President Obama’s visit to South Korea in April 2014, was considered particularly important for two reasons. First of all, it was to highlight the importance of the alliance between the two countries, and second of all, it was to emphasize its success as one of the greatest achievements in American history when it comes to foreign aid. To be more precise, the fact that South Korea became a global partner with an 11-percent increase in foreign assistance budget says a lot about their success, which, again, implies that the US foreign assistance can contribute to security, as well as economic prosperity.
The Korean War had a detrimental impact on South Korea, especially on its population, along with economic and military capacity. So, the United States invested about $35 billion in economic foreign assistance with the aim of getting the country back on the road to its recovery, but also to protect it from North Korean aggression that could possibly come in the future. And, of course, the job was done successfully, as the economy of South Korea flourished soon afterward, while Seoul became a major bulwark of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific.
Not only did South Korea’s transformation prove to be a diplomatic triumph for the US, but it was also a smart investment for American businesses. How is that possible? It’s quite simple – those $35 billion they provided, in fact, “amount to less than what the United States exports to South Korea annually.” All in all, as a result of such an economic miracle, South Korea became the tenth largest export market for US goods. Furthermore, Seoul implemented the US-South Korean free trade agreement (which was reached two years earlier, in 2012) only helped the country develop even more and import even more goods from the US.