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BENTONVILLE, ARK. -- There have been a few bumps on Wal-Mart's path to global expansion but until last month the company was unwavering in its commitment to markets where it had struggled. That situation changed with last month's decision to exit South Korea by selling its 16-store operation there to Shin-segae Co. for $882 million.
"It became increasingly clear that in South Korea's current environment it would be difficult for us to reach the scale we desired," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart's vice chairman responsible for the $62.7 billion international division.
Duke didn't elaborate on the nation's "current environment," but South Korea is a difficult market …