Most American pistonheads' exposure to SsangYong is limited to Jeremy Clarkson beating one to death with a sledgehammer (or similar). However, not only did South Korea's fifth largest automaker once build Jeeps for the U.S. Army, in the 1970s they changed their name to Dong-A Motor. Obviously, they have since reconsidered. These days, they owe about half a billion dollars to various creditors and suppliers. As such, SsangYong managment has decided to go ahead and liquidate some assets and fire 37% of the company.

Not so fast, says The Wall Street Journal. According to the daily fishwrapper, a group of recently fired workers at an auto plant in Pyeongtaek occupied the shuttered plant several weeks ago and they have been using slingshots and molotov cocktails against approaching riot police in the lead up to Tuesday's raid. Until the raid, police responded by dropping tear gas on the workers from helicopters.

Finally, the police have attacked and about 80 commandos backed by choppers retook a few buildings. However, they have stopped short of capturing the highly flammable paint shop where between 500 and 540 strikers are still holed up. Said a union rep over the possibility of a raid on the paint shop, "We will respond to it, bracing ourselves for death."

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: Jung Yeon-Je/Getty]