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  • May/June 2006
    Kim Woo-choong, founder of the Daewoo Group of companies in South Korea is taken from court to hospital with heart and severe medical problems.
    He has just been sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined $22.6m for fraud and illegal financing (later reduced on appeal).
    In September 1999, this leader of South Korea´s business chaebol or ´chosen ones´, told his secretary he was leaving for a meeting in China.
    But he didn´t come back and later, when accountants audited the Group´s books, they found that at least $2 billion in company cash had gone missing too.
    The demise of a man who was once one of Asia´s most respected entrepreneurs, brings to a close a remarkable chapter of the Daewoo Car Company and adds a significant end-piece to Meredith´s book Which Way Next.
    One year after America´s General Motors bought the bankrupt car-maker, author Richard Meredith and a young student friend drove a regular, family-sized Daewoo hatchback from London to Seoul in a charity-linked trip to help promote the new regime.
    It turned into one of the most remarkable travel adventures of all time.
    Kim (69) turned himself in voluntarily after his years on the run. A sick and broken man, he told police he was ´a dying fox seeking to make peace with the world.´

    October 2006
    Another of the Daewoo Group´s ailing companies is to be sold. A consortium of India´s Videocon Industries and Brussells-based RHJ International announces it will pay $730m for a 97.6% stake in the Daewoo Electronics Corporation which makes colour TVs, washing machines and many other domestic consumer durables. November 2006: Kim´s sentence is reduced on appeal to eight and a half years and the fine by 50% in view of his ´age, ailments and repentance,´ said the judge. Sources: Herald Tribune, BBC News, Indian Express, Korea Times, and Channel 4 news.