Though he does not own a Galaxy Note 7, his reaction was typical of the intense feelings South Koreans hold toward Samsung, the most dramatic corporate success story to emerge from the country's transformation from a war-torn agrarian nation to a global economic powerhouse.
"Whether we like it or not, Samsung is to the global market what our national team is in the Olympics," Kim said.
Calling Samsung this country’s biggest and most profitable company hardly describes its special (but not always favorable) place in minds here. Some South Koreans say they live in the “Republic of Samsung.”
Life can literally begin and end with Samsung: One can be born in a Samsung hospital; attend a Samsung university; honeymoon in a Samsung hotel; stock a Samsung-built apartment with Samsung appliances bought with a Samsung credit card; take children to Samsung amusement parks; and have one’s body, upon death, taken to a Samsung funeral center.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.