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S. Koreans in Farm U-Turn as Chaebol Era’s Rapid Growth Ends

Lee Geun Hong is a rare example of wealth in South Korea’s countryside, known for its shrinking population and decades-long farming slump. Driving a Mercedes rather than a Hyundai, the former Samsung Heavy Industries Co. executive says that may soon change.

“The future for farmers is very bright,” the 60-year-old Lee said while pruning trees in a greenhouse at his farm in Sangju, overlooking the Nakdong River about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Seoul. “But those who stick to conventional ways will remain poor.”