The International Monetary Institute (IMF)’s policies to rectify Korea’s economy drew fire at a symposium last week of the Korea America Friendship Society (KAFS).

      Korea needs both the help of the United States and the IMF and without this help it would have to go through enormous hardship, Park Keun, currently a professor at Hanyang University and a former Korean ambassador to the United Nations, said during the event held at the Marriott Hotel Century Center off of Clairmont Road.

      But he added that both U.S. and IMF officials had to be aware of Korea’s political and cultural problems as well as its economic problems.

      The U.S. and the IMF must trust us, he said, citing Korea’s past economic achievements.  They can set the standards, but they need to leave the timing and the methods to us.

     Although not a member of the panel, Peter Underwood, the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s representative in South Korea, entered into discussion and underlined the need for reforms to allow free market forces to function.  He also defended the IMF’s efforts to initiate these reforms.

      Included on the panel was C.S. Pyun, an economist from Memphis State University, who read from an article he submitted for consideration during hearings by the U.S. House of Representatives which was critical of the IMF’s handling of the Korean financial crisis.

      He was particularly critical of the role of the multinational banks in the rescue efforts, charging that the multinational banks will pay no price of the consequence of their own excessive lending.

      William Chace, president of Emory University, is chairman of KAFS’ Southeast Chapter, but he was unable to attend the event because he was in Seoul for the installation of Kim Dae Jung as South Korea’s president.

      To receive a copy of Dr. Pyun’s paper, call him at (901) 678-4645; fax, (901) 678-2685, or mailto: