As Yoon Suk Yeol loses momentum on reforming South Korea, it’s time to ask whether his presidency will be remembered for ushering in a lost economic decade.
Granted, the risk of South Korea bumbling into a Japan-like malaise has been known for many years. Yoon, who next week wraps up his first of five years in power, marks the fourth leader in 15 years who has pledged to avoid this dreaded outcome.
Each took office with bold plans to ease regulations, support startups, increase productivity and reduce the dominance of family-owned conglomerates known as chaebols.
Yet when each saw the scale of the task — and the determination of vested interests to protect the status quo — they pivoted to other priorities.