June 17, 2019

Feuding Hanjin siblings mourn big brother’s death  

PUBLISHED : April 14, 2019 - 20:35

UPDATED : April 14, 2019 - 20:53

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Over the weekend, renowned corporate and political figures paid tribute to late Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho, who died of a chronic illness last week. 

However, his younger brothers Cho Nam-ho and Cho Jung-ho garnered more attention due to their strained relations in the past. Another brother, Cho Soo-ho, former chairman of Hanjin Shipping, died in 2006.


Cho Jung-ho, younger brother of late Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho and incumbent chairman of Meritz Financial Group, visits his late brother’s funeral on April 13.

Nam-ho is the former chairman of Hanjin Heavy Industries, while the youngest Jung-ho is incumbent chairman of Meritz Financial Group. 

The siblings had a bitter dispute over managerial rights of the nation’s 14th-largest conglomerate Hanjin Group after their father Cho Choong-hoon, founder of the transport empire, died in 2002.

The four Cho brothers had harsh legal battles, with Yang-ho’s younger brothers questioning the legitimacy of their father’s will, claiming it was manipulated in his favor.

While Yang-ho inherited Hanjin Group along with the group’s cash cow Korean Air, Nam-ho and Soo-ho, took control of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Hanjin Shipping, respectively, which later went bankrupt.

The brothers didn’t talk to the local media, but they expressed their grief and sorrow. 

On April 13, Korean business tycoons and officials from the global aviation industry came to pay their respects. 

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman and heir of Samsung Electronics, made a 10-minute visit to the funeral early in the morning. He declined to comment on his relations with the late Hanjin chairman. 

Kim Seung-youn, chairman of Hanwha Group, after paying his respects said, “I feel great regret at his passing away.”

Michael Wisbrun, head of Sky Team, a global airline alliance of 19 carriers from five continents including Korean Air, arrived at the funeral later in the day. He told reporters that Cho’s leadership over the past 20 years has made Sky Team what it is today, expressing deep sorrow and condolences. 

Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations, said the late Hanjin Group chairman “had supported the Korean government a lot with his global network since the 1990s.”

“He also played a significant role in hosting the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.” 

By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (

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