So unthinkable was Kim's offense that the president of the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club, a Korean, repeatedly rejected requests by foreign correspondents to invite him as a speaker at the club.
All of which leads Kim to conclude, "Our society is so corrupt, and people are blindfolded because everyone is living well and people are greedy."
He sees Korea, dominated by Samsung, several other large , and scores of lesser ones, as forming a class structure as rigid and cumbersome as the caste system in India. "In Korea we thought there was no class anymore," he says. "We gained power, but now, in the sense of haves and less-haves, everyone is so crazy about money and power."
Kim has been deep in the muck of controversy ever since exposing massive corruption within the organization that paid him for seven years.
The furor has intensified of late as a result of sales of his bestselling book, "Thinking of Samsung" ("Samsungul Sanggak Handa"), a 474-page account of all of Samsung's wrongs that Sahoi Pyoungnon Publishing says has sold 150,000 copies so far.
The book alleges that top officials stole money from Samsung subsidiaries, offered bribes to politicians and prosecutors, among others, and shredded books.
"I'm an invisible man," says Kim, ignored by news organizations fearful that Samsung will pull advertising at the mere mention of his name or book. "Samsung is buying everything" – a reference to an empire that reaches into manufacturing, finance, commerce, entertainment, and journalism.
At Sahoi Pyoungnon, editor Kim Tae-gyin says that "Korean newspapers were afraid to advertise this book because Samsung was very uncomfortable." Instead, he says, "common readers publicized this book with Twitter and blogs."