In the early part of the 1960s, South Korea was experiencing a serious trade deficit. The domestic market of the nation was not truly that strong to support domestic industries. Following World War II, when the Allies divided Korea, 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 following the US military withdrawal. During 1953, the country was finally at peace, and South Korea began an intensive drive towards economic growth, transforming rapidly 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 founded by Kim Woo Choong during this period of economic emergence. Daewoo, that translates as "Great Universe," was established during 1967.
The initial share capital of the corporation was just $18,000, but Kim along with his partners believed that the business would become a great success. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become one of the nation's biggest chaebols, or corporations. The company had operations in a huge array of businesses, including motor vehicles, building ships, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer electronics, telecommunications, financial services and trading. Exports were heavily promoted and a network of offices was established in various countries. Eventually, there were more than 100 branches all around the globe. The company at its peak sold thousands of different items in over 130 countries. By the latter part of the 1990s the company had become considerably overextended. The business was really in debt, and Kim faced charges of corporate wrong doing. The South Korean government ordered the company dismantled during 1999 and other corporations bought most of the company's holdings.