ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter

Facing elections, Moon struggles to revive South Korean economy

Industrial wastelands defy stimulus to expose economic malaise

For years, South Korea's economy has stagnated. Whether postindustrial cities like Gunsan can prosper -- or even just survive -- will shape President Moon Jae-in’s legacy. (Photo by Jean Chung)

GUNSAN, South Korea -- In downtown Gunsan, amid the dusty machine shops, vacant storefronts and empty restaurants that make up much of the city's core, sits a gleaming, three-story operation. A sign at its entrance promises those who enter "one-stop support" on their way to a "happy new beginning."

The building is an ad-hoc, government-funded job placement center that was set up nearly two years ago to help the city's working people navigate a protracted economic crisis. Inside, 30 staff provide job placement and psychological counseling services. One program is called "I Am in Control of My Future." Another is art time for adults.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more