Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

South Korean conglomerates

Jaebeol (chaebol, 재벌; 財閥 in Korean), meaning conglomerates, have been a major force in the South Korean economy from the end of the Korean War through to today. Although the last three South Korean presidents (Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung, and Roh Moo-hyun) have all tried to reform the jaebeols to one degree or another - especially after the Asian financial crisis of 1997 - they continue to play a major role in the national economy. Two jaebeol (Hyundai and SK Group) have been implicated in separate scandals involving Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. More positively, Hyundai has been instrumental in the slight thawing of relations between North and South Korea since 2000.

Some of the jaebeols are one large corporation, while others have broken up into loosely connected groups of companies sharing a common name. Many South Korean jaebeols have become household brand names in the west. Some of the more notable present and former conglomerates include:

See also