S. Korea's economic growth tops nations engaged in Korean War

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea surpassed the United States and 14 other participants in the 1950-53 Korean War in economic growth rate over the past six decades, the country's most powerful business lobby said Friday.

South Korea's gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic performance, rose to US$1.13 trillion in 2012 from $2.3 billion in 1961, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said, citing data by the World Bank.

The figure showed that South Korea's annual average GDP growth was 12.9 percent, the highest among the 15 countries that sent troops to South Korea to help repel the Chinese-backed North Korean forces during the war.

Ethiopia also sent troops to South Korea, though the African country was excluded in the comparison as the World Bank began to compile data on that country in 1981.

The latest data on economic performance comes a day before South and North Korea mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a cease-fire agreement that ended hostilities in the war.

South Korea has pursued export-driven policy that helped transform war-ravaged Seoul into Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The country also surpassed the 15 allied nations in annual average growth rate of exports.

South Korea shipped goods worth $547.8 billion in 2012, compared with $38 million in 1961. It means South Korea's exports grew 20.6 percent on average per year during the cited period, according to the FKI, which speaks for the country's large businesses.

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