During the early 1960s, South Korea was going through 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 after the US military withdrawal. During 1953, the nation was at peace finally, and South Korea began an intensive drive towards economic growth, quickly transforming from an agrarian economy to an industrial, centrally planned economy. Determined to never again experience hostile invasions and lack of essential resources, South Korea became an economic miracle. Daewoo Group was established by Kim Woo Choong in this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, that means "Great Universe," was established in the year 1967.
Even though the company's initial share capital was just $18,000, Kim as well as his partners believed that the company would be successful. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become among the nation's largest chaebols, or businesses. The company had operations within a wide range of businesses, like for instance shipbuilding, motor vehicles, heavy industry, aerospace, telecommunications, consumer electronics, financial services and trading. Exports were promoted heavily and a network of offices was established abroad. Ultimately, there were over 100 branches all over the world. The company at its peak sold thousands of different products in over 130 nations. By the late 1990s the business had become considerably overextended. Daewoo was seriously in debt, and Kim was accused of corporate wrong doing. The government of South Korea ordered the conglomerate dismantled during the year 1999 and other businesses purchased most of the company's holdings.