South Korea’s government and business are over-close
- A court case reveals just how cosy
Lee kun-hee embarked on a world tour in 1993 to take stock of Samsung, the firm he inherited from his father. Finding its televisions and other electronics languishing on shelves, he decided to remake Samsung’s image. “Change everything but your wife and your children," he told employees. One thing that didn’t change, according to a ruling by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), is the close relationship between such chaebol, family-run conglomerates that form the backbone of South Korea’s economy, and the government.