Leaders pay their respects to legendary businessman

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Leaders pay their respects to legendary businessman

Conglomerate leaders and chief executives of major companies lined up to pay tribute to the late Daewoo Founder and Chairman Kim Woo-choong.

Kumho Petrochemical Chairman Park Chan-koo was one of the earliest to arrive at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon, Gyeonggi, on Wednesday. He turned up before the clock struck 9 a.m., the scheduled starting time for the funeral.

“A major figure passed away,” Park said.

Sohn Gil-seung, SK Telecom’s honorary chairman and former SK Group chair, arrived next. Sohn served as the 28th chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), and the late Kim was a predecessor as the FKI’s 25th chair.

“Chairman Kim proved that Korean businessmen can be active in any part of the world,” said Sohn. “I can’t forget his decisiveness and courage to talk to top decision-makers. He also did a lot for business but was also passionate about activities for Korea’s future and negotiations with North Korea.”

Before noon, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, former Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won appeared at the funeral.

“He was a first-generation corporate leader, a respected figure in Korea’s business circles,” said SK Group’s Chey.

The first group of corporate leaders to arrive were chairmen members of the FKI - GS Group Chair and current FKI Chair Huh Chang-soo, Chairman Kim Yoon of Samyang Holdings and Chairman Lee Jang-han of Chong Kun Dang Holdings.

Former Kumho Group Chair Park Sam-koo arrived at around 3 p.m.

“He was a giant in Korea’s business world,” Park said.

“It’s sad to see someone who played such a big role in Korean economy pass away.”

BY MOON HEE-CHUL, LIM SUNG-BIN [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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