Posted December. 25, 2008 06:32,
The Korean economy has had one tough year.
Early on, Koreans had high expectations for the Lee Myung-bak administration, which took office in February. The country was then hit by mass protests against U.S. beef imports stemming from a fear of mad cow disease, fluctuating stock price, a weakening won and the suicides of high-profile celebrities.
The world was not spared from misfortune, either, ranging from the unprecedented financial crisis and ensuing economic slowdown, earthquakes, floods and terrorism to deadly armed conflict.
High expectations for change and hope have not disappeared, however. Chinas growth after the Beijing Summer Olympics and the election of the first black U.S. president forecast the dawn of a new era.