In the early 1960s, South Korea was going through a serious trade deficit. 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. North Korea, with its stronger military, wasted little time before invading the South after the US military withdrawal. In 1953, the nation was at peace finally, and South Korea started an intensive drive towards economic development, rapidly 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 founded by Kim Woo Choong in this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, that means "Great Universe," was founded in the year 1967.
The initial share capital of the company was just $18,000, but Kim together with his partners believed that the business will become a great success. This proved true, because Daewoo became among the largest chaebols, or businesses of the country. The corporation had operations in a huge array of industries, like motor vehicles, building ships, heavy industry, aerospace, telecommunications, consumer electronics, trading and financial services. Exports were heavily promoted and a network of offices was established abroad. Ultimately, there were over 100 branches throughout the globe. The corporation at its peak sold thousands of different items in more than 130 nations. By the latter part of the 1990s the corporation had become significantly overextended. Daewoo was seriously in debt, and Kim was accused of corporate wrong doing. The government of South Korea ordered the company dismantled during 1999 and other corporations purchased most of the company's holdings.