South Korea was going through a serious trade deficit during the early part of the 1960s. The domestic market of the nation was not truly that strong to support domestic industries. Following WWII, when Korea was divided by the Allies, 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 1953, the nation was at peace finally, and South Korea started an intensive drive towards economic development, rapidly transforming from an agrarian economy to an industrial, centrally planned 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 in this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, which translates as "Great Universe," was founded during the year 1967.
The initial share capital of the company was only $18,000, but Kim together with his partners believed that the company would become a great success. This proved true, because Daewoo became amongst the biggest chaebols, or corporations of the country. The business had operations within a huge range of businesses, like for instance building ships, motor vehicles, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer electronics, telecommunications, trading and financial services. Exports were promoted heavily and a network of offices was established abroad. Eventually, there were more than 100 branches all over the globe. The business at its peak sold thousands of various products in over 130 nations. By the latter part of the 1990s the corporation had become significantly overextended. The corporation was seriously in debt, and Kim faced charges of corporate wrong doing. The South Korean government ordered the company dismantled in 1999 and other corporations purchased most of the company's holdings.