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Kim Woo-jung: “I Want to Eat Seolnongtang in Seoul”

Posted June. 15, 2005 04:23,   


“I will eat Seolnongtang after arriving at Seoul.” said former chairman of Daewoo Group Kim Woo-jung refusing to have an in-flight meal.

He departed Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday by Asiana Airlines (OZ) Flight 734 and returned home ending his five year and eight months exile after the collapse of what was the nation’s second largest business conglomerate.

When working as CEO of Daewoo, Kim regarded meals as “fuel for work.” His refusal of in-flight meals in favor of Seolnongtang evokes an image of an old man who is exhausted by a long-term exile.

Kim got on the plane 10 minutes prior to take off after all the reporters who rushed to the airport got on board the plane. He was escorted by Vietnamese police by the courtesy of the Vietnam government, who treated him as a national guest.

He got on the tarp with the help of four aides, including legal expert Cho Jun-hyung, lawyer from Kim and Jang and his medical attendant So Eui-young, professor from Ajou University.

He wore dark blue suit with a purple necktie. He looked haggard and much older than before, probably because of his operation for intestinal stenosis.

In order to take photographs of Kim, reporters rushed to him, making a commotion. He covered his bearded face in his window seat in the first row of business class.

Joong-Hyun Park sanjuck@donga.com