Policy decision-making and implementation of Korean rail reform


C Mo

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail


Policy decision-making and implementation of Korean rail reform: a theoretical analysis and implications for rail reforms Korean rail reforms have been executed since 1998 and the Korean Congress passed three rail reform Acts, The Basic Act of Rail Industry Development, The Public Entity Act of Korean Rail Facility, and The Public Corporation Act of Korean Rail Operation, in 2003. The Kim Dae-Jung Government from 1998 to 2003 attempted to drastically reform the monopoly structure of the Korean rail industry that government operated and owned. The government chose privatization as a way to reform the monopoly Korean National Railroad(KNR), but the government failed to privatize it. Instead, the new Korean government that started its governing in the early of 2003 changed the rail reform policy from a privatization to a public corporation system. Its alternative was to transform the government monopoly system to a public corporation system in which the government owned rail facilities and a public corporation newly created operated them. The government took a compromise with the rail labor union that fiercely objected rail privatization. According to the schedule of government, in January 2005, a new Korean rail public corporation has finally begun its operation under the separation structure of facility ownership and operation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process of Korean rail reforms, policy decision-making and implementation, from a theoretical perspective. It also attempts to find out implications for rail reforms through a thorough analysis of the experiences of European rail reforms.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.