Posted by: rbbadger | May 13, 2010

He’s not that impressed with you.

Here is former president Park Chung-hee.  From 1961 until his assassination in 1979, he held the presidency which he gained by means of a military coup.  During his presidency, South Korea, with the exception of the Jeolla provinces, began its amazing transformation into one of the Asia’s economic giants.  Not a bad accomplishment for a country that had been one of the poorest in the world before.  In fact, until President Park’s economic reforms took off, North Korea had a higher standard of living than the South did.

He looks strict and certainly not all that impressed.  Maybe he had just had a meeting with Jimmy Carter, a president for which he did not like in the least.  That might account for the look of vague disgust on his face.  And yes, he still looks every inch like the soldier he was.  After working as a teacher, he joined the Japanese Army and later transferred into the army of the Republic of Korea.  He arose to the rank of general.  In 1961, he and a group of generals took over the government.  While he later renounced his military rank in order to be a civilian president, he certainly never lost his miltary bearing.  Apparently, he retained his thrifty and frugal habits until the end of his life.  When his body was brought to the emergency room, the doctors simply could not believe that it was the president, owing to his worn out belt and shoes. 

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