Kim Dae Jung

Kim Dae Jung

biographical name

(born Jan. 6, 1924?, Mokp'o, Haeui Island, Korea [now in South Cholla province, South Korea]—died Aug. 18, 2009, Seoul) South Korean politician and the first opposition leader to become president. He first entered politics in 1954, opposing the policies of Syngman Rhee, but did not win a seat in government until 1961. After being arrested several times in the 1970s, Kim was sentenced to death on charges of sedition and conspiracy; that sentence was commuted to 20 years in prison. In 1985, after a brief exile in the U.S., he resumed his role as a leader of the political opposition. In 1997 he was elected president of South Korea, serving from 1998 to 2003. In 2000 he received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

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