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[Editorial] Proud Koreans

Posted December. 25, 2006 07:37,   


Although the economic slump, coupled with the security instability, made the lives of the people worse than ever this year, they could feel proud of being Korean thanks to a series of success stories from native Koreans. These Koreans who have topped the world with their passion and endeavors with virtually no overseas experience rekindled a hope in our hearts. This is a great triumph of native Koreans.

Cho Sung-jin, vice-president of LG Electronics conquered the world’s drum washing machine market by developing direct drive (DD) technology. Cho has dedicated the past 31 years of his life to washing machines since he graduated from a technical high school in Seoul. He was promoted last week as the company’s first vice-president without an undergraduate degree. “I was worried that I might be transferred to other division upon promotion. I am glad that I can continue to research washing machines,” Cho said. He is a good example of determined craftsmanship that made today’s Korea.

Kim Yu-na won major international figure skating competitions this year. Due to financial difficulties, her mother coached Kim by herself. Her dedication and devotion resulted in a miracle on ice. In Japan, some 100 promising skaters are selected each year by the Skating Association and receive intensive training. In other words, Kim’s mother has done what a country or a skating association has not been able to do. Kim, who is completely dedicated to training, says that the only moments she takes a rest are when participating in international competitions.

Park Tae-hwan won three-gold medals in swimming and became the MVP at the Doha Asian Games. Park also showcased the potential of native Koreans to the world. Every day, Park swam 16 kilometers for four hours and 50 minutes, never complaining about the intensity of training. Park’s coach Roh Min-sang, who discovered potential in Park, was also not a well-known swimmer, but trained Park with an innovative training method. The Korea Sport Science Institute also helped to shorten Park’s records with its scientific data analyses.

Kim Sun-wook won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition and Kim Joo-won won the best female dancer award at the 14th Benois de la Dance. Moreover, Korean B-boys (break dancers) dominated international breaking dance competitions. They are all great native Koreans. Their outstanding passion, hard work and innovation have told us about who Koreans are and what Koreans can achieve.

What they have demonstrated to us is self-fulfillment, as well as self-reliance. The government has shaken the country with the term self-reliance, but it is important to remind oneself that true self-reliance is not a given to a big frog in a small pond. Self-reliance can be only achieved when we have the ability to impress the world.