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BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Oct; 1-8.Yugoslavia was formed on December 1, 1918 from the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro plus parts of the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its population has the greatest ethnic and religious deversity of any in Eastern Europe. The main language is Serbo-Croatian. Yugoslavia has worked hard to maintain its independence despite pressure from the international Communist organization Cominform. Since the 1960s they have been identified as a leader of nonaligned nations. 6 republics comprise the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and each of these republics has its own government modeled on the federal structure. The federal government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of all laws and regulations. The League of Communists is the only political party allowed to function; however, it does permit open expression of differences on some major policy issues. Since the end of World War 2, the Yugoslav economy has become an industrialized, midlevel technological economy and the standard of living has risen. Yugoslavia has tried to maintain a rough balance in trade relations with Western nations, with the socialist bloc, and with the developing world. Agricultural production has risen steadily over the years but its full poteential has not yet been realized. Yugoslavia has tried to establish friendly relations with most states, especially in Western Europe. The US has made an effort to support Yugoslavia in its attempt to maintain independence and through cultural, commercial, and political involvement has attempted to offer alternatives to being dependent on the Soviet Union. Relations have been further strengthened by continuing high-level visits by heads of state. While there are differences of view on many foreign policy issues, the US has respected Yugoslavia's position and has offered continued support.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1985 Nov; 1-4.Fiji is a group of volcanic islands located in the South Pacific. Because of the rough terrain in its center, that area is sparsely populated; most of Fiji's population live on the island coasts. Almost all indigenous Fijians are Christians and English is the official language. In 1970 Fiji became a fully sovereign and independent nation within the British Commonwealth. The British monarch appoints the governor general who in turn appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in House of Representatives. The transition to independence for Fijians was achieved in a peaceful fashion. While there are some racial tensions between the Indo-Fijians and the indigenous Fijians, the 2 major political parties and the various leaders have succeeded in maintaining order. The government of Fiji, since attaining independence, has worked hard toward economic and social progress and there have been great strides made in education, health, agriculture, and nutrition. The thrust of Fiji's economy is sugar and the 2nd component is tourism. Fiji does import a wide variety of goods but industrial development is proceeding well. Fiji encourages local and foreign investment in the hopes of promoting development and providing industrial jobs. Regional cooperation is the main element in Fiji foreign policy they joined the UN in 1970. Full diplomatic relations exist between the US and Fiji and US and Fijian officials have exchanged visits. In 1985 the US provided $1.5 million in disaster relief funds to Fiji; there is expedcted to be a bilateral aid agreement between the 2 countries in 1986. Travel notes, government and US officials, and further information are included.
BACKGROUND NOTES. 1987 Apr; 1-7.The Republic of Korea occupies approximately 38,000 square miles in the southern position of a mountaineous peninsula. It shares a land boundary with North Korea. With a population of more than 40 million people, South Korea has 1 of the highest population densities in the world. The language spoken is a Uralic language, closely akin to Japanese, Hungarian, Finnish, and Mongolian, and the traditional religions are Shamanism and Buddhism. Over the course of time, South Korea has been invaded and fought over by its neighbors. The US and the Soviet Union have never been able to reach a unification agreement for North and South Korea. The 3rd Republic era, begun in 1963, saw a time of rapid industrialization and a great deal of economic growth. The 5th Republic began with a new constitution and new elections brought about the election of a president to a 7-year term of office beginning in 1981. Economic growth has been remarkable over the last 25 years despite the fact that North Korea possesses most of the mineral and hydroelectric resources and the existing heavy industrial base built by the Japanese while South Korea has the limited agricultural resources and had, initially, a large unskilled labor pool. Serious industrial growth began in South Korea in the early 1960s and the GNP grew at an annual rate of 10% during the period 1963-78. Current GNP is now, at $2000, well beyond that of its neighbors to the north. The outlook for longterm growth is good; however, the military threat posed by North Korea and the absence of foreign economic assistance has resulted in Korea spending 1/3 of its budget on defense. South Korea is active in international affairs and in the UN. Economic realities have forced Korea to give economics priority in their foreign policy. There has been an on-again, off-again quality to dialogue between the 2 nations. However, the US is committed to maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula. In order to do so, they have supplied manpower and support to supplement Korea's efforts to deter aggression. The US also believes that talks between governments are essential if reunification will ultimately occur. South Korea is now the US' largest commercial partner and Korea seems to understand that they can benefit greatly by having increased US private sector involvement in Korea's development.