kindness, and cleanli-implementation and promotion of the drive, and ness. Per capita GNP more than tripled from 1979help it contribute to the development of the nation to 1989, reaching US$ 4,934.and the society. With this act, the non-governmen- In short, Saemaul Undong in Stage IV fea-tal Saemaul Undong organization emerged as a tured efforts to get the campaign back on the rightnational entity that reached every corner of the track. It was changed from a government-initiatednation. to a private sector organization, enhancing the Saemaul Undong’ member associations s division of roles between the governmental andinclude Saemaul Undong Headquarters, which is non-governmental sectors. Although some dys-the umbrella organization for the Central Council function and slackened performance wereof Saemaul Leaders, the Central Council of observed in the process, the drive spared no effortSaemaul Women’Clubs, the Central Council of s to move beyond such negative side-effects andSaemaul Undong at Corporations, Factory resume its intended role. Backed up by theseHeadquarters of Saemaul Undong, and the attempts, the campaign entered the new decadeCentral Council of Vocational Saemaul Undong with renewed commitment and a positive atti-Entities, among many others. Regional offices are tude.located in major shi (cities) and do (provinces), andbranch offices operate in shi, kun (rural counties),and ku (urban district). Saemaul leaders directlower administrative units: up, myon, dong, andmaul. Saemaul Undong Headquarters was laterreborn as the Korea Saemaul Undong Center, andthe Saemaul Youth Association, Saemaul SportsAssociation, and School Saemaul Undong becamenew members. Unilateral mismanagement and insolventoperations by some self-righteous central leadersdeprived the organization of public support, andeven led the body to be widely criticized. A June 1999
17(5) Stage V: Autonomous Growth (1990-1998) needs of its field offices rather than those of the Saemaul Undong began to seek new changes desk-bound central organization. Part of this effortas it entered the last decade of the 21st century. It included tailoring projects and activities to reflectidentified the following tasks as imposed by the regional characteristics. Much attention wastimes: devoted to encouraging citizens to put their love ■ effectively responding to the heightening of their neighbors into practice and serve for oth- waves of liberalization on the international ers, promoting the sense of shared destiny, and front and localization on the domestic restoring moral ethics in the community. Priority front; projects in this stage included cultivating better ■ reversing the nation’economic downt- s living environments in individual communities, urn, which was beginning to be felt; and, transmitting and advancing traditional culture, ■ rectifying the degenerating public order revitalizing the economy, promoting direct trade that was showing increasing disorder and between urban and rural citizens, enhancing the non-ethical practices. atmosphere of hard work, campaigning for sound The launch of the World Trade Organization, and healthy life styles, restoring moral ethics, andresumption of the local autonomous government galvanizing volunteer services. Education stood atsystem, and the onset of the foreign exchange cri- the core of the campaign. Through various casualsis in 1997, all imposed formidable challenges and events and gatherings, as well as formal educationdifficulties on Koreans. Squarely meeting these and training opportunities, education for publicnational difficulties, Saemaul Undong launched servants, high-ranking officers of firms, studentsan active drive. and general citizens was provided to transform Specifically, the organization continued to their attitudes into those of Saemaul Leaders.overhaul and downsize in order to strengthen its Per capita GNP, which amounted to US$foundation of autonomy and self-reliance, and 4,934 in 1989, finally surpassed the ten-thousand-enhance its capabilities. It tried to achieve concrete dollar mark in 1996. This landmark achievement,results by being more responsive to the practical however, proved short-lived. The foreign curren-
18cy crisis that emerged toward the end of 1997 ducive to overcoming the economic crisis.handed a severe blow to the nation’economy. sThe situation remains, but Saemaul Undong hasaccepted this difficulty as a challenge of the times, C. Summary of Saemaul Undong’ sone that requires immediate attention and utiliza- Evolutiontion of its accumulated capabilities. Born in 1970, the 29-year-old Saemaul Saemaul Undong in Stage V is characterized Undong has gone through five stages character-by several initiatives. First, it attempted to develop ized by different ideals, guiding spirits, goals, pro-autonomous and independent capabilities to pur- jects, organizations, and activities. Admittedly, itsue its goals by reinforcing its basis of autonomy sometimes faced harsh criticisms from the generaland self-support. Second, it sought to enhance its public and suffered from a lack of public support.competitiveness as an organization on the global However, the overall evaluation of the movementstage by coping with the global liberalization and remains positive, since the public can appreciatedomestic localization trends. Third, it tried to Saemaul Undong’undeniable role and influence sreform the attitudes of citizens and bring about a on the nation’modernization and growth (See ssound and healthy social atmosphere, one con- Table 2). <Table 2> Development of Saemaul Undong GNP per capita Stage Priority Projects Characteristics (in US dollars) ∙Improving living environments: Expanding roads inside villages, constructing common laundry facilities, ∙Launching and igniting the campaign 1.Foundation and improving roofs, kitchens, and fences ∙257 in 1970 Groundwork ∙Increasing income: Expanding agricultural roads, ∙Government-initiated activities (1970~73) improving farmland and seeds, division of labor ∙375 in 1973 ∙Attitude reform: Fostering diligence and frugality, and a ∙Top priority on improving living environment cooperative atmosphere ∙Increasing income: Straightening rice field ridges, con- solidating creeks , encouraging combined farming, operating common working places, identifying non-agri- ∙Expanding program scope and functions ∙402 in 1974 2. Proliferation cultural income sources ∙Increasing income and changing attitudes (1974~76) ∙Attitude reform: Attitude changes through Saemaul edu- cation and public relations activities ∙765 in 1976 ∙Earning national understanding and consensus ∙mproving living conditions: Improving housing and water supply systems, operating village centers ∙Rural areas: Encouraging the construction of more modern housing, encouraging growth of special-pur- ∙Larger units of implementation by developing linkages 3. Energetic pose plants, running industrial facilities to combine agri- among villages in the same region ∙966 in 1977 culture and manufacturing Implementation ∙Urban areas: Paving alleys, cleaning, establishing order ∙Economies of scale (1977~79) ∙1,394 in 1979 ∙Corporations and factories: Enhancing productivity, con- serving materials, promoting sound labor-management ∙Appearance of distinct unit characteristics relations ∙Social atmosphere: Kindness, order, selflessness, ∙Reborn as a private sector-organization cooperation ∙1,507 in 1980 4. Overhaul ∙Economic development: Combined farming, distribution ∙Enhancing the role division between government and (1980~89) improvement, credit union activities private sectors ∙Environmental activities: Cleanliness, developing parks ∙4,934 in 1989 throughout the country, building better access roads ∙Escape from inactivity and contraction ∙Sound atmosphere: Developing traditional culture, emphasizing hard work, sound lifestyles, recovery of ∙Reinforcing the basis of autonomy and self-reliance 5. Autonomous moral ethics ∙5,503 in 1990 Growth ∙Economic stability: Economic recovery, urban-rural ∙Meeting the need for liberalization and localization (1990~98) direct trade, diligence and frugality ∙10,548 in 1996 ∙Living environment: Cultivating better community envi- ∙Efforts to overcome economic crisis ronments, emphasizing autonomous living
III. Saemaul Undong’Main Objectives s 191. Saemaul Undong in Rural dated production facilities and living conditions, making the most of what they had and cooperat- Areas ing with one another. Saemaul Undong was the product of the When Saemaul Undong was established in then-president’dedication to the development of s1970, the government was unable to provide the rural sectors, combined with the agriculturalfinancial support towards improving the standard population’desire for a better future, and was sof living in rural territories. However, rural vil- launched with the momentum taken from thislages were eager to use whatever governmental encounter.assistance was available to modernize their out- Confirming his belief that a community suc-
20ceeds because of excellent leadership, indepen- developed self-confidence, as seen in slogans suchdence and self-reliance among citizens, former as“We Too Can Do,” “A Better Future Awaits orPresident Park reiterated that diligence, self-sup- Us.” Saemaul Undong had successfully planted itsport and cooperation were the principles behind seed in rural areas.Saemaul Undong. Saemaul Undong was rapidly The conventional formula for regional com-adopted across the country, beginning in rural munity development had been “education of resi-sectors by exploiting the combination of govern- dents → adoption of implementation skills by res-mental support, active guidance from public idents → development of regional commun-ity.”employees, and the awareness and will of the The new development model of Saemaulagricultural populace. The program spurred Undong, however, was to conduct projects thatenthusiasm and energy across the country, with “meet residents’ visible needs → encourage self-rural villages as its basic implementation units. In confidence among residents, → and achieve vil-just a few years, rural villages managed to exhibit lage development.”an entirely new profile. The rural population As the campaign to cultivate better villages
21presented impressive results, the government saw improving housing. Projects to increase incomethe need for a more systematic approach to the were also implemented, including the encourage-drive. To guarantee effective rural advancement, ment of combined farming, operation of jointthe government set the general course for related workplaces, and identification of non-agriculturalprojects and limited its assistance by providing the income sources. Saemaul Undong changed courseminimum basic materials needed for the projects. from a campaign to improve rural living environ- The focus of the initial stage was on improv- ments with government-supplied resources to aing rural living environments, which was certain drive to increase agricultural income. The govern-to produce tangible results. Projects included ment provided a significant boost to the programexpanding and paving local roads inside villages, by mandating all government organizations toopening common laundry facilities, and improv- provide loans for income-increase projects.ing roofs, kitchens, and fences. Positive recogni- Saemaul Training Camps taught high-rankingtion justified the emphasis on this field, proving public servants and opinion leaders about thethat it was most urgent for rural residents to rationale of the movement, and moved them withbridge the gap between their income level and success stories from agricultural leaders. Thethat of their urban counterparts. As governmental experiences in the camps were decisive in expand-assistance in providing essential supplies for the ing assistance to the drive.related projects was inadequate, rural residents Towards the end of the 1970s, the rapidhad to tackle the problems arising from limited urbanization of Korea gave rise to an urgent needresources with diligence, self-reliance, and cooper- for balanced development between urban andation. Village councils composed of both village rural areas. Responding to this need, Saemaulleaders and residents decided how to best use Undong moved beyond its rural focus andmaterials allotted for village development. Thisexperience contributed to the growth of opinion-sharing and grass-roots democracy that reachedthe smallest administrative unit of Korea, themaul. The government was able to maximize itslimited resources by giving priority to villageswith excellent Saemaul Undong records. A specialbureau in charge of organizing and assisting thecampaign and coordinating related projects wasappended to the central government, and theSaemaul Leaders Training Institute was opened toadvance the qualifications and capabilities of thetrainees. As Saemaul Undong spread nationwide andrecorded an increasing number of major achieve-ments, the campaign earned the recognition of theKorean people as a national tool for bringingabout national prosperity. During this period,Saemaul projects came to encompass collectiveobjectives that included opening village centers,installing basic water supply systems, and
22sought to identify strategies to pursue the cam- to regional characteristics. The organization and thepaign on a broader basis. It began to pay more implementation system were streamlined, and pro-attention to the balanced development of both jects that developed urban-rural trade links, culti-urban and rural areas. Priority was placed on vated communities, developed rural traditional cul-improving the layout of rural villages and con- tures, and revitalized the overall economy, werestructing more comfortable housing facilities emphasized.called mun-hwa-ju-t’ Different project areas aek. Overall, Saemaul Undong brought aboutwere promoted to pursue different income-earn- revolutionary changes in the agricultural base ofing projects, reflecting respective regional charac- Korea by expanding agricultural roads, restruc-teristics. The government also expanded opportu- turing arable lands, building bridges, and devel-nities to earn non-agricultural income, for exam- oping agricultural water supply systems. It alsople, by constructing Saemaul factories and form- contributed to the continued increase in farminging agriculture-manufacturing industrial facili- household income by raising agricultural incometies. and expanding nonagricultural income sources. Projects to improve rural living conditions Improved housing and kitchen facilities in agri-were carried out with a focus on widening and cultural and fishing communities helped con-paving entry roads to rural villages, and income- struct a more pleasant living environment.increasing projects that encouraged combined Wider entry roads, streamlined local roads,farming and improved related distribution sys- newly opened farming convenience facilities,tems. In the 1990s, the full-fledged local and the increased opportunities to use publicautonomous governmental system led the cam- facilities allowed rural residents to enjoy morepaign to identify and implement projects tailored convenient lives (See Tables 3 and 4). <Table 3> Major Saemaul Projects (1971~1980) Project name Unit Objective Performance Growth rate (in %)Expanding village roads Km 26,266 43,558 166Constructing new agricultural roads Km 49,167 61,797 126Installing small bridges Unit 76,749 79,516 104Constructing village centers Unit 35,608 37,012 104Building warehouses Unit 34,665 22,143 64Housing improvements Unit 544,000 225,000 42Improving village layout Village 2,747Constructing sewage systems Km 8,654 15,559 179Supplying electricity to rural and fishing commu- Household 2,834,000 2,777,500 98nitiesOperating Saemaul factories Unit 950 717 75
23 <Table 4> Farming Household Income, by Year (in Korean won) Agricultural income Non-agricultural income Year Household income Amount Ratio (%) Amount Ratio (%) 70 255.800 194,000 75.9% 61.800 24.1% 73 480,700 390,300 81.2 90,400 18.8 76 1,156,300 921,200 79.7 235,100 20.3 79 2,227,500 1,531,300 68.7 696,200 31.3 It is generally agreed that the most significant not only to construct a better country, but also lay result of Saemaul Undong in the rural sector was the groundwork for a reunified nation. the attitudinal changes by the rural populace, developing self-trust, as reflected in the slogans“We can do,”or“Everything is possible.”Rural 2. Saemaul Undong in Urban residents came to embrace new traditions of dili- Areas gence, self-help, and cooperation through their enthusiastic participation in the process of devel- The urban Saemaul Undong refers to the oping their own communities, and they simulta- drive to develop cleaner and more comfortable neously developed a community awareness with urban areas by eradicating irrational practices and which to overcome common difficulties amidst establishing a sound social atmosphere. unfavorable conditions. Many factors contributed to the rise of the Future rural Saemaul Undong projects urban Saemaul Undong initiative. First, the oil cri- should focus on enhancing the overall competi- sis and subsequent sluggish economic perfor- tiveness of the rural sector in the new world order mance in 1973 led to the increasing importance of of the Uruguay Round and the World Trade conserving energy and raw materials. Urban citi- Organization, and in an adverse domestic situa- zens began to note and acknowledge the signifi- tion represented by the International Monetary cance of the rural Saemaul Undong. An increasing Fund (IMF) bail-out. The critical task in this com- number of opinion leaders who represented vari- petitiveness-enhancing drive should be to create ous segments of the society and had participated or identify jobs that kindle pride, a sense of in Saemaul Education recognized the need to achievement, and hope. Emphasis should be spread the Saemaul spirit. In addition, the atmos- placed on advancing agriculture as an industry, phere for attitude reform ripened as a means to developing organic links to connect the farming, contain unhealthy urban problems. As industrial- commerce, and manufacturing aspects of rural ization advanced, the urban populace grew in communities, enhancing cultural opportunities, terms of both size and economic influence, emerg- and improving the welfare system for the agricul- ing as a powerful group that assumed major func- tural populace. tions in the nation’ development. All of the s Needless to say, the energy of Saemaul above-mentioned factors combined to promote Undong lies in the maul, or villages, as the actual the significance of the urban Saemaul Undong field of life and work. The program must now program to the level of its rural counterpart. aggressively pursue the New Saemaul Undong, The urban Saemaul Undong, first launched in
241973, continued to expand its territory until the functions in separate and independent corpora-end of the 1970s. Since the 1980s, it has changed in tions specializing in the respective functions.nature from a government-led drive to a private Leading figures of the respective bodies who hadsector-initiated program. Projects to improve the received Saemaul education led this streamliningurban living environment began in 1973 in certain process. While respecting the unique functions ofurban areas and corporations. In 1974, one hour each branch, the independent corporationon the first day of each month was designated as Saemaul Undong organizations collaborated andSaemaul time, during which households, schools, launched, in 35 cities across the country, non-gov-corporations and organizations cleaned up their ernmental associations to implement urbanneighborhoods. This clean-up event later became Saemaul Undong Movement, i.e., Saemaulestablished as a leading urban Saemaul project. Execution Committees. In 1975, Saemaul Undong implementation Representative urban Saemaul Undong pro-system was overhauled to distribute different jects in the 1970s comprised the“three-pronged
25 campaign”and ten core projects. The‘three- Undong, then reborn as a non-governmental cam- pronged campaign’referred to mental, behav- paign, re-charted its direction by setting a self- ioral, and environmental initiatives. The mental imposed goal of advancing and preparing campaign centered around practicing Saemaul citizens’ mindsets for an advanced industrial soci- values on a daily basis, including promoting bet- ety. Representative projects in this period includ- ter ties with neighbors or those from different ed the three civil campaigns and the guest-wel- walks of society, inheriting and advancing tradi- coming campaign. tional ethics propped up by filial piety, loyalty, The three civil campaigns referred to the and reverence for senior citizens, and strengthen- daily practices of consumption reduction, respect- ing community awareness. ing the law, assisting and protecting the disadvan- The behavioral campaign emphasized public taged, and mutual cooperation. Activities includ- order on the street, positive interactions, public ed in this category were: collecting recyclable manners, punctuality, prohibiting drunken mis- waste; trading used goods; simplifying diverse conduct, and deterring physical assaults on the ceremonies; reducing the national budget; identi- street. The environmental order campaign fying and circulating ideas for consumption stressed cleanliness of the area around an individ- reduction; expanding facilities conductive to ual’ home or business, controlling the street envi- s maintaining public order; outlawing littering; ronment, including street vendors, improving overhauling markets and shopping malls; control- immediate living environments, and developing ling street environments; increasing penalties for‘greener’ cities and streams. petty offences; energizing small-scale unofficial The ten core projects were aimed at promot- village councils called Pansanghoe; and expanding ing active participation by urban residents. Such sports and hobby clubs. efforts included Saemaul clean-up, market The guest-welcoming campaign was carried Saemaul Undong, making cities greener, fostering out in preparation for the 1986 Asian Games and Saemaul credit unions, reducing petty street the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympiad, emphasizing crime, creating a safe atmosphere emphasizing the daily practices of order, kindness, and cleanli- law and order, running unofficial small-scale vil- ness. As a result, traffic and transactional orders lage councils called Pansanghoe, reducing con- were established, stores offered a wider variety of sumption, creating a supportive environment for services, and foreigners were greeted with much Saemaul Undong, and other projects reflecting more hospitality and kindness than ever before. regional characteristics. Efforts were also made to improve living environ- A look at the contents of the projects reveals ments by focusing on a positive street environ- the change in the nature of the campaign from a ment, including controlling street vendors, and government-initiated drive to one run by the pri- devising plans for the harmonized use of colors in vate sector. The projects chosen were directly cities. All these efforts combined to contribute related to the lives of urban citizens, and could greatly to the success of both events. easily fulfill common needs of urban residents. To In the 1990s, the urban Saemaul Undong pro- raise enthusiasm and morale, efforts were made to gram shifted its focus to public order, a cleaner identify urban Saemaul Leaders, remove deca- and more pleasant environment, social services, dence, allow social leaders to set the standards, and citizens’ reconciliation and harmony. Projects and strengthen the function of the Saemaul were implemented to promote the following Execution Committees. objectives: abiding by traffic regulations, systemat- In the early 1980s, the urban Saemaul ic management of signboards, bills and posters,
26voluntary services to reduce theft and vandalism,garbage collection, purifying streams, beautifyingstreets, guiding teenagers, helping the socially dis-advantaged, participating in regional festivities,and extending opportunities for life-time educa-tion.3. Corporation, Factory, and Library Saemaul UndongA. Corporation Saemaul Undong Corporation Saemaul Undong entities beganto emerge as one of the important aspects ofSaemaul Undong with the launching of SaemaulUndong Seoul Council in August 1975, as a non-governmental entity. The body’incorporation in sSeptember 1979 offered an opportunity forSaemaul Undong to energize its functions. The early corporation Saemaul Undong, wellaware of its nature as a non-governmental cam-paign, focused on constructing a sound, produc-tive workplace, and overhauling its corporationenvironment and social service activities. Theaforementioned three-pronged campaign wasimplemented simultaneously. In the early 1980s,corporation Saemaul Undong tried to re-defineitself as a tool for realizing three goals: nationaldevelopment, corporate advancement, and indi-vidual growth. Saemaul Training Institutes, followed by top man- Such shifts in the campaign’goals reflected s agement officials and employees. Most corpora-various factors. More and more attention was tions and vocational associations held a weekly orgiven to the successful government-driven Five- bi-monthly morning meeting to conduct eventsYear Socio-Economic Plans and the rationalization such as hoisting the national flag, singing theof corporate management by revamping individ- national anthem, doing stretching exercises, andual corporations and raising their competitive- publicizing events observed in commemoration ofness. Citizens were also encouraged to take on Saemaul Week. These activities were designed totheir proper role in a society moving toward a promote urban workers’mental fortitude anddemocratic, welfare-oriented state. patriotism, and ultimately, their sense of responsi- Following the launch of Corporation Saemaul bility for the nation’development. sUndong, heads of corporations were the first to The mental order campaign dealt mainlyreceive Saemaul Education in the Corporate with Saemaul Education and helping and protect-
27ing the disadvantaged. Specifically, efforts to B. Factory Saemaul Undongassist and protect the disadvantaged entailedhelping during the busy farming season, collect- The Factory Saemaul Undong directed itsing recyclable waste, and comforting institutional- energy to restoring the trust and affection of con-ized children and elderly citizens. The behavioral sumers and the general public as a whole. To thisorder campaign involved establishing public end, emphasis was placed on consolidating theorder on the street, car-pooling, and standing in foundation for industrial peace and coexistence byqueues and waiting for one’turn. The environ- s bridging the gap in value systems between labormental order campaign made significant contribu- and management, and establishing sound corpo-tions to building a better urban environment by rate ethics.encouraging changes in corporate environments Separate Saemaul Undong Executionand participation in city- or province-level cam- Committees were organized in major offices andpaigns to plant and grow trees. factories, and independent departments or sec- The corporation Saemaul Undong initiative tions in charge of Saemaul Undong were operatedalso directed its energy toward fostering a sense of to conduct the planning, implementation, evalua-unity within the corporation to create a sound tion and improvement of related projects.working environment. The movement further One minor defect was observed in relation toencouraged projects that ranged from eradicating the Factory Saemaul Undong. Recognizing thesocial distrust and containing abuse of work-relat- significance of quality control (QC) and monitor-ed authority, to ensuring fair personnel manage- ing QC in tandem with Saemaul projects, Saemaulment and improving the penalty and reward sys- departments or sections renamed themselves astem. The campaign sought to foster mutualrespect and trust between labor and management. The launching of the Corporation SaemaulUndong initiative brought about significantchanges in labor-management relations. Theatmosphere became more mature, propped up bySaemaul values. Both labor and management tookmore flexible positions in their dialogue, expand-ing their agenda to include systematic improve-ments and more futuristic orientation. The laborsector was granted greater opportunities to beinvolved in management. The corporation drive to assist and protectthe poor and the disadvantaged was noteworthyin the diversity and scale of its projects. Attentionwas given to helping colleagues who were experi-encing unfavorable conditions, and various exter-nal activities were implemented such as lendinghelping hands and supplying farm machineryduring the busy farming season, and visiting sol-diers, orphanages, and senior citizens’homes,among many.
28Saemaul-QC departments or sections, resulting inconfusion as to their primary task. Currently, the drive continues to be imple-mented by encouraging the use of pleasant words,respecting others’opinions, and complementingothers’merits and achievements, to name a fewexamples. Efforts are being undertaken for sys-tematic improvements in corporations, includingeradicating distrust, ending authoritative manage-ment, and containing abuse of job-related authori-ty. The increasing need to transform a workplaceto resemble a home encourages management totreat employees as family members. Joint birthdayparties and wedding ceremonies are beingarranged in addition to Saemaul Education, andfamily members are given the opportunity to visitthe factories. Financial assistance is given toemployees and their parents for sightseeing trips,and various outings or athletic activities are heldfor employees and their families. All these activi-ties prove helpful in promoting the sense of unityand harmony among employees. integral part of Saemaul programs.C. Saemaul Mini-Library Undong The Saemaul Mini-Library campaign is a cul- The Saemaul Mini-Library campaign began tural drive unique to Korea. It aims to promotewith the launching of the Association to vocation-related skills, cultural refinements, andProliferate Mini Village Libraries in 1961. The even the social significance of the reading adultKorean Ministry of Education endorsed the drive population by providing new information andto spread mini village libraries by designating it in cultural and emotional enrichment. Projects to this1962 as a policy project for the life-time education- end include maximizing access to books and cul-al needs of agricultural and fishing villages. Since tural events, organizing small-scale libraries and1975, when Saemaul Undong embarked on the reading clubs, operating mobile libraries, andproject in earnest, the movement has become an holding reading contests (See Table 5). <Table 5> Current Status of Saemaul Mini-Libraries (as of December, 1998) Saemaul Mini-Libraries Reading Colleges Mobile Libraries Places Members Books Places Members Units Books (thousand) (thousand) 2,811 90,461 5,256 39 2,420 72 1,128
Ⅳ. Saemaul Leaders and Saemaul Education: Roles and Functions 291. Saemaul Leaders appointee. In order to differentiate Saemaul Leaders from these government appointees and to The enthusiasm and creativity of Saemaul emphasize the fact that they represented the citi-Leaders played a primary role in determining the zenry, they were not paid for their services. Youngsuccess of the campaign. These leaders consisted candidates in their thirties were preferred andof regional representatives who were chosen for compulsory elections for new leaders were heldtheir decisiveness and leadership ability when the after several years. Such guidelines were intendedcampaign was launched. The Saemaul Leaders to secure energetic and more liberal candidates,were expected to complement or even surpass the and to preclude habitual and automatic handlingperformance and contribution of existing regional of matters. Separate leadership positions wereleaders. It should be noted that Saemaul Leaders given to female Saemaul members who tookwere not appointed by the Korean Ministry of charge of organizing female members and theirHome Affairs; rather, they were elected by resi- tasks. They also helped male leaders earn the sup-dents of the corresponding regional community. port of the communities for the campaign.Hence, in the course of conducting their responsi- Rural Saemaul Undong was implementedbilities, those elected were forced to depend great- with villages as its unit, led by a Saemaul leaderly on the authority of the government officials. and a female leader. In this regard, it can be At the initial stage of the campaign, each vil- inferred that the success of rural Saemaul Undonglage had a ri-jang, or head of a ri, an administra- has hinged on the competence of the Saemaultive unit smaller than a rural county, as a paid Leaders in the individual villages. Since the
30Saemaul Leaders played a crucial role in the suc- who wanted to engage in farming receivedcess of Saemaul Undong, their education and Saemaul education during their high school years,training was of equal importance. and promoted their capabilities as potential Leaders completed one or two-week educa- Saemaul Leaders through field training duringtion programs conducted in independent training vacations and during certain periods designatedinstitutes. The programs were designed to culti- for training conducted by other exemplaryvate devotion to Saemaul Undong, and to empha- Saemaul Leaders.size the significance of self-sacrifice and of setting In the urban areas, elected Saemaul Leadersa positive example as leaders for others to follow. worked witht’ ong as the campaign’key unit. sRather than teaching technical matters, the pro- However, they were not able to function as active-gram spent more time inspiring employees with ly as did the rural leaders in leading the residentsenthusiasm about the campaign and fostering and aggressively implementing the campaign.trust in the campaign’mission. One noteworthy s Although this situation somewhat reflected thecharacteristic of the program was the opportunity characteristics of urban life, the qualifications andit provided for ordinary citizens to work with competence of the urban leaders were also lesssome of society’leading figures in the efforts to s than satisfactory.achieve Saemaul Undong’objectives. This oppor- s The essence of Corporation and Factorytunity proved to be a source of pride and extra Saemaul Undong is to develop better ties betweenmotivation for ordinary participants in the pro- corporate owners and employees. Such tiesgram. This was manifested in the finding that over encourage owners to maximize worker welfare40% of the young rural population who opted to and consequently inspire workers to do their beststay in their local communities participated in and cooperate in efforts to cut down costs andSaemaul activities, despite the strong trend of relo- raise productivity. Currently, corporation and fac-cation among young farmers to urban areas. tory Saemaul Leaders are elected among executive The project to recruit prospective farmers and officers, managers or heads of small productionfishermen, which coincided with the launching of units of firms, and those elected are given oppor-the Fifth Republic (1980-1987), achieved satisfacto- tunities to broaden their understanding of thery results. Realizing the potential of this labor sec- campaign while developing their leadership com-tor, measures were devised to enhance the compe- petence through a variety of Saemaul educationaltency of this manpower in leading the rural programs.Saemaul Undong. Related systems were imple-mented to maximize the opportunities for theyoung rural populace to respond to the farmers 2. Implementation Process andand fishermen recruitment project. At that time, Results of Saemaulthe policy focus on the heavy industry benefited Educationindustrial high schools more than agriculturalhigh schools. Agricultural high schools that were A training institute for farmers was openednot closed were absorbed by integrated high in January 1972 in the Agricultural Cooperativeschools. In order to cope with such problems, it College run by the National Agricultural Co-oper-became necessary for the government to strength- ative Federation and began to educate farmers.en its policy support to agricultural high schools Education for Saemaul Leaders started in July ofand to students who planned to stay in rural com- the same year, and in 1973, the institute moved tomunities after graduation. High school students the Farmers’ Center in Suwon-shi, Kyonggi-do.
31The institute adopted a new name, Training and offering continued guidance andInstitute for Saemaul Leaders, set the standards assistance after the trainee’graduation sfor other institutes in Saemaul Undong, and from the program.played a pivotal role in establishing Saemaul edu- After the Training Institute for Saemaulcation as a unique form of social education. The Leaders opened in 1973, the Ministry of Homeinstitute moved in 1983 to an exclusive building Affairs named the following educational organi-constructed with government subsidy in zations as Saemaul training institutes:(Songnam-shi, Kyonggi-do). The following year, it ■ all public employee education institutesbecame Saemaul Undong Headquarters’ Training run by different central government orga-Institute. nizations, The Institute selected three goals: recruiting ■ farmers’ education institutes, andand training top-quality Saemaul Undong leaders, ■ various training institutes, either public orencouraging these leaders to engage in self-help private.programs, and contributing to the establishment These institutes reached a record of 85 loca-of a beneficial system through diligence, self-help tions in 1980. Currently, the Central Trainingand cooperation. To realize these goals, the insti- Institute in (Songnam-shi (city), Kyonggi-do)tute finalized the following four guidelines: (province), and the Southern Training Institute in ■ education at a communal camp where (Changsong-gun, Chollanam-do), both run by the trainees lived and worked alongside their National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement, trainers; serve as exclusive centers of Saemaul Education. ■ education of trainees on the Saemaul phi- The Saemaul Undong Headquarters have losophy focusing on putting spiritual ideas operated a total of 11 Saemaul training institutes into practice; listed as follows: ■ interactive education by sharing success (1) Seoul Factory Saemaul Training Institute stories during small-group discussions, launched in 1974 by the Seoul Industrial Park for Export Industries (2) Pusan Factory Saemaul Training Institute opened in 1977 by the Pusan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (3) (Anyang) Saemaul Training Institute for the Central Council of Private-Sector Saemaul Undong Organizations, former Farmers’Educational Institute opened in 1968 by the Korea Association to Study Rural Cultures (4) Seoul Educational Institute for Saemaul Credit Union Associations, formerly kno- wn as the Educational Training Institute for Village Credit Unions, which was opened in 1963 by the Korea National Reconstruction Headquarters (5) (Canaan) Farmers’ School No. 1 in (Kwang -ju-shi, Kyonggi-do), which started as a
32 small farm and became a home for agri- trainee program provides extra momentum to cultural leaders during the 1960s Saemaul Undong by having citizens participate, (6) (Canaan) Farmers’School No.2 in Won- directly or indirectly, in the campaign, and by serv- song-gun, Kangwon-do ing as an instrument to promote nationwide par- (7) Farmers’Welfare Training Institute in ticipation in the campaign. Numerous leaders are ’ Taejon-shi, Ch ungch’ ongnam-do, which reported to have been touched and inspired by began educating agricultural leaders in their Saemaul education, and have guided their the region in 1968 respective regions to successful growth and devel- (8) Taegu Saemaul Training Institute, which opment by leading or actively participating in started as Saemaul Farmers’School in Saemaul projects. 1973 The next section looks at the positive factors (9) Korea Industrial Academy in Kanghwa- that contributed to the success of Saemaul educa- gun, Kyonggi-do tion. (10) Seoul Korea Credit Training Institute, and (11) Industrial Promotion Training Institute A. Intra-Group Cooperation and in Yang-p’ yong-gun, Kyonggi-do and Inter-Group Competition Ch’ angwon-shi, Kyongsangnam-do Divided into many small groups, trainees These Saemaul training institutes have posted engaged in small-group discussions, outdooran impressive educational performance record, training, and night self-denial exercises, perform-having contributed to the education of the entire ing the tasks given to each team. They experi-Korean population. It is widely accepted that the enced strong emotions as a result of undergoing
33such tasks. These powerful experiences helped the C. Trainers’Kindness, Commitmenttrainees realize the significance and power of and Excellence of Leadershipcooperation to accomplish tasks that would havebeen impossible to do otherwise. The discussion- Trainers and other employees at the trainingand teamwork-focused small group activities institutes sacrificed a part of their family liveswere also successful in enhancing a sense of by staying at the camps together with theresponsibility in each participant. trainees. They did not receive better treatment than the trainees themselves, and since they set the standard with their exemplary atti-B. Field Trips and Inspection of tudes, the trainees respected them and fol- Advanced Technology Centers lowed their example. These exemplary train- Field trips, and the first-hand opportunity to ers and other employees have contributed sig-watch and learn advanced technologies in particu- nificantly to the resultant appreciation oflar, were more successful in factory Saemaul train- Saemaul education.ing programs than in Saemaul Leaders’trainingprograms. One of the factors contributing to theprogram’success was its approach permitting s D. Participation by Traineeschanges in trainees’ attitudes through the increase The training program has operated on theof first-hand experience, rather than from reliance basis of a participant-centered training process.on instruction. Recitation of the principles underlying the train-
34ing, and learning and practicing skills through recreational events, held on the evening before theindustry-training cooperation have produced tan- last day of training, are also memorable experiencesgible results. The practice of sharing between large that contribute to the efficiency of the training pro-groups and small groups during discussions, the gram.presentation of relevant information by trainees, From the factors enumerated above, it is clearand sharing of success stories have combined to that the success of the training program can beachieve considerable results in terms of mutual attributed primarily to its genuine characteristics.education. This methodology, an integral part of The program also combines practical instructionsocial education, has also proven its effectiveness and communal living, an approach that enablesin Saemaul training programs. the trainees to learn the value of order and good manners. Saemaul Education comprises of four stages:E. Moving and Interesting Lectures offering stimulus self-inspection resolution made The enthusiastic, serious yet interesting lec- implementing the resolution. This approach istures offered in the Saemaul training program intended to bring about attitudinal changes by ask-have frequently moved participants, and have ing the trainees to recall and reflect on their pastprompted changes in attitude and opinion. These lives realistically. Based on such reflections, traineeslectures convey messages easily understandable can then decide how to conduct their lives in theto everyone, and focus specifically on practical future, resolving to enact such decisions and turnapplications compatible with the Korean situation. them into reality. The Saemaul Training Institutes provides education with the following goals: ■ Developing human resources to lead theF. Entertainment Programs to regional community in the course of Motivate Trainees implem- enting the campaign; Appropriate entertainment interspersed ■ promoting a desirable value systembetween lectures prevent the trainees from becom- among citizens; and,ing bored. By singing together and playing rhyth- ■ helping regional communities, individualmic games prior to the beginning of each lecture, as members, and the nation as a whole towell as conducting simple exercises during break grow by establishing sound work ethics astimes, the trainees are encouraged to maintain a means to realize a wholesome culturefocus on the task at hand. Talent competitions and (See Table 6). <Table 6> Education Offered at Saemaul Training Institutes (1972-1998) Program Non-camping edu- Education through communal camp lives cation Total Education for regional Education for attitudinal Education for Education for corporate admin- Education for the Education for for- Education forInstitute volunteers changes in daily lives young adults istrative reform general citizens eigners local residents Total 607,511 205,123 137,166 72,164 71,613 14,873 1,402 105,170 Central 469,850 177,083 95,142 51,116 44,005 9,450 1,402 91,652 Southern 137,661 28,040 42,024 21,048 27,608 5,423 - 13,518
V. Saemaul Undong : Systems and Methods of Implementation 351. System of Implementation gy and impetus gradually emerged from the pri- vate sector. The movement’central implementa- s tion system also underwent reorganizationA. In the 1970s through decentralization. In the beginning, since the Ministry of Home Affairs controlled the cam-(1) The Government Sector paign, most of the movement’major functions s As noted earlier, although Saemaul Undong and organizations were centered in the ministry.began as a government-initiated drive, more ener- Other government organizations took charge of
36the functions and systems related to the tasks for Housing Improvement for Farming andwithin their own jurisdictions. Fishing Villages in the Local Administration The first organization tasked to manage the Bureau was renamed“Division for Saemaulnational campaign was formed in January 16, 1973 Housing.”Restructuring in the central govern-in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 6458, ment prompted different smaller administrationwhich governed the restructuring of government units, such as cities, provinces, rural counties andorganizations. A new unit to administer Saemaul urban districts, to establish new organizations orUndong was established, and officers responsible modify existing units.for the planning and implementation of Saemaul Other Saemaul Undong-related organiza-Undong were posted in the Local Affairs Bureau tions were also run as part of other ministries. Theof the Ministry of Home Affairs. Following in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries opened afootsteps of the central government, the cities, division addressing the issue of Saemaul incomeprovinces, counties, and urban districts opened after its organizational revamping in 1973. Therelated sections within their organizations. One Ministry of Commerce and Industry administeredpublic servant was appointed as leader for each a division in charge of developing processed agri-community. The Comprehensive Planning cultural food under its Bureau of Small- andCouncil for Saemaul Undong was also formed at Medium-Sized Businesses. Another unit wasboth central and local government levels in line responsible for providing agricultural and fishingwith efforts to enhance consultation and coordina- communities with access to telephone servicestion among related bodies. The Saemaul Medal under the ministry’Bureau of Power Develo- swas included in the government award system in pment. The Ministry of Culture and Education1973, and Saemaul Leaders were issued indepen- appointed officers tasked with collaborating withdent certificates. National Saemaul Leaders’ the chief School Commissioner to implementConventions were also held to promote pride and Saemaul education programs. The Ministry ofmorale among Saemaul Leaders. Public Health and Society similarly opened a divi- The campaign enjoyed a banner year in sion responsible for regional welfare under itsDecember 1974, and managed the most extensive Bureau of Social Affairs, and the Nationalorganization network in its 30-year history. Agricultural Cooperative Federation managed aDivisions responsible for Saemaul plans, Saemaul department in charge of Saemaul projects. In 1972,Undong’implementation, urban area deve-lop- s the Training Institute for Productive Farmers, pre-ment, and Saemaul Undong education rose to the viously under the umbrella of the Nationalchallenges presented by their responsibilities. Agricultural Cooperative Federation, was rebornSaemaul Undong officers were also appointed in as the Training Institute for Saemaul Leaders.the Local Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Home On the regional front, in February 1973, largeAffairs. cities and provinces opened divisions of leading Capitalizing on the momentum offered by Saemaul Undong, while smaller cities, rural coun-this growth, Saemaul Undong expanded the ties, and urban districts set up Saemaul divisionsscope of its operations. In February 1978, the within their organizations. In January 1975, theMinistry of Home Affairs went through a full- rural counties abolished their Saemaul units andfledged restructuring and, accordingly, the newly- delegated the responsibilities to the vice countyformed Local Administration Bureau took over executive. However, in July 1979, the SaemaulSaemaul Undong-related tasks from the Local offices that had been closed were reopened.Affairs Bureau. In September 1979, the Division Throughout the 1970s, efforts were made to ener-
37gize the administrative organization of Saemaul tions. Directors of bureaus of related ministriesUndong. The personnel management system were also organized in the Working-Levelfocused on assigning exemplary public employees Council. The Central Council fulfilled Saemaulto the Saemaul divisions of large cities and Undong-related functions such as coordinatingprovinces, and those of the smaller cities and rural annual plans as well as long- and intermediate-counties. Those in the Saemaul units received term plans, analyzing and evaluating the move-extra points when their performance were evalu- ment’ performance, and assisting and coordinat- sated, securing advantages in promotion. ing resolution of the difficulties the movement Saemaul Undong Promotional Councils were faced. These same councils were operated acrossorganized in 1972 on various hierarchical levels different levels of the government hierarchy, andranging from the central government to smaller were overseen by mayors in large cities, governorsadministrative units in line with efforts to pro- in provinces, mayors in smaller cities, countymote consultation and coordina- tion among rele- executives in rural counties, and heads of up andvant organizations. The Central Council was myon (administrative units smaller than ruralheaded by the Minister of Home Affairs and com- counties) in those units. In ri and dong, adminis-posed of deputy ministers of related departments. trative units smaller than myon, village develop-The number of member organizations originally ment councils were organized and led by heads ofstood at 15, and later grew to include 22 organiza- those units (See Table 7). <Table 7> The Governmental Saemaul Undong Organization (1979) Central Government Central Government Central Comprehensive Central Comprehensive National Agricultural National Agricultural Planning Council Planning Council Ministry of Home Affairs Ministry of Home Affairs Cooperative Federation Cooperative Federation for Saemaul Undong for Saemaul Undong Working-Level Council Working-Level Council Training Institute Training Institute Large Cites & Provinces for Saemaul Leaders Leader Large Cites // Large Cites Province Council Province Council Local Administration Local Administration Division for Saemaul- division for Saemaul- Bureau Bureau Related Guidance Related Guidance Smaller Cites // Smaller Cites Rural County Council Rural County Council Smaller Cites & Rural Counties Smaller Cites & Rural Counties Saemaul Officers Saemaul Officers Saemaul Pivision Saemaul Pivision Up myon Council Up //myon Council Village Development Division for Division for Division for Division for Village Development Division for Saemaul-Related Division for Committee Saemaul Planning Saemaul-Related Saemaul Housing Council Saemaul Planning Guidance Guidance Saemaul Housing
38(2) The Private Sector The main purposes of Village Development Since Saemaul Undong was carried out Committees were to coordinate the activities ofunder the government leadership in the 1970s, various functional resident organizations whileindependent private-sector organizations were discussing and deciding on Saemaul projects, anddifficult to identify, with the exception of the effectively implementing administrative policies.Village Development Committees in ri and dong. Some of the functions of the Committee were toThese quasi-civil organizations were composed of select suitable Saemaul projects and to devisearound 15 members each, including those repre- related working plans; to carry out developmentsenting official and non-official village structures projects with the cooperation of local residents; tosuch as mutual assistance organizations to pre- store and manage resources allotted by the gov-serve village forests, to revitalize agriculture, and ernment; and to maintain completed projects, toto encourage residents to practice their love of name a few. The specifics for each project or activ-their village. Saemaul Leaders in villages set up ity carried out by the Committee began with dis-separate bodies under the head of the village cussions and deliberation on the implementationdevelopment committee. The major demogra- of Saemaul Undong. This practice resulted inphic sectors including youth and women were many types of village protection and improve-represented in these separate bodies along with ment projects including anti-theft measures, anti-agents for village security, auditing, credit union, espionage plans, fire prevention and fire-fighting;and village libarary (See Table 8). product promotion projects including production <Table 8> Organizational Charts for Village Development Committee in ri and dong (1979) Village Development Council in ri/dong President Department Department Department Village for Promoting Auditing of of Love Development Board Youths Women of the Village Credit Union Forest Agricultural Agricultural Farming Saemaul Women’ s Village Other Enrichment Preservation Revitalization Cooperatives Improvement Youths Library Organs Class Residents in ri/dong
39increase, agricultural improvement, and reclama- organizations included the Saemaul Planningtion and irrigation; public welfare-related efforts division, the Saemaul Guidance division, and thesuch as cleanups, sanitation improvement includ- group consisting of Saemaul officials. Followinging infection containment, family planning, and the launching of the Local Development Bureau inimprovement of living conditions; socio-cultural January 1984, a streamlining measure abolishedprojects which encouraged burden-sharing and the group of Saemaul officials. After Decembermutual assistance, respect for the elderly, guid- 1988, with the birth of the Sixth Republic, theance for young people, and sports, reading, and term‘Saemaul’was seldom heard. A govern-village gatherings; and finally, the sharing of expe- mental restructuring gave rise to the new Citizens’riences concerning the administration of ri and Movement Assistance Division in January 1989,dong. part of the Local Administration Bureau of the The ri and dong Village Development Ministry of Home Affairs. The central governmen-Committees devised project plans, realized and tal organizations no longer used the 16-year-oldimplemented them, and then reported the plans’ term,‘Saemaul’ their projects, a trend that the inresults. Project plans had to be implemented in local government organizations also imitated.stages. First, it was necessary to follow the The tasks of the Citizens MovementGuidelines for Establishing Project Plans provided Assistance Division launched in january 1989by the cities or rural counties. Next, they had to be included establishing comprehensive plans forapproved at local meetings and then finally national campaigns and coordinating and assist-approved by mayors or county executives. ing those plans, assisting nature preservation cam-Weekly and monthly progress reports about the paigns, and facilitating social purification cam-projects were given to the heads of up and myon. paigns in tandem with Saemaul Undong.These reports were also evaluated by theCommittee, and at the end of each project year, (2) The Private Sectorannual progress reports were submitted and eval- The enactment of the Law Fostering Saemauluated during local meetings of residents. Undong Organizations in December 1980 gave birth to Saemaul Undong Headquarters which, in turn, paved the way for a new era of leadership byB. In the 1980s the private sector. The new body has governed Saemaul Undong ever since, incorporating four(1) The Government Sector member associations under its umbrella: the The responsibility for the government-initiat- Central Council of Saemaul Leaders, the Centraled Saemaul Undong was assumed by the private Council of Saemaul Women’Clubs, the Central ssector in the 1980s. Accordingly, the governmental Council of Saemaul Undong in Corporations, andSaemaul Undong organizations began to shrink, the Headquarters of Factory Saemaul Undong.whereas the private organizations expanded their The Federation of Saemaul Mini-Libraries and thescope. Efforts to downsize affected both central Federation of Saemaul Youth were launched ingovernment organizations, including the Ministry October, while the Saemaul Morning Sports Clubof Home Affairs, and local governments. was launched in December 1981, increasing the The Ministry of Home Affairs , a former number of member-associations to seven. A pro-home to Saemaul Undong, restructured its posal to set up regional offices in large cities andSaemaul organizations within the Local provinces as non-governmental Saemaul UndongAdministration Bureau in Novemver, 1981. These organizations was approved in October of the
40same year. By September 1982, a total of 13 region- task of constructing an extensive nationwide andal offices had been established. In October 1983, private sector-led Saemaul Undong organization,another proposal to open branch offices in smaller comprising various member associations, regionalcities, rural counties, and urban districts was structures, and training institutes under thepassed. Saemaul Training Institutes were also umbrella guidance and monitoring of Saemaulopened in the Headquarters and in Songnam-shi, Undong Headquarters.Kyonggi-do in line with efforts to expand the The branch offices grew further with thescope and enhance the competence of Saemaul addition of 10 new offices in 1985. The trainingLeaders. institutes were also expanded with the opening of The member-associations grew to comprise the Changsong Training Institute in Chollanam-eight organizations when the Federation of do in April of the same year. In 1986, whenSaemaul Credit Unions joined in February 1984. Kwangju was promoted to metropolitan status,In March, the opening of the regional office repre- the Kwangju branch office was classified as asenting five provinces in North Korea raised the regional office. This raised the number of regionalnumber of regional offices to 14, and the 231 offices to 15 once again, while the number ofbranch offices and chapter offices in smaller cities, branch offices was reduced to 240.rural counties, and urban districts began to func- In 1987, another training institute opened ontion in their new capacities. This completed the Yongjong Island near Inch’ bringing the num- on,
41ber of institutes to four. The new institute, howev- of 27 new locations. The training system was alsoer, closed in February 1988. restructured, and the institute at the Headquarters In April 1988, the member- associations suf- was closed, leaving just two institutes.fered a setback with the breakup of the Saemaul As a consequence, the structure of the privateMorning Sports Club. However, eight new branch sector-led Saemaul Undong was reconfigured tooffices were opened, raising the total to 248. In comprise the following:April 1989, Saemaul Undong Headquarters was ■ six member-associations (namely, therenamed the National Council of Saemaul Central Council of Saemaul Leaders, theUndong Movement, in an attempt to emphasize Central Council of Saemaul Women’ sits nature as a private sector-led organization fur- Clubs, the Central Council of Saemaulther. With the Saemaul Youth Federation exclud- Undong at Corporations, Headquarters ofed, it reduced the number of member-associations Factory Saemaul Undong, Federation ofto six. The promotion of Taejon as a metropolitan Saemaul Mini-Libraries, and Federation ofcity increased the number of regional offices to 16 Saemaul Credit Unions;while the number of branch offices totaled 269 ■ 269 branch offices in smaller cities, ruralwith the closing of six locations and the opening counties and urban districts; and, ■ two training institutes in Songnam, Kyonggi-do, and Changsong, Chollanam- do. The second-to-the-last decade of the 20th cen- tury witnessed the most radical changes in Saemaul Undong organizations, which can be characterized in several ways. The most obvious shift in Saemaul Undong implementation system during this period can be seen in the changes in the leadership and the subsequent rise and fall of the movement as a whole. With the launching of Saemaul Undong Headquarters, the responsibility and authority for implementing Saemaul Undong strategies were passed to the hands of the private sector. The second characteristic involves efforts towards diversification. The organization extend- ed its scope to cover various facets of society, reflecting its ever-expanding functions. As a result, a total of eight different member-associa- tions encompassing Saemaul Leaders, female members, factories and corporations evolved. The completion of a nationwide network covering both the central and local levels exemplifies the third characteristic. The fourth characteristic is seen in the restructuring of Saemaul Undong training institutes. Because of Saemaul Undong’ s goal to achieve optimum efficiency, two out of the
42initial four training institutes at the Headquarters, system governing volunteer services. The launch-Songnam, Changsong, and Yongjong Island were “People’Government” 1998 brought ing of the s inclosed. The last characteristic involves the changes about another round of massive governmentalin the number of secretariat employees, which had restructuring. The Ministry of Home Affairs andshown a steady increase since 1980, stabilized at the Ministry of Government Administration were1,448 persons in early 1988, and slowly dimin- merged in February, and the new Ministry ofished to fewer than 885 by April 1989. Summing Government Administration and Home Affairsup, Saemaul Undong experienced revolutionary took over their old functions. The new ministrychanges involving both expansion and shrinkage revamped its structure, installing the Localin the wake of changes in leadership during the Autonomy Administration Division, the Local1980s. Autonomy System Division, the Local Autonomy Operation Division, the Residents Affairs Division, the Non-Governmental OrganizationC. In the 1990s Cooperation Division, and the Local Autonomy Information Division. Among these different(1) The Government Sector units, the Non-Governmental Organiza-tion Since the government restructuring in Cooperation Division was given responsibility forFebruary 1991, only one office in one of the min- Saemaul Undong. As illustrated above, the gov-istries, the Citizens’Movement Assistance divi- ernment sector has increasingly distanced itselfsion under the Local Administration Bureau of the from Saemaul Undong since 1990, in terms of bothMinistry of Home Affairs, has been responsible assistance and guidance, while considering thefor Saemaul Undong-related functions. Because movement part of the private sector’many cam- sthe body had to manage Saemaul Undong in paigns.addition to its many other responsibilities includ-ing devising comprehensive plans for public cam- (2) The Private Sectorpaigns and coordinating assistance, Saemaul In the 1990-1998 period, the structure of theUndong’significance diminished accordingly. In s private sector’Saemaul Undong implementation sApril 1994, the Citizens’Movement Assistance system remained mostly unchanged from its 1989Division was renamed the Social Promotion structure, with the National Council of SaemaulDivision. Its functions included devising compre- Undong Movement serving as its organizationalhensive plans for social promotion as well as coor- hub. The temporary cessation in the provision ofdinating assistance for these plans, and assisting financial assistance from the government prompt-in public relations campaigns to promote healthy ed the private sector to double its efforts towardlifestyles and conserve nature. This necessitated self-reliance, and more emphasis was placed ondemoting the status of Saemaul Undong to just local Saemaul units than on the central organiza-one of the many social campaigns. Further gov- tion. The political neutrality of the executive offi-ernment restructuring in December 1994 re- cers of the organization was emphasized, and thedefined the tasks of the Social Promotion Division secretariat continued to pursue downsizing.to consist of devising comprehensive plans for, The promotion of Ulsan as a metropolitanand coordinating assistance to, social promotion, city in July 1997 pushed the number of regionalassisting nature preservation campaigns, assisting offices up to 17. The number of branch offices,the management of Saemaul Credit Unions, and which stood at 269 in 1990, grew to 271 by Marchimproving, and assisting the management of, the 1991, to 276 by January 1992, and to 278 by the
43first half of 1993. In 1994, the number diminished Since 1989, only two Saemaul Trainingto 245 as a result of the integration of small cities Institutes have been maintained. In 1990, theand rural counties into larger administrative Songnam Saemaul Training Institute wasregions, a process which closed down 33 branch renamed the Central Saemaul Undong Trainingoffices. In March 1995, the number grew once Institute and the Changsong Saemaul Trainingagain to 255, but in May of the same year, the Institute became the Southern Saemaul Undongnumber dropped to 249, following the govern- Training Institute.ment’incorporation of six small cities and five s The organizations and personnel of the secre-rural counties into five cities. In January 1996, 17 tariat continued to downsize due to the shrinkagebranch offices in general administrative districts and even complete halt in governmental bud-were closed, while those in local autonomous getary support. In the ten years since 1988, asadministrative organizations were maintained. many as 1,061 employees have left their jobs,Consequently, the number of branch offices was while 387 have remained on the organization’ sreduced to 232. In July 1997, the Ulsan branch payroll. Revision of the organization’founding soffice was closed with the city’ promotion to s articles in February 1996 cleared the way towardmetropolitan city status. Five new branch offices transforming regional offices in large cities orwere instead opened in five local autonomous provinces and branch offices in smaller cities,districts, raising the total of branch offices to 236. rural counties, and urban districts into legal corpo-In April 1998, the cities of Yosu and Yoch’ as on, rations. In February 1998, regulations pertainingwell as Yoch’ on-gun (country), all in Chollanam to the election of executive officers were rewritten-do, were merged as the city of Yosu, and this in so that the political neutrality of Saemaul Undongturn lowered the number of branch offices to organizations could be guaranteed.234. As of November 1998, Saemaul Undong
44implementing organization in the private sector combined to support the organization. Thewas led mainly by the National Council of Central and Southern Training Institutes serve asSaemaul Undong Movement and six member a mecca for Saemaul education. Excellent employ-associations. Seventeen regional offices in large ees have been posted in the secretariat, and a totalcities and provinces, and 234 branch offices in of 2.32 million Saemaul Leaders are presently atsmaller cities, rural counties, and urban districts work in different fields (See Tables 9 and 10). <Table 9> Saemaul Organizations in the Private Sector (1998) National Council of Saemaul Member Associations Undong Movement - Central Council of Saemaul Leaders 2 Training Institurtes - Central Council of Saemaul Women’ Clubs s ∙ Central Regional Offices in 17 Large - Central Council of Corportion Cities / Provinces Saemaul Undong ∙ Southern - Headguarters of Factory Saemaul Undong - Federation of Saemaul Mini- Libraries - Federation of Saemaul Credit Unions Branch Offices in 234 Smaller Cities / Rural Counties <Table 10> Current Status of Saemaul Leaders and Members (1998) Presidents of Regional leaders and members Corporate Mini-library Credit FactoryCategory Total regional and leaders and union leaders leaders branch offices Total Men Women members leaders Total 2,327,489 251 2,053,011 242,549 1,810,462 11,618 21,920 237,850 2,839Leaders 227,101 251 184,959 89,351 95,608 11,618 21,920 5,514 2,839Members 2,100,388 ∙ 1,868,052 153,198 1,714,854 ∙ ∙ 232,336 ∙
45 The implementation system of Saemaul implementation of the projects, and finally, evalu-Undong in the 1990s underwent few changes, ation of the results of the project implemented.except for those reflecting the re-defined adminis- In the 1970s, the government (particularly thetrative districts. The discontinuation of the gov- central government) handled the selection ofernment’budgetary assistance, however, brought s Saemaul projects. The private sector took over theto the fore the significance of independence and selection process in the 1980s, a shift that reflectedautonomy of the private sector-led campaign. The its growing role in the implementation of Saemaulissue of how to enhance the efficiency of the secre- Undong. Decentralization was another character-tariat has emerged as a new challenge. istic of the 1980s, with increased emphasis placed on local and field settings. As a result of the changes along this line, only national projects2. Methods of Implementation were selected by the central Saemaul Undong organization. Projects involving large cities andA. Selection of Saemaul Projects provinces were chosen by the implementing orga- nizations on the city and provincial levels. Projects Since Saemaul Undong encompasses a wide for smaller cities, rural counties, and urban dis-array of projects, the methods of implementation tricts were selected by corresponding Saemaulthat the campaign entails vary in accordance with Undong organizations, while projects for the up,the changing times. Implementation of Saemaul myon, and dong levels were similarly deliberatedUndong projects, however, proceeds in the fol- upon by the organizations at the same levels.lowing order: selection of necessary projects, Decisions on specifications of projects were left to the ri or dong organizations. At the early stage of Saemaul Undong, the Village Development Com- mittee in a ri or dong was responsible for Saemaul Undong projects because most of the projects were carried out with ri, dong, or maul (village) as their imple- mentation unit. Gradually, however, the same function went to higher implement- ing organizations as the area to be covered by a single project was increasingly enlarged: first to Saemaul Undong implementing orga- nizations in up, myon, and dong, and then to those in smaller cities, rural counties, and urban districts.
46 As Saemaul Undong primarily seeks to The procedure of implementing a project in a ri orimprove living standards, increase income, and dong begins with the village council. The villageachieve attitudinal reforms, projects subject to the residents discuss and finalize the details of theirselection process naturally address these goals. project and report the results to either city orEach year, higher-level organizations finalize pri- county authorities, and then the Villageority projects for the year and notify the villages or Development Committees in the ri or the dongregions of the said projects. Based on this setup, carry out the details of the plan. Prior to the actualeach village or region chooses projects or activities implementation, the committee makes variousthat it deems necessary for the overall benefit of preparations: raising as much of the necessarythe village or region. funds as the residents can afford; applying for and Several criteria are employed in the selection receiving external assistance in the forms of rawprocess and these include: materials, money, and technology; and with the ■ the project should be needed by the resi- assistance of civil engineers or construction-relat- dents and the regional community; ed technicians of city or rural administration bod- ■ the project should complement the regio- ies, completing the plans for structures to be nal conditions and spur the region’gro-s remodeled or built. Implementation of projects wth potential; commences in earnest as soon as preparations are ■ the project should serve all residents in the complete. The Division of Community Pride, project area, instead of serving a limited Division of Youth, and Division of Women lead number of residents in limited areas, by the residents, particularly organization members, promoting the convenience and interest of in carrying out the projects. This pattern illustrates all residents; that the whole process of implementation is ■ the project’effects should be extensive, s democratic, cooperative, and efficient. long-term, and large enough to outweigh Another important factor in the process of the material and manpower invested in implementing Saemaul projects is the contribution the project; and the project should be of the public servants. A public employee who is a viable in terms of money, human resour- division chief or is in a higher position in the ces, and time. Ministry of Home Affairs is held accountable for the progress of the campaign in one large city or one province. His counterparts in the smallerB. Implementation of Saemaul cities or rural counties, and his counterparts in the Projects up, myon, or dong are likewise held accountable Saemaul projects are implemented in accor- for their corresponding areas of responsibility.dance with project plans. The actual agent imple- These public servants are asked to visit, at leastmenting a project also varies, depending on the once a month, to check, and guide the progress ofsize, the nature, and the scope of the project. If the the national initiative in their jurisdiction. In thenature of a project makes it necessary, local gov- up, myon, and dong, a public servant oversees theernments or other functional organizations help village and visits the project site at least twice athe Saemaul organization in implementing the week. On the first day of every month, Saemaulparticular project, or in some cases, other relevant Day, responsible public servants pay a visit to vil-organizations may give assistance. lages under their supervision, an effort that is not In the 1970s, Saemaul Undong was carried only conducive to promoting related projects, butout with the village as its implementation unit. is also beneficial to related organizations. Through
47this regular contact, a com-prehensive analysis can beobtained and provide abasis for planning futureprojects.C. Evaluation of Saemaul Projects The last stage in imple-menting Saemaul projects isevaluation. Evaluation iscritical to the overall successof the whole process forseveral reasons. It pointsout the positive aspects ofprojects as well as the prob-lems that emerged duringthe process, it analyzesachievements, and, aboveall, it reflects that analysis insubsequent plans. Evalua-0tion of projects is conduct-ed in three different stages:pre-project evaluation,interim evaluation, and post-project evaluation. the up or myon Development Promotional Coun- Pre-project evaluation refers to efforts to cil meetings convened for bi-weekly or monthlyreview the suitability and validity of projects prior evaluations of the implementation of the projectsto their implementation. This is helpful in setting based on the reports from ri and dong, reportingdifferent priorities for different projects. The inter- the results to their superiors in cities or rural coun-im evaluation assesses the progress of the project ties. Mayors of smaller cities and rural countyat the time of evaluation, and focuses on correcting administrators held respective Saemaul Councilserrors or weak areas in the process and redirecting every month to evaluate progress, and reportedthe project course. This is done by analyzing the the results to their superiors in large cities orinput / output, or expenditures / benefits data. provinces. By each year’end, the Ri and Dong s When the Village Development Committees Development Committees reported the progressin the ri or dong were central to Saemaul Undong, made during the year in a general residents’the chairmen of these organizations held a weekly meeting, and received feedback. The results of theor monthly committee meeting, and reported the evaluation were also important since they servedresults of such meetings to the leaders of up or as a basis for choosing individuals, villages, andmyon. The leaders of up and myon presided over regions for awards.
VI. Achievements of Saemaul Undong and the Factors behind Its Success481. Achievements ideals and rationale of Saemaul Undong, original- ly an agricultural sector-bound initiative, easily The Daily Chosun, one of Korea’top news- s moved beyond the rural boundaries, and success-papers, together with the Korea Gallup Poll, con- fully spread into the manufacturing industry inducted an opinion poll on“the major achieve- urban areas as Saemaul Undong at corporations,ments of the Korean people in the past half-centu- factory Saemaul Undong, and urban Saemaulry of modern history.”It was conducted on the Undong.occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the establish-ment of the modern Korean government, and the A. Saemaul Undong and Economicresults were published in the July 16, 1998 issue of Developmentthe newspaper. Results revealed that those sur-veyed chose Saemaul Undong as the proudest The foremost achievement of Saemaulachievement in the nation’50-year-old modern s Undong concerns its role in modernizing Korea’ shistory. The Korean people’recognition of the s rural sector, which until recently had remainedmovement was also echoed in the positive evalua- remote for almost 5,000 years. For the first time intion of the late President Park Chung-Hee, who the nation’ time-honored history, the income of sinitiated this national thrust to develop regional agricultural households surpassed that of urbancommunities under the banner of modernizing households. In 1971, the first year of Saemaulthe motherland. Runner-ups to Saemaul Undong Undong, the average urban family earned 452,000in the same poll were the successful hosting of the Korean won while its rural counterpart earnedSeoul Summer Olympiad, the construction of the 356,000 Korean won. Within three years thisSeoul-Pusan Expressway, the Civil Democratic changed in favor of rural households: in 1974,Movement in Kwangju-shi, Chollanam-do, and average rural household income was 674,000the April 19th Student Revolution. Korean won whereas the corresponding figure for This recognition proves that Saemaul the urban household stood at 644,000 KoreanUndong movement, which originally focused on won. The year 1974 was also memorable in thatimproving Korea’outdated agricultural system s the yearly yield of rice, Korea’ staple crop, sand aiding residents of remote communities, has reached unprecedented levels.affected the entire nation, and left an indelible and The rural sector was not the only onesfar-reaching mark on Korean society as a whole. impacted by the achievements of SaemaulThe effect of the movement, much greater than Undong; its effects were felt throughout thewas ever imagined, has led to the following real- nation. Admittedly, the first half of Korea’100- sizations: year modern history was burdened with unfortu- ■ Rural modernization is not a matter of nate experiences such as the forced demise of the raising the economic viability of the agri- last Korean dynasty, the unwanted occupation by culture; rather, it is directly connected to the imperial Japanese, the division of the nation, the modern attitudes and mindsets of the and a fratricidal war. Against this regrettable his- agricultural populace; torical background, Saemaul Undong’ success s ■ Raising agricultural productivity, the goal came as an historical event. Its achievement was of rural modernization, is closely linked to all the more meaningful as the movement was the the development of industries in the urban driving force behind the development of the rural areas. community, the sector that was hit hardest during These deftly illustrate the reason why the those unfortunate years.
49 Saemaul Undong’success bears global sig- s this stereotypical view of the‘helpless’rural vil-nificance as well. A well-regarded theory argues lage.that it is common for the rural sector of a nation Saemaul Undong’economic significance is sthat has gained independence and is regaining clearly manifested in the growing village econo-national identity, to become dependent on the my. The rural Saemaul Undong, which constitut-urban sector in the process of development. In ed an integral approach toward agriculturalfact, there was a time when Korea benefited from development, led the efforts to increase agricultur-the excess agricultural produce of the US, which al household income from various sources. Thisserved as a lifeline right after the Korean War. The achievement contributed considerably to theproducts, largely targeting Korea’urban areas s growth of rural economy, and that growth led toand densely-populated regions, ironically con- increased income for agricultural households. Fortributed to lowering agricultural productivity in instance in 1978, the average household of a vil-the rural areas. Although the development of both lage recognized for its excellent Saemaul Undongurban and rural sectors should be closely linked efforts earned 330,000 Korean won more than didand pursued concurrently, Korea’rural sector s other villages, with a total of 2.08 million Koreanremained out of the national spotlight, overshad- won.owed by urban development. The resulting Raising the agricultural productivity of a vil-poverty of the agricultural community was con- lage is closely connected to improving the village’ ssidered to be linked to structural tendencies in a agricultural production structure; in other words,traditional society. Saemaul Undong eradicated farming which employs machinery should be pro-
50 moted and agricultural management should be cerned, the increased agricultural household improved if to record higher agricultural produc- income and the extended supply of electricity tivity. As for farming machinery, there were 1.4 across the country increased the number of house- units of power tillers, 1.1 units of power disinfec- holds with household conveniences including tant sprayers, 1.6 units of power threshers, and 1.6 home appliances. Interestingly, the ratio of house- units of water pumps per 100 farming families in holds with recorders was higher in villages hon- 1970. These figures rose dramatically in 1978 to ored for excellent Saemaul Undong performances 11.3, 10.9, 8.6, and 8.8 units, respectively. In the whereas the ratio of households with audio sets past, the focus of farming was on growing staple was higher in average villages. This highlights dif- crops; however, emphasis has been shifted in ferent consumption patterns; residents of honored favor of more profitable types of farming, includ- villages tend to emphasize rational consumption ing vegetables, fruits, special plants and livestock. while those of average villages focus more on con- spicuous consumption. Another indication of the productive and investment-oriented consumption B. Saemaul Undong and Social by honored villages is that they have a acquired a Development higher ratio of agricultural machinery. In other While Saemaul Undong was instrumental in words, the residents of honored villages show developing the Korean society as a whole, it par- more practical, and economically productive con- ticularly raised the standard of life in the rural sec- sumption patterns and practice “delayed gratifica- tor. The greatest inroads made were in improving tion.” educational and cultural opportunities. Social development involves both quantita- On the educational front, during the 1969- tive and qualitative improvement of living stan- 1979 period, 12-13% of heads of rural households dards, with the latter kind of improvement merit- had received middle school education or higher, ing a more detailed discussion. Two principles or were middle-school dropouts. The corres- that are crucial to the qualitative improvement of ponding figure rose by a factor of more than 2.5 in living standards are the promotion of democratic 1979, standing at 30%. Some might attribute this citizenship and the elevation of the social status of improvement to the decreasing population of women. elderly Koreans with little modern education. Saemaul Undong has contributed to the pro- However, it is still impressive enough to be called motion of democracy in Korea. Rural residents‘historic’ considering the tendency for the young rural population with relatively higher education- al attainment to leave the farms, seeking their means of livelihood in the urban areas. The ratio of those in the urban areas who actually received institutionalized schooling compared to the entire eligible population (age six through 24) was 56.4% in 1970, which slightly increased to 57.5% in 1975. The corresponding figure for the rural areas dra- matically rose to 71.5% in 1975 from 59.0% in 1970. This increase attests to the potential of the rural sector for social and economic growth. As far as modernized lifestyles are con-
51began to show interest in common problems and employment, the sources of rural householdto seek solutions for those problems on their own. income expanded. As a consequence, the tradi-The Saemaul Leaders represented a new breed of tionally inferior social and economic status ofleaders who were sincere and industrious, women drastically improved and was continu-unselfishly serving others and their communities, ously advanced by the momentum provided byand leading efforts to construct Saemaul Centers. Saemaul Undong.These buildings provided a venue for villagemeetings and discussions, consequently allowingdemocracy to take root in the everyday life of C. Saemaul Undong and AttitudinalKoreans. Changes One of the most radical social changes Koreans increasingly realized the potentialbrought about by Saemaul Undong was the gains from the collective efforts of citizens.improved social status of its female members. Accordingly, a collective confidence-buildingSince the initial stage of Saemaul Undong “Can-Do” effort, characterized as a spirit, was pro-focused on improving rural living conditions moted across the country.and enhancing facilities such as public wells, Empirical research on changes experiencedcommunal laundry facilities, and toilets, women during the 1970-1975 period clearly show thevillagers aggressively participated in the effects of Saemaul Undong on attitudes. In 1970,process. The campaign to raise operational fund 52.0% of the residents polled thought positivelyfor Saemaul projects, which was shouldered about self-help and self-reliance. However, bymostly by women members, led to the establish- 1975, as many as 82.0% of those surveyed showedment of village credit unions. As more rural a stronger desire to work hard and to movehousewives aggressively sought outside ahead. The degrees of self-help and cooperation
52 conventions, including super- stitions, as the share of per- sons whose lives were still guided by these conventions went down from 9.4% to 7.3%. Although Koreans have a long tradition of helping their neighbors, Saemaul Undong fueled the expansion of this tradition. Those polled felt that more people (77.8% in 1975 from 63.1% in 1970) had become politer and kinder as a result of Saemaul Undong. The research results confirmed that generosity and kindness were more prevalent among rural vil- lagers than among urban citi- zens, particularly amongmeasured in the same research rose in five years urban merchants and public officials.to 76.2% from 47.4%. In contrast, the tendency to Another feature of the changes in Korean atti-refuse to help themselves as well as to help others tudes was that more emphasis was placed onfell from 8.2% of those polled in 1970 to a meager practical benefits, rather than on unnecessary for-2.3% of those surveyed in 1975. Reliability and malities. The ratio of those who supported simpli-cooperation also improved among village resi- fication of ancestral rites rose to 76.2% from 52.2%.dents, as 75% of those surveyed in the same year For example, 80.5% of those polled in 1975thought that villagers trusted one another and favored less expensive wedding ceremonies, com-tried to help by sharing their ideas with others in pared to 56.2% in 1970. Thanks to the regionalneed, a sharp increase from 54.2% in 1970. community development campaign, many of theAlthough some legacies of the past including dis- customs and conventions that have becometrust of public officials still remain, the levels of impractical nowadays, including fortune-tellingcaring for others and mutual trust rose from 70.7% and holding shaman rituals to expel bad luck,in 1970 to 80.2% in 1975. One of the most remark- have disappeared.able changes villagers achieved through Saemaul At the same time, access was expanded toUndong can be seen in the more progressive and various information sources such as newspapers,scientific attitudes among Koreans. Only 48.9% of radio, television, and agricultural books introduc-those surveyed in 1970 answered that people ing new technologies. This gradually improvedaround them as well as themselves willingly the residents’attitudes in favor of more rationalaccept new ways of thinking, new technology and goal-oriented behavior, as opposed to behaviormethods. The corresponding figure rose to 80.5% ruled by emotions. In sum, more residentsin 1975. A greater number of people also support- thought that they could cultivate a better futureed efforts to overcome irrational and nonscientific based on their own capabilities.
532. Factors behind Saemaul One decisive factor in dictating the direction and the intensity of government involvement is Undong’Success s the government’recognition of social conditions. s The Korean government was at the forefront ofA. The Government’Self-Imposed s implementing Saemaul Undong and aimed at Urgent Task: Overcoming Poverty offering a developmental breakthrough to remote rural communities. The development and the Each government is responsible for the implementation of the national campaign there-growth of its society. Saemaul Undong is a repre- fore reflect the social and historical conditions ofsentative regional development campaign carried the time.out with full commitment from the government The origin of Saemaul Undong can be tracedunder the banner aim of moderniza-tion of the to the overall domestic situation in Korea in thewhole nation. 1960s. Looking back, the 1960s was a decade pro-
54 pelled by a worldwide drive toward development But just as the achievements of these econom- and modernization. The developing countries, ic policies were impressive, their adverse conse- which had recently emerged from colonial rule quences also became increasingly apparent. The after the end of World War II, found themselves disparity among different segments of society spending much more time than expected in stabi- widened dramatically: the gap between agricul- lizing their domestic politics. It was only in the ture and manufacturing, the disparity in the stan- 1960s that these countries began to fully pursue dard of living between cities and rural communi- economic growth, and the term‘the decade of ties, the differences in the relative significance of development’ was coined in this context. different regions in the society, and the gap felt by Korea was no exception. Almost concurrently different groups of people in different professions. with other developing countries, it began to direct Among these differences, the most serious every possible effort toward economic develop- problem was the regional disparity between two ment. The late President Park in particular, after geographically adjacent regions of southern rising to power through a military coup, led Korea, which surfaced during the 1971 presiden- efforts to develop and improve the national econ- tial election. Prior to the election, the rural com- omy. His enthusiasm toward economic develop- munities had supported the ruling party; but rural ment was the manifestation of his wish to secure residents turned their backs on the government. legitimacy for his government, which had gained One significant factor behind this was that devel- power through unpopular means. opment policies had ignored the needs of the rural The Korean model of economic development communities. has since been dubbed“state capitalism,”or“Corporate Korea.” the core of the model was At the government, serving as the giant corporation, B. Mobilization of the General Public which orchestrated private corporations in the Aimed at Achieving Balanced course of developing the national economy. In a Development sense, the Korean model was a compromise The Korean government undertook neces- between capitalism supported by individual cor- sary countermeasures to cope with these adverse porations and communism in which all produc- consequences of economic development. Subseq- tion in the society was controlled by a central gov- uently, Saemaul Undong emerged as a cure for ernment. the ills that had emerged. However, the nation’ s The foundation of Korea’ s“state capitalism” coffers could not afford to fund the modernization lay in a strategy pursuing overall development at of over 35,000 rural villages. The only available the expense of balance among different regions. resource was untapped human resources in the More emphasis was placed on manufacturing rural areas, but because there was little motivation than on agriculture, on exports and imports than to improve the quality of life, those resources on domestic demands, on large firms with com- remained idle. parative advantages in efficiency than on small History has taught us that the people them- and medium-sized businesses, and on large cities selves represent both the driving force and the (as preferable locations for large corporations) beneficiary of a nation’development. Responsib- s than on smaller cities or rural sectors. Against this ility for motivating the general public falls in the background, Korea’economic policies brought s hands of the political leaders. With President about a rapid economic growth that cannot be Park’personal experience of the structural pover- s matched by any country in contemporary history. ty of the rural sector, he could effectively persuade
55the rural populace of the need to break the chains nation’economic growth, Park presided over the sof poverty, and could motivate them accordingly. monthly meetings held at the Economic Planning Historically speaking, rural poverty in Korea Board and was briefed on the monthly economichas persisted for 5,000 years. As Korea was basi- trends. From June 1971, soon after Saemaulcally an agrarian society, the rural community’ s Undong was launched, farmers with excellenteconomic hardship translated into that of the agricultural achievements began presenting theirnation as a whole. Coping with poverty and its own success stories in the meetings.consequences has been one of the most critical This custom continued for about 10 years with-tasks facing the Korean nation as a whole. out a single interruption until the death of President Naturally, overcoming poverty carries clear Park. A system to honor successful Saemauland dramatic political reporcussions. Undong campaigners was put in place to lift the A look at representative projects around the morale of those involved. Taking into account theworld allows us to better understand the point in fact that the administration was governed under aquestion. The government of the Netherlands pur- strong presidential system, government organiza-sued a policy to reclaim land from the ocean, and tions built an organic cooperative system to supportnow reclaimed land accounts for a full third of the prime concern of the president.land in the country. In Israel, the new and moderngovernment strongly supported the constructionof new cities which it deemed crucial to national D. Saemaul Undong’Visible Effects sdefense. The programs pursued by these two gov- in Promoting the General Public’ serments are similar to the Saemaul Undong in that Participationthey aim at achieving clear and dramatic political Global experience has taught us that produc-effects. ing tangible results for a government policy drive at the earliest possible stage is key to the successful implementation and expansion of the drive. This isC. Strong Political Involvement in clearly illustrated in the case of Saemaul Undong. the Nation’Policy Project s One of the formidable impediments to rural The success of massive national policy pro- development in Korea was the lack of infrastruc-jects presupposes the commitment of the nation’ s ture. Keenly aware of this, the government allot-political sphere. Saemaul Undong began smooth- ted in the first year of Saemaul Undong, about 335ly, achieving marked success thanks to the strong bags of cement to each of over 35,000 villages. Thecommitment of then President Park. His enthusi- cement was given on the condition that it wouldasm for the national movement was summarized be used exclusively for communal village projectsin a quote from one of his public addresses:“Let to improve living conditions, such as broadeningus reconstruct our rural surroundings and bestow entry roads leading to villages, constructingupon our descendants better communities, so that bridges and sewage systems, and general renova-they can declare with pride that their ancestors tion projects. On the other hand, raising agricul-were farmers who worked at the forefront of tural producti-vity in the rural sector would haveSaemaul Undong in the 1970s.” taken a longer period of time before producing The head of the state during the Third results.Republic of Korea pursued economic develop- The fact that visible results easily changement and was guided by the principle of central man’attitude has been confirmed once again in splanning. In order to verify and encourage the the course of Korea’economic development. As s
56the results of economic growth were witnessedacross the country, the social status of business-men, the main group player in economic devel-opment was raised, and they even emerged associal leaders. This is striking, in light of theKorean tradition placing businessmen at the bot-tom of the social hierarchy. Traditionally, nobili-ty and scholars were placed above farmers, farm-ers above manufacturers or craftsmen, andcraftsmen above merchants. This concretechange experienced in Koreans’ way of life effec-tively motivated the rural populace to achieveeconomic development.E. Emergence of New Attitudes As “heaven helps only those who help them-selves,”the prerequisite for achieving improve-ments in the social and material development ofindividuals is for people to be increasingly orient-ed towards innovation and development. In thislight, change on the part of those involved waskey to the success of Saemaul Undong. Not all of those involved necessarily adoptinnovative attitudes and behaviors from the onsetof the campaign. A successful campaign requiresinnovators who proclaim innovation and thosewho follow in their footsteps, translating theirteachings into reality. In this light, SaemaulUndong’success was brought about partly by the semergence of exemplary leaders and numerousothers who sympathized with such leaders.(1) Historical Conditions industries, but farmers were a critical power It should not be overlooked that the emer- group second only to the noble class. As the poorgence of powerful leaders and the increasing members of the noble class made a living throughnumber of sympathizers would not have been farming, these farmers and the members of thepossible without the timely maturation of neces- noble class maintained active contact. Children ofsary conditions. First of all, Korean farmers tradi- well-to-do farmers went to a traditional localtionally valued pride and self-esteem. As illustrat- academy called So-dang, which was run by aed in Korea’traditional social hierarchy structure, s noble class member of the area. Whereas farmerswhich placed farmers in the second-highest posi- were regarded as slaves in other countries, includ-tion, agriculture was not only once the core of all ing Russia and Japan, Korean farmers had great
57dignity and integrity, and they took pride in their from the Korean War. Fortunately, however, thestatus as land workers. This explains why the for- extremely harsh ordeal as exemplified by the Wareigners who first set foot on the Korean peninsula also brought with it the prospects for recoverytoward the end of Korea’ last dynasty (1910) s and turnaround.dubbed the Korean farmers “beautiful swans.” 1) These positive prospects, combined with the The turning point in the public’perception s collective attitude of the people who were anxiousof farming and farmers occurred amid poor gov- to tap into those prospects, proved significant toernance at the end of Korea’last dynasty and the s Korea’rural communities and the Korean society ssubsequent exploitation by Imperial Japan, which as a whole. The economic recoveries orchestratedhad occupied the Korean peninsula at the begin- by the Germans and the Japanese after WWIIning of the 20th century. This had a serious impact illustrated the possibility of turning extreme hard-on farmers, and an increasing number of the rural ship, characterized by massive destruction andpopulace abandoned their land. However, land national decline, into a foundation for rapid eco-reform and the mandatory educational system nomic development. The Korean version of eco-that followed renewed national independence, nomic growth can be understood in the same con-and heralded a new era for the rural communities. text. In the early 1960s, the military government,At the end of the 19th century, the literacy rate in which had risen to power through a coup and hadthe rural sector stood at 30-45% for men and 2- later become the Third Republic of Korea, initiated10% for women. The corresponding figure for a campaign called the National Reconstructionmen had risen to 50% by 1945, and rose further to Movement to revitalize the rural sector, utilizing83.4% by 1970. the strength of the rural population. In doing so, As a result of the rise in rural literacy rates, the government emphasized self-reliance andmodes of thinking and economic opportunities in educated the rural populace through circulatingthe rural sector did not deviate much from the mottoes promoting diligence, self-reliance, andnational average. The land reform conducted dur- self-help. However, this campaign failed to live uping the 1945-55 period contributed much to bring- to expectations as it focused solely on enlighteninging about homogeneity in the rural sector. Most of the agricultural population, instead of renderingthe rural households cultivated an average of 1 practical assistance and action to encourage peo-jongbo, or 99 acres, and a few households cultivat- ple’ participation. Accordingly, national cam- sed areas of three jongbo or larger. It should be paigns including Saemaul Undong had to waitnoted that the homogeneity of the rural sector was until the early 1970s, when the governmentone of the conditions leading to the nearly unani- emerged with funds to provide minimal assis-mous participation by rural residents in the tance to farmers.Saemaul projects. Rural homogeneity as the springboard of (2) The Shift to Development-Orientedrural development ironically emphasized the per- Attitudesvasive poverty which threatened the very exis- Since the early 1960s, the manufacturingtence of the rural community. This adversity industry had grown and spread in the urban areasreached its peak with the devastation resulting with guidance and help from the government, while the rural sector had watched on the side-1) The metaphor of“swans”was based on the lines. Just as imbalances or even discrepancies in white clothing typically worn by Koreans at different rates of psychological development natu- that time. rally occur, differences in level and degree of eco-
58nomic and social development among sectors or accept and strive to overcome the difficulties thatregions also entail. If these differences deepen come in their way. Such a sentiment is manifestedover time, those who have been left behind would in various forms: the tearful commitment oftend to become frustrated and stunted in their unschooled parents to give their children everygrowth and development. possible opportunity to be educated, or the deter- Saemaul Undong began at a time when the mination of a rural youth who leaves his poverty-general public’expectations for development had s stricken hometown in order to succeed in life inreached a peak. Considering that not all the expec- the big city. As illustrated in these cases, Koreantations that a national drive elicits from the people han is a positive value encompassing unlimitedin different regions automatically fuel national potential for growth.development, the success of Saemaul Undong in Whereas han offers the potential for growth,this regard is unique. The movement’success s shinmyong serves to accelerate the process of real-should be attributed to the unique quality of col- izing that potential. The Korean proverb“Onelective feelings among Koreans, characterized by hardly realizes that he is exceeding his own limitshan, which is roughly equivalent to suppressed when he is cheered on by others” effectively illus-anger and sorrow, and by shinmyong, which trates the power of shinmyong. In Saemaulimplies excitement and enthusiasm. Undong, the enthusiasm or excitement was con- The han of Korean people is not identical with verted into self-confidence summarized by thethe resentment common to the Japanese, who “Can Do”spirit, and into efforts toward self-ful-tend to seek revenge on anyone who slights them. fillment. These two sentiments were at the root ofAlthough the Imperial Japanese intentionally Korea’impressive economic growth and the dra- sunderestimated han as somewhat pejorative, han matic development in rural areas in particular.reflects the strong and earnest desire of Koreans to They were also responsible for transforming the
59 in basic living conditions have not yet been com- pleted. Self-help villages are those that have pre- pared themselves for potential income increase and technology development by improving their living conditions. The rapid phase-out of‘basic- level villages’ clearly illustrates the fact that such villages utilized the element of competition among villages as a stimulus to move up and sur- pass their level, instead of developing a sense of relative deprivation. (3) Expanded Reproduction of the Saemaul Spirit: Saemaul Education The role of enlightened leadership in the development of a society, whether in East or West, present or past, demands no justification. As many regional development theories point out, the substantial stumbling block to the develop- ment of a remote area is not the lack of investment but a lack of revolutionary leadership. The extent of the success of Saemaul Undong, which was aimed at enabling the complete transformation of poverty-stricken rural communities into forces geared towards national economic development,increasingly widening discrepancy between rural naturally hinged on the Saemaul Leaders.and urban sectors into an impetus for those in the The need for Saemaul education, which pri-rural sector to seek modernization and growth. marily seeks to develop potential Saemaul At the early stage of Saemaul Undong, vil- Leaders, emerged after the evaluation of the cam-lages were classified into three categories, depend- paign’first year performance was completed. An sing on levels of village’development. Those that s analysis of the varied usage of the allotted cementhad not yet been able to move beyond relatively by village revealed that a village managed by aprimitive living conditions and outdated modes of competent leader was able to effectively distributeproduction were termed“basic-level villages.” the limited materials whereas a village that lackedThe ratio of those in this category compared to all such leadership ended up wasting precious mate-other rural villages stood at 53% at the end of rials. The task of securing competent leaders had1972, but fell to only 1% by the end of 1976. It become increasingly difficult in the agriculturalbecame apparent that the majority had been trans- sector amid sweeping urbanization. Among theformed into either self-reliant or self-helping vil- consequences of this trend was the decision oflages. many able rural youths to relocate to urban areas. “Self-reliant” villages are communities where Prior to Saemaul Undong, exemplary farmers nat-residents have shown promising attitudes and urally served as unofficial leaders of rural commu-thought patterns, indicating that they can work nities. The problem was that these leaders weretoward a self-help village, but the improvements not adequate for the“critical mass”needed for a
60rural revolution. This led to the recognition that erate with others in their daily lives through prac-raising dedicated leaders armed with a thorough ticing in everyday situations. The second-handsense of their mission should come first before experience program teaches the trainees about theoffering governmental assistance. Saemaul successes of excellent Saemaul Leaders by sharingUndong began as a response to this observation. success stories. This program effectively encour- Saemaul education focuses on cultivating the ages the aspirations and the morale of the traineesminds of the trainees, on the assumption that by inviting them to share a sense of unity withprogress-oriented, aggressive attitudes are the those who have presented their success stories. Tocore qualities of Saemaul Leaders. Therefore, more summarize, the trainees learn from the Saemauleducational emphasis is placed on inducing education programs the significance of the role ofchanges in attitudes and thought, than on teach- leaders as models, and the importance of coopera-ing new information or technologies. tion in a society where individuals cannot solve all In the participation-based mutual education of their problems by themselves.program, the trainees are educated through com- As a natural consequence, the motivation andmunal life at camps and share their ideas via per- optimism of Saemaul Leaders were reported to besonal conversations and public discussions. The much higher than average rural residents. In apurpose of this program is to lead the trainees to poll that asked, “What do you think living condi-realize that the others serve as mirrors through tions will be like in ten years?”56% of thewhich they can see themselves. In the program for Saemaul Leaders answered that “the living condi-facilitating attitudinal changes in daily life, the tions will have improved considerably.”Onlytrainees learn how to yield to others and to coop- 40% of the average residents chose the same
61answer. diverse characteristics and interests of different The original target group of Saemaul educa- regions and the various occupational fields. At thetion was productive, exemplary farmers. The early stage of the campaign’ implementation, sCentral Saemaul Undong Training Institute central and local government organizations allot-played a pivotal role in extending this target ted materials first, and then the residents of thegroup to include Saemaul Leaders, men and community involved were required to make usewomen alike, public servants, well-known lead- of the materials in their projects and report theers, youth, various vocational organizations, results. As a consequence, those in the villagesKoreans living abroad, and even foreigners. unconsciously developed attitudes of dependence As was mentioned earlier, the government and passiveness.played a pivotal role in the process of establishing Saemaul Undong projects focused on achi-and developing Saemaul Undong, and President eving quantitative or concrete results, and placedPark’ direct and indirect influence was critical in s greater emphasis on the results rather than on thethe process. He strove to modernize public process or quality of the implementation. More-employees first, believing that this should be a over, the project scope was often rather narrow,spring board in realizing a modernized nation. In which resulted in a failure to tailor projects to thea related effort, President Park made on-site visits specific needs and characteristics of differentearly each year to important administrative orga- implementation units. While Saemaul Undongnizations starting from central government orga- was actively gaining ground in the rural sectornizations first and then to smaller organizations in based on the sector’ homogeneity, it failed to sprovinces, cities, and rural counties. leave much impact in regions outside the rural During this series of visits, President Park communities. The achievement of urban, corpora-had the head of each organization brief him on tion, and factory Saemaul Undong was less thanimportant or pending administrative tasks. satisfactory in the regions where heterogeneity Because of this, his governing style was outweighed homogeneity. “dubbed as briefing-based administration.” The fundamental weakness of Saemaul This served as an important tool in effectively Undong was that from the beginning, it lackedmanaging the administration. This convention strong and well-ordered legitimacy. Since thetriggered the emergence of a rational administra- drive developed a theory to validate itself while ittion focused on development. was implemented, the initial stage of Saemaul Undong was inevitably characterized by a series of trials and unavoidable errors. More important-3. Reflections on Saemaul ly, it failed to earn trust from younger citizens due Undong to the prevalent distrust and misunderstanding that political agenda were behind the campaign. The good intentions that prompt the develop- This misunderstanding exacerbated in thement of a policy do not always justify the policy 1980s, and made it even more difficult to fullyitself as virtually nothing comes without a price in carry out the campaign. Following the politicalthis mundane world. instability after the death of President Park, every As Saemaul Undong was run under the newly-elected president attempted to cast himselfstrong leadership of Park’dictatorial central gov- s in a light different from past administrations.ernment, the decision-making process was far Thus a combination of all these factors weakenedfrom being democratic, and failed to reflect the enthusiasm for the campaign.
VII. Implementing Saemaul Undong in the 21st Century 631. Challenging the FutureA. Advantages and Disadvantages of Globalization It is clear that Saemaul Undong played a piv-otal role in modernizing the nation. Consideringthat we are approaching a new century and a newmillenium, it is necessary to devise a new blue-print for the movement so that it can continue tocontribute to the national development process. Indoing so, focus should be placed on identifyingwhat the movement can achieve, and in what spe-cific areas. If we are to draw up a quality blue-print, we should understand the nature of antici-pated radical changes, both internal and external,and prepare for the future based on such anunderstanding. The most powerful trend today, which hasswept Korea and the rest of the world alike, is onethat reaches far beyond national modernization.This involves a transition into a much smallerworld through globalization, which in turn consti- Ironically, however, globalization used totutes a formidable and unprecedented challenge serve Korea well by creating favorable trade con-to humankind. By nature, globalization presents ditions that enabled the country to enjoy fame asus with the prospect of very unpredictable lives. one of the world’leading export countries. This sThe foreign currency crisis in Korea is one such very same trend has become the culprit in the cur-example: it delivered a severe blow to Koreans, rent foreign currency crisis. The vicious cycle ofwho had taken economic growth for granted, and “rich get richer and poor get poorer” exerted a hasit has shaken the very foundation of the nation. powerful influence, reversing the social progress With the dawn of a new millenium upon us, that was managed so far. Almost every region init has become apparent that the future may not be Korea, except for a few metropolitan cities, was hitall that rosy. There is no guarantee that the current hard by the financial crisis. The massive layoffsfinancial crisis will not repeat itself, and as a result, following the economic restructuring have precip-the task of national reunification has become even itated conflicts among different social groups. Theharder. Koreans feel that they are desperately unemployment issue in particular is deemed asgroping in the dark, not knowing where they will the most serious threat to the stability of the citi-find themselves. All of these conditions result zens’lives. The urgency of the unemploymentfrom the global trend of world politics that is problem becomes all the more obvious if wemoving beyond ideological confrontation into the understand that it is not a temporary phenome-era featuring enthusiastic globalization, which has non. Industrial modernization, characterized byalready impacted the Korean economy unfavor- automation, has diminished the demand for pro-ably. duction workers, while globalization has reduced
64the demand for white-collar workers with the waves of globalization.advent of the information revolution. Against this backdrop, we are entering a newphase in which the middle class is likely to lose C. Revitalization of the Saemaulmost of its influence as an important social group. SpiritMoreover, national borders will become useless in We Koreans live in a time of grim reality andprotecting national interests with the emergence an unclear future, and the choices available to usof a borderless economy. are limited; we must make righteous and just decisions rather than taking shortcuts, and value measures propped up by principles. SaemaulB. Localization as a Undong has been evaluated as the most signifi- Countermeasure against cant achievement of the Korean people in our Unfavorable Globalization Trends modern history. Furthermore, the working princi- Globalization is not only a challenge, but a ples of Saemaul Undong, namely, diligence, self-mandate which Korea must continue to strive for. help, and cooperation, are deemed eternal valuesThe nation’ identity and potential for further s that have been promoted throughout the historygrowth would be threatened if Koreans were to of humankind. Admittedly, there is a tendency toexist solely within the thrust of a centrifugal force minimize the tenets of diligence, self-help, andfiguratively reflecting the nation’present status. s cooperation as simply mottos of SaemaulIf we Koreans are to ensure the nation’survival, s Undong, not as necessary principles for develop-prosperity and well-being, we must be able to ment. However, just as the human body not prop-develop a counter-force that will offset the erly supported by the mind is an empty shell,adverse effects of globalization. Localization is the mental and ethical fortifications serve as the cor-optimal alternative being proposed to bolster the nerstones of development. Hence, we should con-nation’chances of survival. s sider that lax social discipline is one cause of the Successful localization efforts will provide current financial difficulties. Conversely, themore opportunities for Koreans to cast off old means with which to overcome the current diffi-habits developed in the course of the moderniza- culties must be found in the revitalization andtion process. Throughout the 120-year-long mod- expansion of the Saemaul spirit.ernization process, including the five decadessince the nation regained her independence, theKorean people and the Korean community havelived in a state of subjugation that has exerted themost powerful influence on their fate. The com-mon thread that binds together the seeminglydiverse events that have transpired in the nation’ smodern history is that Koreans were forced to actor not to act. If we are to chart a desirable coursefor our history into the 21st century, we shouldbegin by realizing the significance of autonomy,volunteerism, and activism. In this light, localiza-tion can definitely contribute to promoting thisrealization and to safely riding the heightening
652. Directions of the New The pains and difficulties Koreans face under the IMF bailout system at the threshold of the Saemaul Undong in the 21st upcoming century offer Korean society the invalu- Century able opportunity for self-reflection. If we Koreans are to overcome this crisis, we will have toA. A National Movement Towards enhance the competitiveness of society as a whole, and promote the spirit of mutual help and mutual Common Prosperity assistance. In order to achieve these goals we must Saemaul Undong was summarized in the eradicate both our indulgence in luxury and blindpast as a“Prosperity for Ourselves Movement.” group egoism. We will also have to revolutionizeThe changes that took place from the mid-1980s, our attitudes as well as our economic mechanismsincluding the quantitative expansion of the so that we can replace all inefficient systems andnational economy, and the accelerated migration outdated conventions as we strive to cope withof the farming and fishing populace to urban globalization. Viewed in this light, the duties andareas, however, shifted the base of Saemaul the responsibilities imposed upon SaemaulUndong to urban areas. The regional and inter- Undong at this stage are enormous and signifi-social group conflicts, which emerged as a result cant. Saemaul Undong should offer hope, visionof economic growth, made it inevitable to redefine and courage to all people facing difficulties. Itthe goals of the movement. should stir up the energy and enthusiasm neces-
66sary to motivate Korean society to start over. B. Orientation of the New Saemaul The new Saemaul Undong should strive to Undongconstruct a new and better country by activelyresponding to the conditions of the times. While The new Saemaul Undong should be guidedthe goal of the early Saemaul Undong was promo- by three vital missions. First of all, it must identifytion of prosperity, the new Saemaul Undong its new tasks for the purpose of promotingintends to establish itself as a national movement people’awareness of existing social hardships sto realize a wholesome community, guided by the and mobilizing their participation in the processideal of“mutual prosperity.”In other words, the of overcoming such difficulties. Specifically, itideal and the goals of the new Saemaul Undong should seek to revolutionize the daily lives of citi-are embodied in the endeavor to foster common zens and reconstruct regional communities, andprosperity, serve as a of the social integration lead the way in identifying and pursuing practicalprocess, and become a leading force in the revital- and plausible tasks, initiating efforts to revitalizeization of the country. the national economy and to help the unem-
67ployed overcome the current difficulties. Saemaul Thus far, Saemaul Undong has done its partUndong should also newly establish itself, shed- in achieving national and social development as ading its old image. Most Koreans have a positive campaign aimed at advancing the attitudes ofunderstanding about the campaign because of its Koreans, developing the economy, and improvinggreat contribution to the development of both the society. In this light, the new Saemaul Undongnation and the regional communities. However, can be defined as follows:its initial characteristic as a government-initiated ■ Saemaul Undong is a movement designedmovement has been the source of a great deal of to promote love of country and efforts fornegative perception and criticism. Accordingly, its revitalization.efforts should be made to leave behind the old ■ It is a campaign designed to revolutionizementality, conventions, and systems so that the the attitudes and lifestyles of citizens, help-movement can build a horizontal, cooperative ing them develop sound and healthy atti-partnership, in place of a government-dependent tudes.campaign. Achieving financial self-reliance is one ■ It is a drive to help community live in loveof the urgent tasks in this regard. Furthermore, and harmony.activities should be strengthened and carried out ■ It is a national conservation movementin cooperation with various non-governmental focused on building an environmentallyorganizations and vocational associations with a sustainable community.view to promoting a better understanding of the ■ It is an initiative to prepare for the nation’ scampaign. This way, the campaign can expand reunification and to construct a worldthe scope of its activities and roles as well. where everyone can enjoy prosperity. Last but not least, Saemaul Undong shouldredefine its role by fully exploiting its dynamism The new Saemaul Undong should prioritizeand strengthening its function in promoting pub- the realization of these five characteristics, acceptlic welfare. It is well understood that the energy of the mission and execute it step by step. ThisSaemaul Undong is felt most keenly in the field, approach will emphasize personal responsibilitywhere the villagers can enthusiastically translate for self-improvement first and foremost in ourinto reality the objectives and specifications laid daily lives, in our dealings with our neighbors,out in a particular project’blueprint. Neverthe- s through continued education, campaigning, andless, there persists a tendency for implementation various events designed to enhance public wel-to center around the orders, interference, and the fare.control delivered top-down from the central gov- The focus of the new Saemaul Undong’ sernment. The emphasis must be shifted to the efforts will be to identify general goals and specif-field, or the actual implementation sites, by abol- ic tasks as guided by the following principles:ishing central government-oriented functions, sys- First, the ongoing“Saving the Nation andtems, and conventions. At the same time, the cam- Revitalizing the Economy”campaign will focuspaign’executive organization should be recreat- s on helping the unemployed overcome their cur-ed as a new and open entity, by securing neces- rent difficulties. The Korean nation achieved mod-sary expertise, efficiency, and autonomy. ernization by exploiting the deeply embedded sentiment of patriotism, while at the same time mobilizing public confidence through the“Pros-C. Nature and Tasks of the New perity for Us Campaign.”The new Saemaul Saemaul Undong Undong will lead efforts to promote self-help
68measures to deal with the current IMF crisis. tem to honor exemplary villages. Furthermore, itMoreover, it will create a consensus concerning will provide intensive assistance, and in decision-the need to“Unite and Begin Once More”while making, it will be as sensitive as possible to thefostering an environment favoring frugality and special characteristics of each village. Second, thehard work. It will focus on igniting in the minds of campaign to revolutionize public attitudes will bethe general public a strong will to achieve their conducted in line with another national move-goals and helping them translate these goals into ment to reconstruct the nation as a whole. Thereality. At the same time, the campaign will focus of the campaign will be on enhancing ratio-aggressively pursue revitalization of the agricul- nality and maturity in Korean society and promot-tural and fishing communities, recognizing that ing the sharing of attitude and value systems, thusrural as well as urban sectors should enjoy com- curbing widespread irrationality, inefficiency, andmon prosperity. irregularities. There will be expanded access to In order to realize the afore-mentioned goals, social education in order to foster democratic citi-the new Saemaul Undong should focus first on zenship, because adopting appropriate attitudesthose hit by unemployment. The ongoing short- and moral standards will ensure that citizens canterm efforts to help unemployed heads of families compete on the global stage armed with advancedunable to afford meals will be augmented by a global perspectives.long-term structural prescription, establishing The tasks pertaining to the second categorylocal social networks, and operating an on-site will include establishing basic order in daily lifeeducational program to help those who plan to by emphasizing public order, kindness, and clean-open new businesses. In order to help revitalize liness. The campaign to revolutionize our dailythe economies in agricultural and fishing villages, lives will be promoted to reach every villagerit will seek to establish a system of direct trade for through various campaigns and events specifical-agricultural products, active utilization of arable ly tailored to the realities of each village. In addi-lands now lying idle, and the operation of a sys- tion, the campaign will maximize public participa-
69tion through The“5-Froms Movement”( “from be achieved by holding various events, establish-myself, from small matters, from things nearby, ing regional ties, and promoting cultural andfrom easy matters, and from now on.” The ) social exchanges. A wide variety of regional ser-Family Saemaul Undong, a movement to promote vice activities will also be organized and systemat-the practice of these principles in the home, will be ically implemented. Regional Saemaul volunteeraggressively pursued. centers will be opened in order to transform the Traditional virtues and values will be homily “Love thy neighbor” into daily practice. Astrengthened by operating schools that teach network will be set up connecting communitiesproper manners, encouraging young people to with volunteers, in order to help senior citizenswrite letters to parents and elderly relatives, and living alone, orphaned youths who have assumedemphasizing the importance of traditions such as the role of parents to their younger siblings, andraising the national flag. New social education children unable to afford meals. On another front,programs designed to raise up democratic citizens in order to better assist urgent rescue missions andby strengthening voluntary participation and disaster recovery activities in contingencies suchsocialization, and promoting awareness of quali- as floods, there will be improved mobilization andties, attitudes and behaviors required in the infor- organization of needed personnel. Specifically, themation age will be introduced. availability of food supply vehicles and volunteer Third, the campaign to help neighbors live in personnel will be maintained around the clock,love and harmony focuses on the goal of social programs to restore affected sites will be devel-integration. Specifically, it aims at achieving oped and training programs will be augmented.regional integration by helping heal the wounds Students’ volunteer activities will also be aggres-left by conflicts and confrontations among various sively promoted through cooperative efforts withregions and different social groups, while at the schools in each district.same time eradicating unsubstantiated prejudices Fourth, the campaign to protect nature willabout certain regions and their inhabitants. In focus on expanding the scope of the nature con-addition, the campaign seeks integration among servation drive to comprehensive efforts to pre-people in different groups. In order to build a soci- serve life on the planet. This is based on the recog-ety where all members live together in harmony nition that in order to ensure the continued sur-and prosperity, extra efforts should be made to vival of humankind, people must live in harmonyhelp those who have been left behind in the with nature. A comprehensive environmentalprocess of economic development, as well as those preservation campaign will be carried out byhit hard by the current economic crisis. To this mobilizing the collective efforts of villagers.end, the movement will expand citizen participa- The tasks relating to the fourth category willtion by establishing a system to monitor and assist include promoting resident participation involunteer workers striving to restore humane and Saemaul cleanups, cutting down on food waste,caring regional communities. At the same time, it separate collection of recyclable waste, and recy-will fulfill its accepted role as one of the key orga- cling. The philosophy behind these activities is tonizations in Korea working to promote the public encourage initiating these practices at home togood. reduce and prevent the spread of pollutants. A Projects to meet these goals will include system requiring certain regions to take care ofstrengthening social integration by promoting small rivers in their jurisdictions will be estab-mutual understanding between the southeastern lished in order to raise the efficiency of the cam-and the southwestern regions of Korea. This will paign to revitalize and regenerate rivers to the
70point that they can support life forms once again. common prosperity. Specifically, efforts will beThis will be achieved by promoting competition made to help feed those who are less fortunateamong the different regions involved, and by and unable to afford decent meals. The campaignattracting the attention and participation of the will also strive to lay down a foundation for theresidents. A wide variety of environmentally ori- implementation of Saemaul Undong following theented events and activities will be implemented to nation’reunification. Furthermore, the guiding sinduce and expand voluntary participation. These spirit of Saemaul Undong, which values diligence,can include summertime infection prevention pro- self-help, and cooperation, will be promoted ingrams, manufacturing soaps from recycled veg- countries which look to our nation as a model.etable oil, operating environmental information The tasks to be employed in fulfilling thecenters in summer resorts, collecting recyclable goals mentioned in this category include an agri-raw materials, and developing parks throughout cultural cooperation project in the Maritimethe nation. Province in Siberia, Russia. If realized, the project Fifth, a campaign to prepare for the nation’ s will be instrumental in promoting Saemaulreunification and to bring Saemaul Undong to the Undong overseas in cooperation with underdeve-global level will focus on facilitating the realiza- loped countries. Other projects that are beingtion of the importance of common survival and finalized range from overseas volunteer services
71 3. Strategies to Revitalize the New Saemaul Undong A. Re-establishment as an Advanced Non-Governmental Organization Toward the end of the 1980s, sweeping changes were made in Korea, and democracy was enhanced as a result. This in turn brought about an explosive growth of non-governmental, non- political, and non-profit civil movements, thus dictating the need for Saemaul Undong to advance its mechanism and structures as well . We have witnessed advanced welfare soci- eties plagued by numerous social problems. Oftentimes, they have failed to act on various demands involving women’rights, environmen- s tal protection, and anti-war activism. Social ills such as massive unemployment and the plight of the homeless, among others, have pointed out the limitations of capitalist welfare states. The new idea has emerged that the private sector must play a part in meeting the needs of these socially disad-by university students, participation in non-gov- vantaged groups. As a consequence, NGOs haveernmental organizations in the United Nations, rapidly expanded, their work guided by the prin-and establishment of overseas offices for Koreans ciples of participation, autonomy, and volunteerliving abroad and foreigners who have completed activities.the Saemaul education program, to expansion of The essence of non-governmental organiza-exchanges with national campaign organizations tions in Western civil societies lies in voluntarism.of other countries and related non-govermental They have developed a time-honored traditionorganizations(NGOs). Planned exchanges with characterized by voluntary participation as theyJapan, aimed at energizing the northeast Asian moved beyond the continuous confrontationregion, are included in these efforts. Saemaul among governments, markets, and the citizensUndong will also lead various civilian projects to during the Citizens’Revolution. On the otherassist Koreans in North Korea and cooperate in hand, in the developing countries, nationalimproving the North’agricultural structure by s economies have been weak with little or no capitalapproaching it from various perspectives. Finally, to support social welfare policies. Accordingly, theSaemaul Undong’efforts toward reunification s NGOs in these countries went along two differentwill be aggressively pursued in line with efforts to paths respectively: either leading anti-governmentbring about national reconciliation and the movements, aligning themselves with anti-estab-restoration of the Korean society. lishment political movements, or acting to supple-
72ment the functions of weak public welfare sys- virtues’ mobilizing a large number of citizens bytems by developing close relationships with the nationwide in tackling common social tasksgovernment based on mutual interests. through action and concrete practice. However, as Saemaul Undong began as a“Third Sector we are approaching a new century, it is criticalMovement,”the name indicating another option that the nature of Saemaul Undong adapt to thein addition to the public and private sectors. The coming age if it is to survive and flourish in thesemovement functioned to perform what would times of unbridled globalization.normally be governmental tasks but had not been The requirements of globalization are auton-accomplished, and tasks in which the government omy, a strong private sector, and a market-orient-could not directly involve itself. Typical civil ed mentality. Because Saemaul Undong was initi-movements in Korea tended to be elite- and city- ated by the government during the era when theoriented, indulge in technical or peripheral issues, nation’economic growth was led by the govern- sand focus on criticism, monitoring, and the filing ment, some still regard it as a quasi-governmentalof formal complaints with government authori- organized movement. Such misunderstandingsties. Departing from these movements, Saemaul must be clarified through the creation of anUndong created and accumulated‘positive autonomous, independent organization.
73B. Securing Autonomy in C. Expanding Its Role as a Administration Community-Based Safety Network In order for Saemaul Undong to establishitself as a genuine nationwide civil movement in Saemaul Undong was created on the basis ofboth name and reality, it should make efforts to the traditional Korean philosophy of assistingsecure autonomy in its management and execu- neighbors according to ture, kye, and hyangyak2)tion of projects. As an agrarian society, Koreans have cultivat- First, it should direct all of its energy to ed community awareness and community-orient-restoring the Korean self-confidence echoed in ed behavior through agricultural cooperation andthe motto,“We Can Run Again,”and reviving have developed the perception that relationshipsthe Korean people’enthusiasm and excitement s between neighbors are like those of close relatives.through implementing a campaign to revolution- This cherished tradition took deep root in commu-ize their daily lives. Focus should be on practical nities that were bound together, not because ofissues, not on any entertainment of abstract geographical proximity, but because they actuallyideas. shared their lives: a common desire to share the Second, it should contribute to the expansion joys and sorrows of life with neighbors and toand strengthening of civil society by constructing work together to solve the problems of the region.systems to promote cooperation with various The restrictions caused by inadequate supply ofvocational and other civil movement organizations. labor forces were solved through sharing laborsThe goal of these efforts is to transcend egocentrism among farmers. Those in need were helped by theand egoism and instead, to pool collective wisdom united efforts of the neighborhood whereas majorin cooperative efforts to solve social problems. village events, large or small, were shouldered Third, it should re-establish itself as a trans- collectively.parent, 100% autonomous, efficient civil move- Villagers’behavior was bound more by tra-ment by maintaining and cultivating a sound, ditional norms than by formal laws. Those whoequal partnership with the administration, on were disobedient to their parents, cheated orwhich the campaign used to depend. robbed others, or committed adultery were never Fourth, it should enhance its autonomy in forgiven; violators of such social boundaries wereexecuting the projects for which it has accepted immediately ostracized according to the collectiveresponsibility. Specifically, it is of critical impor- decision of the villagers. Hyangyak was instru-tance to enhance financial self-reliance and the mental in promoting positive traditions andpride of Saemaul Leaders in local fields, and behavior through mutual encouragement andestablish exemplary Saemaul workers as role guidance among villagers. It emphasized fourmodels. principles: mutual encouragement of good deeds, Fifth, it should focus on maximizing the effi- mutual correction of misconduct, interrelatingciency of project implementation. Specifically, it with others with proper manners and sharingshould put more emphasis on fields of implemen- good customs, and mutual aid to those in need. Intation so that the creativity and diversity of differ-ent regions can be revitalized in this age of local- 2) The former two refer to traditional private-sec-ization. Also new productive tasks should be tor organizations in Korea for facilitating mutu-developed according to rational management-ori- al help, whereas the last is a traditional mecha-ented strategies. nism to promote common values.
74short, it signified a voluntary agreement among societal group conflicts and mutual distrust, highvillagers, their code of conduct, and a village ethi- accident rates, including traffic fatalities, and pol-cal code. Supported by Hyangyak, villagers devel- lution due to various causes.oped a unique code by which to live harmonious- As a means to overcome the grim reality andly. to construct a better civil society, Saemaul Undong However, rampant materialism in the wake will enhance its ability to assist in the restorationof drastic urbanization and industrialization has of traditional, genuine community where citizensled to self-centered behavior that has weakened encourage good deeds, discourage one anothertraditional village ethics. from acting unethically, help their neighbors in Presently, Korean society is witnessing a vari- need, and live in harmony with one another.ety of rampant social problems: the rise of a deca- One buzzword frequently heard since thedent entertainment culture and illegal activities, IMF crisis is Community-Based Safety Network’extremely dichotomous thinking, an irrational as a social welfare system for those who have lostidentity with a particular region or group, inter- economic viability. The Town Safety Network
75used with relation to Saemaul Undong signifies a Various activities will be carried out in this regard:collective effort to organize citizens’autonomous, helping those heads-of-household who have lostvoluntary efforts to solve problems independently their jobs in the wake of massive economicin their own neighborhoods. The ultimate concern restructuring, putting the maxim of“love thyhere is to construct an environmentally safe and neighbor” into practice through helping the disad-sanitary village, one which is accident- and disas- vantaged, including senior citizens living alone,ter-free, where no one is isolated and left lonely. It and parentless youths who must take care of theirwill be a village full of humanity, one that guaran- families themselves, preserving nature with atees physical and psychological well-being. view to constructing a pleasanter environment, establishing order with a view to preventing disasters such as traffic accidents, and practicing kindness in our daily lives. Citizens’participation is critical to the success of the process. A neighborhood becomes more beautiful and safer when all resi- dents loves their village and do their best to develop it into a place they feel proud of. To this end, Saemaul Undong will gal- vanize the activities of its vari- ous service organizations, by regional unit, while maximizing the efficiency of its campaign through close cooperation with various social, civil, and voca- tional organizations. At the same time, it will aggressively implement a campaign to recon- struct regional community. Specifically, it will construct neighborhood full of humanity and warmth, villages where many will want to live. This will be achieved by encouraging more active participation and sociability on the part of the resi- dents. Regular resident council meetings, and development of a variety of educational programs for democratic citizens are just some of the planned efforts.
77 History of Saemaul UndongApril 22, 1970 Saemaul Kaggugi Undong, or Improve Our Village Campaign, was pro- claimed.January 14, 1972 The Training Institute for Productive Farmers was opened.July 2, 1972 Education for Saemaul Leaders began.January 25, 1973 The Saemaul Medal was added to the government award system.December 1, 1980 Saemaul Undong Headquarters was legally established as a corporation. (It changed its name to the National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement in Korea in April, 1989)October 1, 1980 Regional offices were opened in large cities and provinces.December 13, 1980 Saemaul Undong Organization Fostering Act was enacted.October 20, 1983 Branch offices were opened in smaller cities, rural counties, and urban districts.December 31, 1983 Saemaul Leaders Training Institute Headquarters was incorporated. It renamed itself as Central Saemaul Undong Training Institute in January, 1990.Septermber 24, 1984 Saemaul education for foreigners began.April 15, 1985 Saemaul Undong Headquarters Training Institute was opened in ChangSong, Chollanam-do. (It changed its name to Southern Saemaul Undong Training Institute in January, 1990.)November 23, 1991 The Fruitful Work Awards were first presented.March 28, 1997 Protocol for Saemaul Cooperation Project in Maritime Province in Siberia, Russia was signed.April 21, 1998 The Association of Those Who Love Saemaul Undong was launched.December 8, 1998 The second phase of Saemaul Undong was proclaimed.
The National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement1008-4 Daechi-3dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea TEL : 82-2-2600-3671 FAX : 82-2-2600-3673