South Korea's Kim holds out for DRAM reform

Delivers stern message to family held businesses about corruption

President Kim Dae-Jung has resisted pressure from the largest companies in South Korea. He still wants them to amalgamate their businesses, despite internal pressures. Last week, the federation of chaebols (family-based companies) criticised Kim and his government for attempting to force through changes they didn't want. Especially vociferous were Hyundai and LG. Kim wants them to decide their future semiconductor mergy strategy. Samsung too, has semi fabrication facilities but has so far not been drawn into the bitter argument. Today, President Kim delivered his next year's budget, showing that he would continue to push for de-regulation, and defying the chaebols' stance. That is because the country is also under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is pushing South Korea to deliver on its promises. The South Korean budget added statements saying that it would seek to cut corruption in the country. It will add support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the bill for the budget next year is $64.10 billion. According to reports, Kim said: "The government will demand that the top five conglomerates keep their promises to focus on their core businesses". ®

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