Former S Korean prez Kim dies



Kim, who was president from 1998-2003, had been admitted to a hospital on July 13 with pneumonia and related complications. He held South Korea’s first-ever summit with North Korea in 2000 and was awarded the Nobel prize later that year for his efforts.

“We lost a great political leader today (Tuesday),” current President Lee Myung-Bak said in a statement. Kim, a towering figure in South Korea’s long struggle for democracy, campaigned strenuously against the 1961-1979 rule of dictator Park Chung-Hee. In August 1973 he was kidnapped by Korean CIA agents. The agents tried to dump Kim in the sea but swift intervention by Washington and Tokyo saved his life.

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