The Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association says that the opening of South Korea's market is an accomplished fact. But the latest sales figures tell a drastically different story.
Just 2,401 imported vehicles were sold in South Korea last year, a mere 0.2 percent of 1.3 million in total sales. At the same time, Korean automakers exported about 1.5 million vehicles - more than half their production - mostly to Europe and the United States.
European and American companies held their tongues about South Korea's market while that nation struggled through an economic crisis. But now they are justified in launching a new campaign to open the market, in deed as well as in word.
If South Korea expects to be treated like an equal partner in the world economic community, it must act like one.