🇰🇷 The awesome south korea discussion thread. Oh yes

I’ve been working on south korea for a while. We got a whole new cast of ministers done so it didn’t look completely weird to have south korea run by a bunch of Europeans:

(Yup…I know we haven’t done the names yet…).

All of the initial settings are in and I am balancing it as a new country now. Here is the initial screen!

I set it to only have 2 parties, because although obviously they have lots, it does seem that south korean politics is dominated by the main two.

And the main UI for my very first balance attempt:

I’m pleased to report we have our first conservative country on the political compass! With an initial private space program,. high productivity and technological advantage. This all sounds very plausible to me.

I need to get some stuff in there to represent tension with North Korea, and also to reflect the obsession with educational performance. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • I’m thinking a south korea specific ‘Border Tensions with North Korea’ situation that was affected by foreign relations to some extent, and which boosted patriotism would be a good idea?

  • Currently immigration is sky high and there is an illegal immigration crisis. I think this is wrong, and caused mostly by the economy. Given the geography AND language barrier, I may add a hard coded reduction in immigration.

  • Education is high but not insanely high, and I think that needs a boost from cultural importance of education, and private tutoring.

  • The South Korean president can only remain for one single term! which seems a bit depressing from a gameplay POV, and we don’t even support that low a setting, so its currently 2…



On the case of inmigration I think it should be reduced a bit in the base model and also give the inmigration rules more power to limit illegal inmigration.

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Just from opinion, Since south korea primarily shares a border with North Korea therefore does not receive much immigration. So the Border Wall would be less effective and probably to so some extent unpopular. South Koreans (from what I know) welcome North Koreans with their whole ressetlement of the refugees.

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For when you set up their taxes, this source seems very useful & authoritative. PWC (PriceWaterhouseCooper) is one of the largest accounting, tax, & audit firms in the world.


The sidebar to the left on the website lets you click around various types of taxes.

Key notes from the website

  • VAT is 10%, exempting food & healthcare
  • Inheritance tax ranges from 10% to 50%
  • Property tax maxes out at 5%
  • Scaling income tax rates, in Korean won
  • Pension tax is roughly 4.5% on employee & 4.5% on employer
  • Other payroll taxes are roughly 2%
  • A dream for you for setting up the tax credits & tax benefits & some welfare items - Korea, Republic of - Individual - Deductions
  • interestingly, there’s a tax credit of half a million won (roughly $500 USD) for being a female taxpayer.
  • the tax credits for children are pretty low, roughly $150 USD per child and $300 for the third child and any additional, I think - check my maths!
  • a 15% deduction on charitable income
  • corporations can take a tax credit for investments into productivity (this reads to me like technology grants and/or robotic research grants)
  • corporate tax credit for investing in sustainable energy

Other sources!

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South Korea is only a NATO partner, not a member. (Membership is restricted to Europe and North America.)

I’d say whatever mechanic is used to represent tension with the DPRK should incentivize maintaining a strong military to deter them. If you have the time for a custom policy, you could also include the US troop presence as a policy, as that’s a big political issue in the ROK.

Personally, I’d change how the term limit system works across the game, to give you the option to continue playing as a successor if you win the election at the end of your term. Term limits are the rule rather than the exception when it comes to presidential systems. I just checked actually, and presidential systems that do not have term limits of one term, two terms, or no consecutive terms can be counted on one hand.


Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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Working on this still :smiley:

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I was worried that the alcohol abuse situation seemed wrong for south korea but… seems I am mistaken. it SHOULD be triggering :smiley:

Higher than UK!


This is weird to me, but makes sense. Since South Korea has a 2-year mandatory national service IRL, smoking is apparently quite prominent. Cigarette Smoking in South Korea: A Narrative Review

Many South Korean men claim to have become daily smokers thanks to the free cigarettes offered while serving. Which in a way makes sense - almost half of South Korean men are smokers, whereas in women, it’s around 10%. Smoking in South Korea - Wikipedia
Cigarette Smoking in South Korea: A Narrative Review

Something I also hadn’t considered… if the state health service is very well-funded, it might offer programs to help people stop smoking (like nicotine patches). Pure food for thought!

It looks like the free distribution of cigarettes to soldiers ended in 2009, so we are likely looking at the long term cultural after effects of a policy from the past, which is tricky to model in the game.
It does seem that the lack of much in the way of government programs also causes high tobacco use, and my initial model of South Korea seems to reflect that nicely as things are (although it did encourage me to enable tobacco awareness campaign for the UK, which has roughly half the tobacco use of South Korea).

In my opinion you should put the event and the “crisis” “war with north korea” or “war with our neighbor” but with some warning like the usual warning of the blond gentleman with the blue jacket and after a few turns the “victory” or “defeat” event and with a description odve it says what you have lost as territories and in case of defeat put the “retreat into oblivion” button as the so-called election loss or as an attack.



And then for a future update to do North Korea if you can, you want and you have the time that I would care a lot because it is a country that interests me a lot because it is a dictatorship so you should do as in democracy 3 that was there option to make the monarchy but instead of the monarchy you will have to add dictatorship in all states as an option and if I raise democracy you should put an event for example called “A new party in our country” and randomly choose the name of the party opposition.


and and if this crisis worsens an event where you wrote for example: “our capital was bombed” and the description for example "north korea bombed seul, [tot] lives are gone forever. This is a start of a second korean war? "
(referring to North Korean threat)


Huzzah! :slight_smile:

BTW, more food for thought for South Korea-unique incidents & dilemmas…

  1. North Korean defector spends six hours walking around heavily guarded border unnoticed | South Korea | The Guardian happened today, which is embarrassing for ROK’s security apparatus.

  2. Opening up conscription for women, as dilemma or policy. More gender equality (both genders enlist) and lower population (2 fewer years to spend raising kids) but also lower productivity (2 years outta the workforce) and lots of people would probably be unhappy. Happy patriots but unhappy conservatives?! Could this be the one incident to make patriots happy and conservatives unhappy?!

  3. Draft dodging & draft exceptions. For draft dodging, any of these RL examples could be dilemmas. Conscription in South Korea - Wikipedia

  4. Draft exceptions & deferrals: For draft exceptions, see the exceptions & deferrals historically given to Olympic competitors & the like. Deferrals have recently been given to KPop stars in ROK in BDS New ‘BTS Law’ Is Passed in South Korea. An Army of Fans Rejoices. - The New York Times - which would definitely upset patriots & maybe conservatives, but help with tourism & make youth happy.

  5. Not enough draftees: Lategame dilemma that could be caused by perilously-low population. The same NYT article above notes that due to declining birth rates in ROK, they may be unable to fill all of the boots needed for their current military.

  6. Conscientious Objectors filling prisons dilemma: In South Korea, Draft Resisters Still Go to Prison. But Now It’s a Job. - The New York Times This is also a thing in ROK. Historically, conscientious objectors (pacifist religion members) go to prison in lieu of serving in the military. A court last year said that the ROK has to allow them to serve the country in other ways, and the ROK government says they’ll follow the court ruling - by letting them serve the country from prison. The dilemma would be what to do with conscientious objectors. Do you exempt them from the draft, potentially raising draft-dodging & corruption & upsetting conservatives & patriots but making the religious & liberals happy? Or do you force them to serve in prison, letting them live in nicer prison space & not technically be prisoners, but also still live, work & eat in a prison? Or just keep doing what you were already doing & imprison them & give them a criminal record?

Starting policies:

  1. Border Wall?: Would ROK have a “border wall” policy, too? Since, well, its only land border is with DPRK.

  2. National Service at Start: ROK should definitely have a national service law in place at game start by the way. 2 year service requirement. Conscription in South Korea - Wikipedia

  3. CCTVs: South Korea has over 1 million CCTVs in public places per this source. • South Korea: number of CCTV cameras 2019 | Statista " Out of all these cameras, around half were installed for the purposes of facility safety and fire prevention, and approximately 45 percent were installed for crime prevention. A further four were for traffic law enforcement and various related data collection purposes. CCTV cameras are proving to be particularly beneficial in law enforcement, with the police admitting that CCTV records help solve the majority of serious crimes. Thus, the first step in any police investigation now is to obtain these records. In addition, CCTV records assist investigators searching for the cause of accidents."

  4. Max tourism ad campaign budget, to reflect the major Korean Wave (Hallyu) campaigns? Korean wave - Wikipedia These are how ROK has spent lots of time, money, & energy marketing its media products (like Kpop) abroad.


Some very interesting links, thankyou. I will check I have the tourism campaign and arts subsidies set high enough.
Regarding the various policies surrounding national service, these are hopefully to some extent contained within the slider for national service. So a high setting implies very few exceptions, and long se4rvice, and a low setting allows for plenty of allowable deferrals and exceptions, and only short periods of service.
I do like the idea of a yes/no to women in national service, although that’s not specifically Korean, and i need to check I can have dilemmas that are conditional on a policy being active first!

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I think so!

South Korea has a tax called alternative minimum tax.
I think it would make a very great addition. I have got useful information for that tax. South Korean tax system - Santandertrade.com

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I found a similar article here:

I get what its trying to achieve… to close a loophole where someone’s deductions outweigh their actual tax, but it seems a horrible kludge to me. Surely better to fix the way the original deductions are calculated, than to try and ‘patch’ it later on with yet another layer of tax and regulation?
This is why tax codes get so complex, more loopholes created, and why accountants earn so much.
We need simpler tax!

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The idea’s to limit what we’ll call… okay.

So accountants are weird. Tax professionals will talk about two types of tax planning: tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Using the law legally and without deceit, to avoid paying taxes, is tax avoidance. IE using semi-obscure deductions to your advantage, giving your children the maximum allowed under the gift tax rules so you pay a lower estate tax upon your death, etc. Tax evasion is when you deceive the authorities by withholding information - for example, not filing a return for that obscure bank account you have in the Cayman Islands and the income from your Swiss accounts, or making a deal with a faux buyer of your art to get it undervalued to avoid a tax burden.

Alternative minimums are meant to avoid people who utilize tax avoidance schemes - and, to a lesser extent, people who evade taxes.

Slightly off-topic btw, but would Tax Havens affect tax evasion?

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South Korea has VAT not sales tax . Would you consider adding a separate VAT tax. VAT and sales tax work in a different way.