The Showdown Over Hyundai

At 6 a.m. on the chilly morning of Jan. 14, Chung Ju-Yung, founder of South Korea's $53 billion Hyundai group, arrived anxiously at the headquarters of his United People's Party in Seoul. There he conferred with political aides over a summons from government prosecutors probing the alleged diversion of $70 million from Hyundai to Chung's failed campaign for President. The day before, Korean security officers refused to let him board a plane on a journey that was to take him to Washington for Bill Clinton's inauguration. For a powerful man used to going wherever he wanted, it was a bitter pill.

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