South Korea was experiencing a serious trade deficit in the early 1960s. The domestic market of the nation was not truly that strong to support domestic businesses. Following WWII, when the Allies divided Korea, 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 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 quickly from an agrarian economy to a centrally planned, industrial economy. Determined to never again go through hostile invasions and lack of essential resources, South Korea became an economic miracle. Daewoo Group was founded by Kim Woo Choong in this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, which means "Great Universe," was established during 1967.
The initial share capital of the company was just $18,000, but Kim together with his partners believed that the company will become a great success. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become amongst the nation's biggest chaebols, or businesses. The company had operations in a huge array of industries, like motor vehicles, building ships, aerospace, heavy industry, telecommunications, consumer electronics, trading and financial services. Exports were greatly promoted and a network of offices was established abroad. Eventually, there were more than 100 branches throughout the world. The corporation at its peak sold thousands of different items in more than 130 countries. By the latter part of the 1990s the corporation had become significantly overextended. The company was really in debt, and Kim was accused of corporate wrong doing. The government of South Korea ordered the company dismantled in the year 1999 and other corporations bought most of Daewoo's holdings.