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Korea ranks 45th on international Corruption Perceptions Index

South Korea ranked 45th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index report, climbing up six notches from 2017.

The index, issued by Transparency International, evaluates countries based on the corruption level of the nation’s public sector. A score of 70 and above is considered “generally clean,” while a score of 50 and above means “not entirely corrupt.”

Korea scored 57 points out of 100 this year, garnering 3 more points compared to last year’s CPI. Despite the increase, Korea still placed relatively low at No. 30 out of the 36 OECD nations.

TI Korea announced at a press conference Tuesday that Korea’s scores in the fields of possibility of status abuse and degree of corruption in the public and front-line corrupt practices improved. However, scores of assessment of suspicious relations between politics and business decreased from last year’s 45 to 42. 


According to TI Korea, this year’s overall upturn is the result of government efforts in averting “war against accumulated evils” at the top of the political agenda and focusing on anti-corruption reform. The watchdog also added that the international community’s perception of Korea has just begun to recover from the former president Park Geun-hye’s influence peddling scandal.

Denmark topped the index with 88 points, followed by New Zealand ranking second. Singapore ranked the highest among Asian countries, tied in third place with Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. North Korea ranked close to bottom at No. 176 with a CPI of 14.

By Lee Tae-hee (