Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Donald McConville
McCONVILLE: '87 - was a much more significant developing nation. It was clearly one of the tigers. Many of the people in the significant economic positions within the government at that time were people whom I had known 10 years earlier when I'd been out there in '74 to '77. Many of them I had extremely close relationships with, and this was of enormous benefit. Again, it was a period of extremely intense activity in '84 to '87, particularly on the trade side. Now, at this time textiles were still important in Korea, but there was a much, much broader range of trade relations in which Korea was a significant player by this time - steel and ships and all sorts of emerging electronic products. This was also a period in which trade issues were becoming more and more prominent in the United States as the international trade relationships and the deficits that the US had with some of these East Asian countries and so forth, so trade issues with Korea were a very prominent part of the agenda with Korea during that '84 to '87 period, not just in the economic dimension but in terms of our total relationships. My first ambassador in Korea when I first arrived there had been Habib, Philip Habib, and then he was followed by Dick Schneider. Both Habib and Schneider were career officers and both were ambassadors who attached a great deal of important to the economic dimension of relationships in Korea and had gone out of their way to develop very good relationships with the American business community in Korea and to give a great deal of attention to economic issues.