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Three years have passed since Korea, due to the lack of foreign currency liquidity, was bailed out by the IMF on December 3, 1997.
Most of economists, domestic or foreign, now agree that the nation has pulled itself completely out of the currency crisis.
However, the nation has also undergone various hardships. Since the shutdown of five ailing banks on June 29, 1998, about one-fourth of all financial institutions have been closed or merged into other financial institutions.
Some large conglomerates, including Daewoo and Kia, have gone bankrupt, dispelling the myth of "too big to fail" The number of the unemployed once soared to 1.8 million, and the number of homeless also increased significantly, both of which are almost unprecedented in the nation's history since the 1960s.
The economy has also seen its system transformed into a new one, much at the request of the IMF. Many economists even maintain that the changes in the last three years dwarf those of the 40 years before the currency crisis. In this sense, the currency crisis has served as a good opportunity in reforming the economic structure, which had been problematic, but whose reform had been continually delayed for a long period of time. Nevertheless, the domestic economy had to and will continue to have to endure considerable expenses in the reform process, which tries to combine the new system with existing economic practices.