Kim Woo-choong, Business Luminary Who Founded Daewoo, Dies at 82

In 1992, Mr. Kim became the first South Korean entrepreneur to see North Korea, at the invitation of its creator, Kim Il-sung. The Daewoo chief called that isolated nation”the previous market in the world.” He started the first joint inter-Korean venture in 1995, making textiles from the North Korean port city of Nampo.

When the Soviet bloc started campaigning from the late 1980therefore, Mr. Kim went to a shopping spree, purchasing dilapidated automotive and home-appliance plants from former Communist nations and developing countries. During its summit, Daewoo took over a business every 3 days, ” he explained in interviews, and he dreamed of having an”automotive Genghis Khan.” Daewoo constructed automobile factories in 14 nations, such as China, India, Poland, Romania and Uzbekistan.

His memoir,”The World Is Broad, and Full of Business Opportunities” (1989), sold 1 million copies within six weeks, a record still unbroken in South Korea. Its English edition,”Every Street Is Paved With Gold,” was printed in 1992. That year, Mr. Kim briefly campaigned to the South Korean presidency.

“You need to be desperate,” Mr. Kim formerly said, describing what drove him as a businessman. “If you’re desperate , the answer will come to you when you’re in sleep”

Mr. Kim befriended President Trump if Mr. Trump was a real-estate businessman in New York. Mr. Kim’s firm Daewoo Engineering & Construction was one of Mr. Trump’s main partners in construction Trump World Tower in New York, in United Nations Plaza, at the late 1990s. That connection resulted in a license contract under which Daewoo has been permitted to utilize the newest name Trump World on seven large buildings in South Korea.

The headlong growth of Daewoo and other South Korean chaebol, such as Samsung and Hyundai, fueled South Korea’s rapid economic development.

Mr. Kim famously stated:”When we do not have technology, we could purchase it. If we do not have cash, we could borrow and repay it if we create it.”

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