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Korean citizens participating in the gold collecting campaign
|Revised Romanization||Geum Mo-eu-gi Undong|
|McCune–Reischauer||Kŭm moŭgi undong|
|The gold collecting campaign from January to April 1998|
The gold collection campaign was a voluntary sacrificial movement for the nation in 1997 to repay the debt of the Republic of Korea when the IMF asked for relief money. At that time, Korea had about $ 304 billion in foreign exchange debt. The campaign, involving about 3.51 million people nationwide, collected about 227 tons of gold. It was worth about $2.13 billion.
On July 2, 1997, Thailand changed its fixed exchange rate system, which has been maintained for the past 13 years. As the exchange rate system is shifted, the price of Thai baht in the foreign exchange market plunged This was a direct impetus for the East Asian financial crisis.Therefore, In an attempt to defend the country, on May 21, the IMF was asked to provide liquidity adjustment funds. At that time, there was a lot of controversy about what the real cause of the 'foreign exchange liquidity' was. In other words, the domestic foreign exchange market lacks the dollar, the KRW (the monetary unit of Korea) exchange rate surges, and some financial institutions are faced with the inability to repay foreign debts. This is due to the fact that the foreign exchange crisis has been amplified, As a result, foreign borrowing by financial institutions was blocked, making it difficult to repay short-term external debt of $30 billion and long-term external debt of $45 billion. In the face of such a situation, "one dollar collecting campaign" was raised but it did not get much attention. Then, from January 6, 1998, the next year, KBS proposed a proposal to develop a 'gold gathering movement'. At the same time, this movement has received nationwide attention from the beginning of the campaign.
The nationwide gold collecting campaign began on December 25, 1997, when KBS first reported on the news suggesting a gold collecting campaign. On January 5, 1998, KBS started a gold collecting campaign in earnest with the Housing Bank. The gold collecting campaign has not been developed around a single organization but has been developed by various media organizations and organizations participating competitively in the response of the public after the KBS report. In the gold collecting campaign, gold was received through six banks: Housing Bank, Nonghyup, Kookmin Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Saemaeul Bank, and Industrial Bank. In fact, the gold collecting campaign is represented by two campaigns: KBS's "Nation love gold collecting campaign" and MBC and civic organizations' ‘gold collecting campaign for foreign debt repayment’.
The 'gold collecting campaign' was conducted from January 5, 1998 to April 30, 1998, in terms of time. On January 5, 1998, the gold received in the day reached 3,314 kg in 44,748 consignments, and 531 donations in 4.13 kg. On January 5, the number of participants exceeded 500,000, and on January 15th, the number of participants exceeded 1 million. At the end of the first campaign, January 31, the total number of participants was 1,169Kg in 1,669,555 people. The first campaign was held from January 5 to January 31 and the second campaign was held from February 5 to February 21. A total of 314,515 people participated in the second campaign of the "Nation love gold collecting campaign", with a total volume of 19,326 kg. The case of 'gold collecting campaign for foreign debt repayment' led by MBC, consumer, and civic group was actually carried out continuously from January 12 to March 14. For the 'gold collecting campaign for foreign debt repayment', the total number of participants is 884,000 and the collection volume is 49,603 kg.
The gold collecting campaign showed the most active participation in the month of January, and the participation rate gradually slowed down from February. The total number of participants (3.51 million people) collected by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and 30% of the collection volume are concentrated in the first 10 days of the gold collecting campaign. Though it was not as hot as the first time, participation trends continued throughout February, and MBC and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (The following 'NACF') led a total of 3.51 million people until March 14, when the second campaign ended. In the 'gold collecting campaign for foreign debt repayment', the third campaign was extended and extended until April 30, but after March 14, the participation decreased significantly.
The campaign for collecting gold started on January 5, 1998. The public who participated in the gold collecting campaign will receive a confirmation letter from the professional appraiser when they give out the gold (pure gold 24K). After the export, the dollar was evaluated at the exchange rate and the international gold price at the time, and the money was later returned in won. The gold collecting campaign, officially ended on March 14, was continued by the NACF.
Some 225 tons were raised, including 165t in January 1998, 53t in February, 5t in March, and 0.8t in April, and the number of people who participated in the event was 3.49 million nationwide. At the time, the amount of money amounting to 2.17 billion dollars was collected, and the amount of gold held by the Bank of Korea was over 10 times to 20 times.
The press gave news of participating in the gold gathering movement of all social groups and gave the people the right to participate in the gold gathering movement. After March, most of the news reported that the gold gathering movement had the hope of overcoming the foreign exchange crisis. This report was developed from the perspective of forcing the people to conform.
The media reported on the participation of companies such as Samsung Group and Daewoo Group, or sports entrants such as Lee Jong-bum, President Kim Dae-jung and Lee Kun-hee. They also encouraged the participation of the gold-gathering movement, noting the news of the general public, Chung Sung-hwan, who donated a deposit of 500,000 won.
After March 1998, when the campaign was completed, mainly the performance was reported. The report covers the fact that it can overcome the economic crisis mainly by collecting gold. The gold collecting campaign emphasizes voluntary participation and patriotism and has been developed in a way that encourages the participation of the whole people for the convenience of participation.
At the end of February 1998, five financial institutions such as the housing Bank and Kookmin Bank stopped collecting gold, and the end of April was the end of the NACF. The amount of gold that has been taken off since January 5, when the exercise began, is about 2,27t. In January, the highest number of 165.65t was removed, followed by 53.96t in February, 5.38t in March, and 800 kg in April. This resulted in approximately $ 1.82 billion in foreign currency. More than 3.3 million people participated in this event nationwide. It is an average of 65g per household. Of these, 21,000 people have dedicated 177kg of gold, and 1,735 people consigned 131 kg of gold in the form of buying government bonds. By type of collection agency, the Housing Bank (KBS-Daewoo) was the largest with 364t, followed by Nonghyup (MBC-Samsung) with 48.23t, Kookmin Bank and Saemaeul Bank (SBS-LG) accounted for 33.68t, Korea Exchange Bank 4.25t and Industrial Bank of Korea 1.98t each. It is a level that can be called 'the second national treasury compensation movement'. As a result, it repaid all of the $ 19.5 billion in borrowings backed by the IMF in August 2001, three years ahead of schedule.
The Gold-Collecting Campaign is regarded as a driving force for the people to overcome the foreign exchange crisis. According to a survey conducted by the Korea Development Institute(KDI) to understand the impact of the IMF on the perception of the public and its impact on life for the 20th anniversary of the 1997 financial crisis, according to the IMF crisis, (42.4%). In addition, the unity of the people (54.4%) as the driving force to graduate from the foreign exchange crisis was the highest priority, which is higher than the restructuring and reform efforts (15.2%).
Meanwhile, when it started in January 1998, the news articles repeatedly reported how people voluntarily participated, how much it could be helpful to overcome national crisis, and how shameful not participating with self-sacrifice behavior for country. Emphasizing the patriotism of the Korean people, it blurred the right reasons for economic crisis by emotional things. Instead, ideological effect such as ‘we can do it’ was succeeded. After the official close of the campaign, it was articulated other discourse by restructuring process. That is, the social memory of ‘gold collection campaign’ was reconstructed in combination with discourse of economic crisis, justification of Neoliberalism economic policies such as Pro-Chaebol, Capitalist-friendly policies, and labor flexibility, discourse of peoples’ over-consumption, nostalgia for Park’s regime. Overall, it served only as a tool for constructing arbitrary discourses, and consequently critical reflection of historical event was ignored.
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