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