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Korea, South - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook

      Glossary -- South Korea

      Korean translation of the Japanese word zaibatsu, or business conglomerate. A group of specialized companies with interrelated management servicing each other.
      chip (jip)
      The household, i.e., family members under one roof; the term k'unjip (big house) refers to the main family of the eldest son, while the term chagonjip (little house) refers to the branch family households of the younger sons.
      Teachings of the Heavenly Way, an indigenous monotheistic religion stressing the equality of man and the unity of man and the universe. Formerly Tonghak (q.v.), Ch'ondogyo had approximately 27,000 followers and 66 churches in South Korea in 1988.
      chuch'e (juche)
      The political ideology promulgated by Kim Il Song. The application of Marxism-Leninism to the North Korean experience based on autonomy and self-reliance.
      The "middle people"--a small group of technicians and administrators in traditional Korea, subordinate to the yangban (q.v.), that included astronomers, physicians, interpreters, legal; specialists, and artists.
      Demarcation Line
      Established under the Korean armistice agreement of 1953; marks the actual cease-fire line between South Korea and North Korea.
      DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)
      The 4-kilometer-wide buffer zone along the approximately 241- kilometer-long Demarcation Line (q.v.).
      fiscal year
      calendar year.
      Five Relationships
      The Confucian concept of ideal social relationships, formulated by classical Chinese philosophers such as Mencius (372-289 B.C.), which states that there should be affection between father and son, righteousness between ruler and minister, attention to their separate functions between husband and wife, proper order between old and young, and faithfulness between friends.
      gross domestic product. The total value of all final (consumption and investment) goods and services produced by an economy in a given period, usually a year.
      gross national product. GDP (q.v.) plus income from overseas investments minus the earnings of foreign investors in the home economy.
      The Korean phonetic writing system, developed by scholars in the court of King Sejong in the fifteenth century, which is used either by itself or in conjunction with Chinese characters.
      International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
      The lineage, a kinship unit consisting of all descendants of a common male ancestor who, in many cases, was the founder of a village. Some p'a contain thousands of households-- chip (q.v.), and members conduct ceremonies at the common ancestral gravesite. In some villages or hamlets in traditional Korea, many or most of the people were members of the same p'a.
      pukpang chongch'aek
      Also seen as Nordpolitik, or northern policy. Reconciling traditional ties with the West with new opportunities in the east; establishing self-reliant global posture; expanding and diversifying trade relations on global scale to cope with trade protectionism from the United States; improving relations with P'yongyang.
      to (do)
      Province, used in combined form, as Kangwoon-do for Kangwon Province, or Chungch'ong-pukto for North Ch'ungch'ong Province. There are eight mainland provinces and one island province in the Republic of Korea. Do, or to also means island, as in Cheju-do.
      Literally, Eastern learning, an indigenous religious movement founded by Ch'oe Che-u in the early 1860s, which spearheaded a popular, anti-foreign rebellion in 1894-95. Later renamed Ch'ondogyo (q.v.).
      The monetary unit. In January 1989, the exchange rate was W682.4 per US$1.
      World Bank
      Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)--q.v.).
      The scholar-official ruling class of traditional Korea, distinguished for its knowledge of neo-Confucianism and its monopoly of high government positions; more broadly, families with lineages descended from scholar-officials, and scholars who had passed the civil service examinations even though they had not secured an official post.

    NOTE: The information regarding Korea, South on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, South Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, South Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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