During the early part of the 1960s, South Korea was experiencing a serious trade deficit. The country's domestic market was not strong enough to support domestic industries. After WWII, when the Allies divided Korea, 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 following the US military withdrawal. During the year 1953, the nation was at peace finally, and South Korea started an intensive drive towards economic development, quickly transforming 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 established by Kim Woo Choong during this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, which translates as "Great Universe," was established in 1967.
The initial share capital of the company was just $18,000, but Kim along with his partners believed that the company would become a great success. This proved true, because Daewoo became among the largest chaebols, or conglomerates of the nation. The company had operations within a huge array of industries, like building ships, motor vehicles, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer electronics, telecommunications, trading and financial services. Exports were promoted a lot and a network of offices was established abroad. Ultimately, there were more than 100 branches all around the globe. The business at its peak sold thousands of different products in over 130 nations. By the late 1990s the company 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 1999 and other corporations purchased most of the company's holdings.