South Korea was dealing with a serious trade deficit in the early part of the 1960s. The country's domestic market was not strong enough to support domestic businesses. Following WWII, when Korea was divided by the Allies, all the natural resources were in the territory north of the 38th parallel. With its stronger military, North Korea, wasted little time before invading the South following the withdrawal of the U.S. military. During the year 1953, the country was finally at peace, and South Korea started an intensive drive towards economic development, transforming rapidly from an agrarian economy to an industrial, centrally planned economy. Determined to never again experience hostile invasions and lack of essential resources, South Korea became an economic miracle. Daewoo Group was established by Kim Woo Choong in this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, that translates as "Great Universe," was established during 1967.
Even though the corporation's initial share capital was only $18,000, Kim as well as his partners believed that the company will be successful. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become one of the country's biggest chaebols, or corporations. The corporation had operations in a huge range of industries, including shipbuilding, motor vehicles, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer electronics, telecommunications, financial services and trading. Exports were greatly promoted and a network of offices was established abroad. Ultimately, there were more than 100 branches all over the globe. The company at its peak sold thousands of different products in more than 130 countries. By the latter part of the 1990s the business had become considerably overextended. Daewoo was really in debt, and Kim faced charges of corporate wrong doing. The South Korean government ordered the corporation dismantled during the year 1999 and other businesses bought most of Daewoo's holdings.