During the early 1960s, South Korea was going through a serious trade deficit. The nation's domestic market was not strong enough to support domestic industries. Following World War II, 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 withdrawal of the U.S. military. 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 a centrally planned, industrial economy. Determined to never again go through 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 founded during 1967.
Even if the company's initial share capital was only $18,000, Kim as well as his partners believed that the company would be successful. This proved true, and Daewoo went on to become amongst the country's largest chaebols, or businesses. The corporation had operations in a wide range of industries, 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. Eventually, there were over 100 branches throughout the world. The business at its peak sold thousands of various items in over 130 nations. By the late 1990s the corporation had become considerably overextended. Daewoo was seriously in debt, and Kim faced charges of corporate wrong doing. The South Korean government ordered the conglomerate dismantled in the year 1999 and other businesses purchased most of Daewoo's holdings.