South Korea was dealing with a serious trade deficit in the early 1960s. The country's domestic market was not strong enough to support domestic industries. After World War II, 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. During the year 1953, the nation was at peace finally, and South Korea started an intensive drive towards economic growth, quickly transforming from an agrarian economy to a centrally planned, industrial economy. Determined to never again experience hostile invasions and lack of vital resources, South Korea became an economic miracle. Daewoo Group was established by Kim Woo Choong during this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, that means "Great Universe," was founded during 1967.
The initial share capital of the company was just $18,000, but Kim together with his partners believed that the company would become a great success. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become amongst the country's largest chaebols, or businesses. The business had operations in a wide array of industries, like for instance shipbuilding, motor vehicles, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer electronics, telecommunications, financial services and trading. Exports were greatly promoted and a network of offices was established in various nations. Eventually, there were over 100 branches throughout the world. The corporation at its peak sold thousands of different items in more than 130 countries. By the late 1990s the business had become considerably overextended. The business was really in debt, and Kim was accused of corporate wrong doing. The South Korean government ordered the company dismantled in the year 1999 and other corporations purchased most of Daewoo's holdings.