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Economy

Paint peeling off South Korea's economic miracle

The Cho family owns the conglomerate Hanjin group, which also owns Korean Air. The family came under intense criticism over one member's outrageous behavior.

TOKYO -- South Korea has significantly prospered in the past decade or so, but a series of incidents in recent months suggest problems are brewing below the surface. 

     Signs of trouble can be seen in the sharp decline in earnings at Samsung Electronics and scandals involving families who own various conglomerates. The Sewol ferry sinking that claimed 295 lives, mostly high-school students, and revelations that a navy rescue boat was inappropriately equipped have exposed South Korea's lack of focus on safety. A widening income gap is also fueling fears the country is stagnating. There is even doubt among the public that South Korea may not be fit to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

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