在亞洲新興民主國家中，南韓對過去的清算應可算是最積極、最有成效的國家。這是在民主轉型過程中，前朝的威權勢力與民主勢力之間的政治角力，以及相互妥協之下的結果。儘管阻力與制約並非沒有，但民意的共識與支持，無疑是最大的促成力量，也是政權能夠落實轉型正義的最強大後盾。由於社運團體與在野陣營鍥而不捨地抗爭，喚起了全民的共識，使得平反光州與清算過去的訴求，能夠打破地域觀念，形成全體國民的集體意志。這是後來盧泰愚在臨爆的僵局下，不得不向民意投降，承諾民主化的原因所在。因此，南韓的民眾運動力量，在民主化過程的建設性功能，絕不容小覤；也就是說，南韓民眾透過「運動」，催生了民主化與清算了過去。其次，南韓經歷了朴正熙與全斗煥長達二十七年的軍事獨裁統治，將軍事威權文化與軍人性格深植於政治文化與官僚體系之中。要在民主化之後的這麼短的期間之內，清除掉如此深植的軍事威權文化，並不容易。所以，從盧泰愚轉型到金泳三的過程中，軍隊能夠徹底國家化，服膺文人的統治，是第二個重要因素。第三，如果沒有經過金泳三的五年緩衝過程，而直接到金大中的話，清算過去的作業恐怕未必會如此順遂。因為金大中是國家暴力的直接受害者，若由他來處罰兩位前總統，必然會被指責為政治報復，遭到軍方威權勢力的阻力與反彈也會極大。因此，南韓是經過叛亂同夥的盧泰愚（軍人威權轉型民主階段），過渡到與威權軍部勢力結盟的金泳三（文人民主轉型階段），再到反對陣營出身的金大中（文人民主落實階段），這樣的歷史演變過程，才順利完成轉型正義與民主化改革的巨大工程。第四，在野黨的成長與成熟，以及他們的政治選擇與歷史使命，也是另一個關鍵。1980 年代末期出現的「朝小野大」局面，給在野黨極大的發揮空間，並能吸納街頭抗爭的能量，使得轉型正義能夠透過國會立法來落實。為新興民主政體的轉型正義，建立了基本的法治秩序。 Among the new democracies in Asia, South Korea can be said as the country that tackles the issue of historical rectification with the most active approach and effective outcome. Although there are hurdles on the road to democracy, public consensus and supports act as catalysts behind the efforts toward democratization; they also serve as a strong backing to the implementation of transitional justice. As the result of incessant appeals lodged by civic organizations and the opposition parties, redressing Gwangju and purging history became a collective public consensus that transcended regional divide. One must not underestimate the role of Minjung (people’s) movement in South Korea’s democratization; in other words, it was via Minjung movement that the South Korean propelled the country’s democratization and purged the past. 27 years of military dictatorship under Park Jung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan had imprinted South Korea’s political culture and bureaucracy with lingering military prerogatives. Effort undertook by the Roh Tae Woo and Kim Young Sam administrations to thoroughly nationalize the military and have it answered to civilian authorities therefore also marked as an important factor in the country’s democratization.The task to purge the past would not have gone smoothly if it were to go straightly to Kim Dae Jung’s rule and not the five-year baffle period under the Kim Young Sam government first. South Korea went through Roh Tae Woo to Kim Young Sam that formed coalition with military power, and then to Kim Dae Jung who originated from the opposition camp. It was through such a historical evolution that the gigantic tasks of transitional justice and democratic reforms were completed. Lastly, the growth and maturity of the opposition parties and their political choices and a sense of historic mission also played a key in the country’s path toward democratization. In the late 1980s, the opposition parties held a majority in the parliament, which provided a venue for the opposition to flex its muscles. Coupled with the force it garnered from street protests, ansitional justice was actualized via legislation in the parliament. As such, it paved a foundation of law and order in the new democracy’s implementation of transitional justice.