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Former Daewoo Group Chairman, Kim Woo-choong, dies at 82 Updated: 2019-12-11 07:16:55 KST

Many people are mourning the death of the former chairman of Daewoo Group, Kim Woo-choong .
Visitors paid their respects at a simple memorial altar at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon on Tuesday.
Kim's health started to deteriorate in August last year and late on Monday, he passed away at the age of 82.
Among those that visited the altar were some renowned figures, including the vice president of Samsung Electronics Yoon Bu-Geun, Lotte Corporation vice chairman Hwang Kag-gyu, and the superintendent of Gyeonggi-do Office of Education Lee Jae-jung.

"He was an inspiration to young people and a person who was devoted to expanding business abroad to make it into a global company."

Born in 1936, Kim founded a small textile trading company in 1967, which later grew into one of the biggest industrial conglomerates in the world.
Daewoo Group, which translates into "Great Universe" in Korean, outpaced other South Korean conglomerates, including Hyundai and Samsung, in its global reach, expanding its global network to over one-hundred countries.

"I met him just ten days ago and he didn't recognize me because of Alzheimer's.
But just like he had done all his life, he emphasized the importance of sacrificing for the next generation.
That is why Daewoo is currently nurturing future leaders that can manage the business abroad."

In just 15 years, the group became South Korea's fourth largest conglomerate in terms of asset size.
However, the company ran into deep financial problems during the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
And soon went bankrupt with debts of over 80 billion U.S. dollars.
In 2002, the group's flagship company, Daewoo Motor was sold to General Motors, and renamed GM Korea.
Its other affiliates like Daewoo Engineering and Construction as well as Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering were sold to domestic rivals.
Following the group's bankruptcy, Kim fled South Korea and spent years living abroad, but he was later sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison in 2006 over embezzlement and accounting fraud.
After being pardoned by a presidential amnesty in 2008, he focused on nurturing young entrepreneurs in other parts of the world.

The funeral for Kim Woo-choong will take place at Ajou University Hospital on Thursday morning.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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