Economic growth has been a high priority national goal for both Korean governments. Military preparedness, declining dependence on allies, the leader's continuance in office, and, ultimately, survival as a political entity, all demanded a respectable rate of growth. Outsiders and the Koreans themselves saw economic growth and the benefits it conferred on the people as a standard by which to judge the success of the rival regimes. Economic power became a factor in their competition for international prestige and influence. Beginning with a common cultural background and historical experience, but with differing endowments of natural resources, the two Koreas chose radically different methods to promote growth.