The Sewol Tragedy Has Also Become an Economic Disruption for South Korea
May 12, 2014
For the past three months in the United States, corporate results that didn’t meet expectations and economic data that leveled or slightly slowed have all been attributed to one extraordinary event: an unusually cold and snowy winter.
Now, South Korea’s economy is also being slowed down by an extraordinary event no one saw coming: the sinking of the Sewol ferry ship and the resulting feelings of sadness and guilt over the deaths of more than 300 people aboard it.
South Korea is going through something much worse than a snap or two (or more) of bad weather. In many ways, the country and its people are experiencing effects similar to those in the United States in the weeks and months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
There’s been shock, shame, anger, outrage, and recrimination. But those feelings have been manifest in a collective withdrawal that is producing an economic effect.