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William Pesek

Another Family Feud Threatens Korea's Economy

But the government doesn't want to get involved.
Deja vu all over again.

Deja vu all over again.

Photographer: Chung Sung-Jun

South Koreans are probably experiencing a bout of deja vu as family rivalries wreak havoc at yet another "chaebol," the family-owned business groups that dominate their economy.

In the early 2000s, it was the Chungs of Hyundai feuding over their industrial empire. That scrap was settled only after Chung Ju Yung died in 2001 and the group he founded splintered into three parts, slamming the stock market and showing the world how far Korea needed to go to join the ranks of developed economies. Fourteen years on, Korea's economy is still dominated by chaebols. This time, it's the Shin brothers of Lotte, Korea's eighth largest business conglomerate, earning headlines as they brawl to succeed their 92-year-old father Shin Kyuk Ho.