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Thursday, June 16, 2005

He's back

So Kim Woo-chung, [alleged] fraudster extraordinaire, is back in Korea after a few year's sojourn in France, Vietnam and various other rather pleasant places. I note that one other Korea blogger has got there before me, but I thought I could still spin out a few readable lines on this subject.

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, Kim was the former head of the Daewoo Corporation, one of Korea's largest chaebol until he disappeared in 1999 having embezzled [allegedly] something like $20 billion (and, by the way, the company collapsed).

The BBC covered his return to face the music moderately well (check the picture: he's trying his "ooh, don't hurt me, I'm just a poor little frightened mouse face"), while Korea Times has the latest. Oh My News have the usual quality on-the-spot piece at the airport that we have come to expect from them with excellent pictures like this one:

You can try playing 'where's Kim Woo-chung' if you like. A tip: look for the 白髮.

Actually, I've followed this story since he first disappeared when I was living in Korea back in 1999-2000, so it somehow has personal significance to me (admittedly not as much as someone who worked for Daewoo and lost their job when the whole enterprise went pear-shaped). I even remember that a while back some union or other political organisation sent a team off to France to track him down, without even a hint of success I think. And now he's trundled back all by himself, perhaps because they put too much garlic in the kimchi in France.

To me, someone like Kim Woo-chung is the ultimate capitalist, perfect in every way. He was one of those types that started out polishing other people's boots, rapidly pulled himself up by the bootstraps and then promptly ran off with the booty. Understandably, I suppose, some people are unhappy with his behaviour, but personally I'm fed up with capitalists trying to be 'ethical', it's people like Mr Kim that make capitalism worth criticising.


At June 17, 2005 2:19 PM, Anonymous tak said...

I wonder why he returned, knowing that he'd get arrested and humiliated in public. Your "too much garlic in the Kimchi" is a good explanation as any.


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