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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; August 19, 2009

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TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; August 19, 2009

TOP HEADLINES
-------------


All
Former President Kim Dae-jung Passes Away


DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
---------------------

Former President Kim Dae-jung, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and
lifetime advocate of human rights and democracy, died yesterday of
complications from pneumonia. He was 85. (All)

President Lee Myung-bak was quoted as saying shortly after the
former president's death: "We lost a great political leader today.
His accomplishments and aspirations to achieve democratization and
inter-Korean reconciliation will long be remembered by the people."
(All)

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul, in a press release yesterday, called the
late former president an "inspiring leader, a committed activist and
a good friend," joining a wave of condolences after his death.
(Financial News, Herald News, Newsis, YTN)

Former President Kim's funeral is expected to be held either as a
state funeral or a "people's funeral," a public funeral held in the
name of the ROK people. The final decision will be made today at a
Cabinet meeting. (All)

According to a source in ruling circles, the ROKG is considering
resuming direct humanitarian aid to North Korea. (Hankook)

The ROK's first space rocket will be launched as planned today at
the Naro Space Center, the country's first spaceport in Goheung,
South Jeolla Province. (All)


INTERNATIONAL NEWS
------------------

President Barack Obama met with former President Bill Clinton at the
White House on August 18. It was their first meeting since the
former president went to North Korea to secure the release of two
U.S. journalists. Former President Clinton apparently passed on a
message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. (Chosun, JoongAng,
Hankyoreh)

Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, was
widely quoted as saying yesterday: "Clearly, these (the recent
five-point agreement between Hyundai Group and North Korea to resume
joint projects) are welcome steps in and of themselves as gestures
that might open the door for renewed dialogue between North and
South Korea. These marginal steps, in and of themselves, are not
enough. We want to see them take definitive steps, irreversible
steps, toward denuclearization." (All)

In a related development, the ROK and the U.S. will discuss the
Hyundai-North Korea agreement when Philip Goldberg, the Coordinator
for the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1874, visits
Seoul from August 23-24. (Dong-a, Seoul)


MEDIA ANALYSIS
--------------

Former President Kim Dae-jung Passes Away
All ROK media gave above-the-fold front-page play to yesterday's
passing of former President Kim Dae-jung, the Nobel Peace Prize
laureate and lifetime advocate of human rights and democracy.
According to media reports, Kim, the ROK's 15th president, died of
complications from pneumonia. He was 85.

SEOUL 00001326 002 OF 012

President Lee Myung-bak was widely quoted as saying shortly after
the former president's death: "We lost a great political leader
today. His accomplishments and aspirations to achieve
democratization and inter-Korean reconciliation will long be
remembered by the people."

President Barack Obama was also quoted as expressing his condolences
by saying: "President Kim risked his life to build and lead a
political movement that played a crucial role in establishing a
dynamic democratic system in the Republic of Korea. His service to
his country, his tireless efforts to promote peace on the Korean
Peninsula, and his personal sacrifices on behalf of freedom are
inspirational and should never be forgotten."

All ROK media raised the possibility that North Korea may send a
high-level condolence delegation to pay tribute to the late
president. Conservative Chosun Ilbo, in particular, speculated that
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il apparently feels respect for Kim
Dae-jung, who was dedicated to inter-Korean reconciliation and
national unification during his lifetime and visited Pyongyang in
June 2000 for the first-ever inter-Korean summit. Chosun also noted
that all major inter-Korean economic cooperation projects, including
package tours to Mt. Kumgang and the joint Kaesong Industrial
Complex, were initiated during Kim's presidency.

All newspapers carried special lengthy editorials mourning the death
of former President Kim Dae-jung. Conservative Dong-a Ilbo, in
particular, wrote: "His contributions to ending military rule and
advancing national democratization in concert with former President
Kim Young-sam will forever be remembered by the people. ... His
policy toward North Korea received mixed reviews. He created a
reconciliatory environment between the two Koreas through the 2000
inter-Korean summit, promoted personnel and economic exchanges and
cooperation, and led reunions of separated families. ... However, he
s-e-c-r-e-t-l-y provided more than $450 million to Pyongyang in
return for holding the summit, and failed to change North Korea the
way he intended to through his 'Sunshine Policy' of engagement to
the North. By sticking to the (Sunshine) policy, he helped the
communist regime develop nuclear weapons and missiles, causing
internal division in the ROK. ... Creating glory and disgrace, and
praise and criticism, Kim Dae-jung is now part of history. His
footsteps can hopefully serve as the groundwork for the country's
democratic development, economic prosperity, and peaceful
reunification."

-N. Korea
---------
Conservative Chosun Ilbo, right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo and
left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun ran front-and inside-page reports
from Washington that President Barack Obama met with former
President Bill Clinton at the White House yesterday. It was their
first meeting since the former president went to North Korea to
secure the release of two U.S. journalists. The newspapers reported
that former President Clinton apparently passed on a message from
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, was
widely quoted as saying yesterday: "Clearly, these (the recent
five-point agreement between Hyundai Group and North Korea to resume
joint projects) are welcome steps in and of themselves as gestures
that might open the door for renewed dialogue between North and
South Korea. These marginal steps, in and of themselves, are not
enough. We want to see them take definitive steps, irreversible
steps, toward denuclearization."

Conservative Dong-a Ilbo and moderate Seoul Shinmun reported that
the ROK and the U.S. will discuss the Hyundai-North Korea agreement
during Phillip Goldberg's upcoming August 23-24 visit to Seoul.
Goldberg is the Coordinator for the Implementation of Security
Council Resolution 1874. Dong-a quoted an ROKG official as saying:
"At present, the agreement does not seem to be in great conflict
with the UN resolution."


SEOUL 00001326 003 OF 012

OPINIONS/EDITORIALS
-------------------

REMEMBERING FORMER PRES. KIM DAE-JUNG
(Dong-a Ilbo, August 19, 2009, page 31)

Former President Kim Dae-jung died yesterday at age 85. Though he
endured a tough life in leading the democratic movement against
authoritarian governments, he eventually succumbed to old age. May
he rest in peace.

Few figures lived a life as dramatic and left as many legacies as
Kim did in modern Korean history. Born to a poor farmer, he was a
six-term lawmaker before being elected the 15th president of the
Republic of Korea, despite having just a high school diploma. What
is also significant is that he became president in an election that
marked the first peaceful transfer of power to the opposition in the
nation's history. He also helped the economy overcome the 1998
Asian financial crisis in a relatively short period of time. The
2000 inter-Korean summit was held for the first time under his
presidency, after half a century of national division, and Kim
became the first Korean to receive the Nobel (Peace) Prize.

Kim was a politician with great energy in overcoming challenges with
firm determination. He was elected to the National Assembly on his
fourth attempt. As such, he was a man with persistence. He
thoroughly prepared for everything. He always read books and
studied, and wrote down what others said. This is why he knew so
much about everything. He rarely made a mistake because he always
practiced looking into the mirror before making an important speech.


Kim lived a tough life until becoming president. He was a great
leader to people yearning for democracy, but an eyesore to the
military governments led by Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan. He
was put under house arrest 55 times and imprisoned for six years.
He was banned from political activity and spent time in exile in
Japan and the United States. While in Japan, he was kidnapped by a
Korean spy agency and taken back to Korea. Though he was sentenced
to death for an alleged rebellion conspiracy, namely the 1980
pro-democratic movement in Gwangju, he was rescued by the U.S.
government. His contributions to ending military rule and advancing
national democratization in concert with former President Kim
Young-sam will forever be remembered by the people.

Kim Dae-jung, Kim Young-sam and Kim Jong-pil formed the "three Kims"
that dominated Korean politics for decades. Kim Dae-jung was a
victim of deep-rooted regional division, but at the same time a
beneficiary. In the country's first direct presidential election in
1987, he disappointed the people by failing to agree on a unified
candidate. Unfortunately, Korean politicians have acted more for
their political interests and not their ideology or policy. The
"three Kims" era is over, but regional strife, politicians changing
parties for their own interests, and an extreme political culture
that denies representative democracy still remains. In this regard,
Kim Dae-jung gave politicians tasks to tackle.

With progress in democratization, frequent ideological conflict in
society is another serious issue. Regrettably, Kim Dae-jung could
have done better during the anti-U.S. beef protests last year, as
well as during the rallies in the wake of former President Roh
Moo-hyun's death this year. As a former president, Kim Dae-jung
could have won more respect if he took the lead in unifying the
people rather than encouraging political divisions by calling
incumbent President Lee Myung-bak, who was democratically elected, a
"dictator."

His policy toward North Korea received mixed reviews. He created a
reconciliatory environment between the two Koreas through the 2000
inter-Korean summit, promoted personnel and economic exchanges and
cooperation, and led reunions of separated families. Though
business cooperation at the Kaesong industrial complex and tours to
Mt. Kumgang are being hampered by the North's provocations and

SEOUL 00001326 004 OF 012


stubbornness, they will be remembered as part of his legacy if they
are resumed. However, he s-e-c-r-e-t-l-y provided more than $450
million to Pyongyang in return for holding the summit, and failed to
change North Korea the way he intended to through his 'Sunshine
Policy' of engagement to the North. By sticking to the (Sunshine)
policy, he helped the communist regime develop nuclear weapons and
missiles, causing internal division in the ROK.

Because of the persecutions he had to endure, Kim Dae-jung paid
extra attention to human rights while president and while he was in
office, improvements came. Contrary to his reputation as a "human
rights president," however, he failed to end illegal eavesdropping
and almost ignored human rights abuses in the North. History will
clarify the controversy over whether he retaliated against the media
that criticized him by ordering tax audits on the media.

Creating glory and disgrace, and praise and criticism, Kim Dae-jung
is now part of history. His footsteps can hopefully serve as the
groundwork for the country's democratic development, economic
prosperity, and peaceful reunification. May his funeral - a
ceremony of saying good-bye amid the people's mourning - be
conducted solemnly and sincerely.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is
identical to the Korean version.)


A GIANT OF OUR AGE LEAVES BEHIND A GREAT MARK
(Hankyoreh Shinmun, August 19, 2009, page 35)

Former President Kim Dae-jung is no longer with us. Ever since he
began his difficult battle with illness, he strengthened himself for
when this day was to come. But this day came too soon. Now even the
most serious prayer that he might dust himself off, get out of his
sickbed and remain with us as a light in a bewildering age has come
to nothing. The country and the Korean people still need him
desperately, but he has left forever on a road from which he cannot
return. With two former presidents gone in the space of just a few
months, there are no words to describe the grief suffered by those
left behind.

He was a giant who stood tall in Korea's modern history. Throughout
his life, he devoted himself unwaveringly to this nation's democracy
and human rights, its peace and unification. The modifiers placed
next to his name may have changed from time to time, from democracy
fighter to opposition party head to president, but the values and
spirit he pursued remained the same. Along the way, there were both
successes and failures, and he himself went through some trial and
error. But he was the rare politician who walked one path without
wavering, through countless twists and turns of history, through
whirlpools, hardship and honor.

He was a leader who knew how to go beyond the trends of the time and
take a broad view of history. He was also a leader who stood a step
ahead of the time and constantly examined the future of the Korean
people and the path ahead of them. Since he was a dissident and an
opposition party politician, he stoically bided his time while
fine-tuning his policy conception,and, after he became president,
worked to make it a reality. Because of him, democracy in Korean
society became more mature, and the horizons of human rights and
welfare grew even broader. It was only during his time as leader
that inter-Korean hostility, frozen solid for half a century,
finally began to thaw. The scene of him and North Korean leader Kim
Jong-il in Pyongyang in 2000, clasping hands and pledging a peaceful
future for the Korean people, is an emotional moment that will
forever remain in our minds. It was the precious fruit of his
consistent determination and conviction that the way for the Korean
people to survive was not through confrontation but conciliation,
not hostility but cooperation. With this summit meeting, the ROK
and North Korea began writing a new history for the peninsula.

He devoted more profound attention and passion to the lowest reaches
of society -- the people who have suffered unjustly and bitterly --
than anyone else. That our society went on to develop laws and

SEOUL 00001326 005 OF 012


institutions to offer greater consideration toward our neglected
neighbors also owes a lot to him. His policy to respond to the
demands of a changing society will go down in history as a precious
asset to all of us, including the establishment of the Presidential
Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths, the National Human Rights
Commission, the enactment of the Act on Compensation and Restoration
of Honor of Persons Involved in the Pro-Democracy Movement, the
National Minimum Livelihood Protection Law, and the establishment of
the Ministry of Gender Equality.

His burning passion did not cool for a moment, even as his life came
to an end. Indeed, it burned even more brightly, like the last
candle. As this nation's democracy, to which he dedicated his
entire life, was once again in jeopardy and inter-Korean relations
were racing toward unprecedented crisis, he brought his aged and
frail body once again before the public and made a sincere appeal.
Let us bring back democracy, he said. Let us save the working class
economy and improve inter-Korean relations once again. He urged
awakening among the citizens, telling them that "a conscience that
does not act is on the side of evil." The topic of the last speech
he prepared just before he passed away was the peaceful resolution
of problems in inter-Korean relations. In a speech he was invited
to give for the European Union Chamber of Commerce, he called on
United States President Barack Obama to "make the courageous
determination to put an end to antagonistic relations with North
Korea." It was none other than the late former President Kim
Dae-jung who fought most fiercely to bring back democracy and
restore inter-Korean relations even as he battled the demon of
illness.

Of course, he was neither a perfect human being nor a flawless
politician. A number of dark shadows hang over his long political
journey. He was a victim of the chronic regionalism that afflicts
Korean society, but at the same time he could not escape criticism
that he was a factor in it as well. Nor can he escape comments that
he delayed advancement of the political culture with factional
politics, boss politics and monarchical party management. Late in
his term as president, his ethical reputation suffered a blow due to
improprieties involving his sons and associates. While he was
alive, he faced as much criticism as praise. He was the target of
both more centrist conservatives and hard-right forces, whose
persistent attacks continued right up until his condition grew
serious. Bernard Krisher, former Tokyo correspondent for the U.S.
current affairs weekly Newsweek, said that only when Kim died would
the Korean people realize what a great debt they really owe to him.
Now the true judgment of his life and accomplishments is left to
history.

He is gone now. Gone forever, without getting to see democracy in
full bloom and peace flowing like a river between the ROK and North
Korea. The task of realizing the dreams and hopes he could not is
left now to others. Before being taken to the hospital, he said,
"This nation's democracy, the working class economy and inter-Korean
relations are all in crisis. Now I am old and have no strength.
What can I do?" It is now we who must answer his question.

We once again lament the passing of former President Kim Dae-jung
deep in our hearts and offer our earnest prayers for his happiness
in the next world.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is
identical to the Korean version.)


FEATURES
--------

U.S. SAYS FIVE-POINT AGREEMENT IS NOT ENOUGH
(Dong-a Ilbo, August 19, 2009, page 14)

By Correspondent Ha Tae-won

According to an August 17 report by the Associated Press, the U.S.
Department of State said it welcomed the five-point agreement that

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was reached between Hyundai Group and North Korea on the resumption
of Mt. Kumgang tour, but added that Pyongyang needs to do more (to
denuclearize). During a regular briefing, Philip Crowley, Assistant
Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said, "(The five-point
agreement) are welcome steps in and of themselves as gestures that
might open the door for renewed dialogue between North and South
Korea." He added, however, "These marginal steps, in and of
themselves, are not enough. We continue to reiterate what North
Korea has to do."

Crowley went on to say, "We want to see them take definitive steps,
irreversible steps, towards denuclearization." He emphasized that
these (additional steps) would demonstrate North Korea's intention
to take a different path from the one it is currently pursing.

Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification,
Compliance, and Implementation, in an August 17 address to
servicemen held at a hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia, said that the
U.S. will not tolerate a world where there is even one more
nuclear-armed country. She said that it will be a long road to a
"nuclear free world" that was envisioned by President Obama in May,
adding that the journey will be difficult but it is a journey that
(the world) should take.

In this regard, attention is being focused on what moves Philip
Goldberg, Coordinator for the Implementation of Security Council
Resolution 1874, makes during his upcoming August 23-24 visit to
Seoul. Goldberg, who leads (an interagency delegation) coordinating
the implementation of UN sanctions, will likely indicate where the
sanctions are headed in the future.

A high-ranking ROKG official said that Goldberg will explain the
involvement of other countries in enforcing the sanctions to the
ROKG and discuss the ROKG's participation in efforts to implement
UNSC Resolution 1874.

In particular, the ROK and the U.S. will reportedly exchange views
on the recent agreement between North Korea and Hyundai Group. The
ROKG official said, "There is a need to check if the five-point
agreement violates the sanctions of the UNSC resolution," adding,
"At present, the agreement does not appear to be in great conflict
with the UN resolution." This is because Resolution 1874 makes an
exception of assistance for humanitarian and development purposes
and does not regulate normal commercial activities at the private
level.

However, the possibility cannot be ruled out that a difference of
opinions between the ROK and the U.S. over the Hyundai-North Korea
agreement may emerge during Ambassador Goldberg's visit.
Considering that the purpose of UNSC Resolution 1874 is to block the
flow of cash to North Korea, the U.S. might view the Hyundai-North
Korea agreement as having a negative impact on the implementation of
UN sanctions.


EX-PRES. KIM DAE-JUNG DIES AT AGE 85
(Dong-a Ilbo, August 19, 2009, Front page: EXCERPTS)

By Reporters Jeong Yong-gwan and Lee Jin-han

Former President Kim Dae-jung, who played a leading role on the
country's modern political stage, died yesterday. He was 85.

He was hospitalized at Yonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul with
pneumonia on July 13. Kim was connected to an artificial respirator
due to acute respiratory distress syndrome resulting from pneumonia
and pulmonary thromboembolism, which caused his blood vessels to
clot.

He was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m., yesterday.

Hospital director Park Chang-il said, "First, he was admitted to the
hospital due to pneumonia, but his heart stopped working due to
multiple organ failure, and this impaired the functions of his

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kidneys, liver and lungs. We did not perform CPR because there was
no possibility of extending his life."

The Public Administration and Security Ministry will conduct funeral
procedures after consultations with Kim's bereaved family under the
State and National Funeral Service Act.

Incumbent President Lee Myung-bak expressed his condolences, saying,
"We lost a great political leader. His aspirations and
accomplishments for the nation's democratization and inter-Korean
reconciliation will long be remembered by the people. I hope his
lifelong determination will contribute to inter-Korean
reconciliation and social integration."

Both the ruling and opposition parties released statements
expressing condolences over Kim's passing.

The former president's life was a microcosm of Korea's checkered
political history. In the 1970s and 80s, he and fellow activist Kim
Young-sam formed the Donggyo-dong and Sangdo-dong factions and
became the country's two leading politicians.

Kim Dae-jung also narrowly escaped death several times while
fighting military dictatorships. On Aug. 13, 1973, he was kidnapped
by government agents in a Tokyo hotel but survived.

After the 1980 coup d'tat, Kim Dae-jung was sentenced to death on
charges of conspiring to conduct a rebellion, but was released from
prison due to U.S. pressure. He later went to live in exile in
America.

His ability to overcome mounting difficulties earned him comparisons
to the honeysuckle, which represents unyielding determination.

Kim Dae-jung, along with Kim Young-sam and Kim Jong-pil formed the
"Three Kims" that dominated Korean politics for decades.

While running for president for the fourth time in 1997, Kim
Dae-jung cooperated with former adversary Kim Jong-pil, who had
ordered Kim Dae-jung's death in the 1970s, to create a coalition
that resulted in the country's first horizontal change of power.

As president, Kim Dae-jung helped to overcome the currency crisis
that hit Korea just before the 1997 presidential election.

Relations between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-pil broke down due to
the former's "sunshine policy" of engaging North Korea. Kim
Dae-jung went on to visit Pyongyang in June 2000 to hold the first
inter-Korean summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

In 2000, Kim Dae-jung became the first Korean to win the Nobel Prize
for his efforts toward inter-Korean reconciliation. After the Roh
Moo-hyun Government took over, however, reports surfaced that Kim
Dae-jung gave a huge sum of money to Pyongyang in exchange for
holding the summit.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is
identical to the Korean version.)


PYONGYANG MUM ON PLANS TO SEND DELEGATION
(JoongAng Daily, August 19, 2009)

By Reporters Ser Myo-ja and Yoo Jee-ho

Former President Kim Dae-jung, who pursued the "Sunshine Policy"
with North Korea in an effort to improve inter-Korean relations,
died a day after Pyongyang made rare concessions to the ROK.

On Monday, North Korea announced it would restart stalled tourism
programs and reopen the border for expanded land passages for South
Koreans. And the North said it would do so in the spirit of the
June 15 joint declaration, an accord reached during the first
inter-Korean summit between Kim and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

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in 2000. Kim Dae-jung was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for
his efforts. Increased inter-Korean exchanges are part of Kim's
legacy. During his administration from 1998 to 2003, there were
eight ministerial-level and special envoy-level talks between the
Koreas, and more than 5,400 separated family members were reunited
on five different occasions.

And as tensions mounted and relations on the peninsula deteriorated
this year, Kim became a vocal critic of the Lee Myung-bak
Administration and its policy of tying aid to the North to
Pyongyang's abandonment of nuclear ambitions. Pyongyang didn't have
an immediate reaction to Kim's passing yesterday, but some experts
speculated that the North could send a delegation of government
officials to Seoul with condolences. North Korea observers noted
that Kim Jong-il had shown great respect to Kim.

"Morals exist in a communist society, and we want to show Korea's
excellence in courtesy and civility to the world," Kim Jong-il said
during the summit, offering Kim the seat of honor during their
meeting.

If the North sends a delegation, it will mark a rare contact between
the two Koreas that have suffered chilled relations since the Lee
Administration began last year. Some are optimistic that the
occasion could help thaw the relationship. Others, however, warn
against hasty optimism, noting that the North only expressed its
condolences for former President Roh Moo-hyun's death in May,
instead of sending a delegation. "Since Kim Jong-il had some health
problems last year, the North had tended to be reluctant to engage
aggressively with the ROK," an ROK official said.

Lee Administration sources and some researchers said the North would
instead express its condolences through state-run media or send
flowers from Kim Jong-il to comfort the family. A government
official said the Monday offer by North Korea to restart joint
projects represented only a minor step and has done little to mend
inter-Korean relations. Park Han-sik, a North Korea expert at the
University of Georgia, said North Korea was unlikely to extend its
hand to the ROK first.

"When Roh died, the North contemplated sending a delegation, but
made the decision not to do so," said Park, who has recently visited
North Korea and is known to maintain regular contacts with
Pyongyang. "It has become the sentiment in the North Korean
government that it will not engage first in any action with the ROK
government."

Kim's death could also shed new light on his Sunshine Policy. This
year, it has come under fire from conservatives who charged that
Kim's open-arms approach gave Pyongyang the economic means to
conduct nuclear and missile tests in defiance of the international
community.

But in light of Kim's passing and North Korea's conciliatory offers,
Kim's engagement approach may be remembered more fondly, experts
said, and that could potentially create a turning point for
inter-Korean exchanges.


SEOUL 'NOT AGAINST' N. KOREAN VISIT OVER KIM DAE-JUNG'S DEATH
(Chosun Ilbo, August 19, 2009, page 5: EXCERPTS)

By Reporter Shin Eun-jin

The presidential office on Tuesday said it "would not oppose" it if
North Korea wants to send a delegation expressing the regime's
condolences on the death of former ROK president Kim Dae-jung. "If
North Korea sends a condolence delegation, there will be no reason
to oppose it," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il apparently feels respect for Kim
Dae-jung, who was dedicated to inter-Korean reconciliation and
national unification during his lifetime and visited Pyongyang in
June 2000 for the first-ever inter-Korean summit.

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All major inter-Korean economic cooperation projects, including
package tours to Mt. Kumgang and the joint Kaesong Industrial
Complex, which are major income sources for the North, were
initiated during Kim Dae-jung's presidency.

Following signs of a thaw in relations after Hyundai Group
chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun's visit to the North, the North is
expected to send a senior official to Seoul to pay his respects to
the late Kim Dae-jung.

When Kim Dae-jung was in the hospital with pneumonia in 2005, Kim
Jong-il sent Kim Ki-nam, the vice chairman of the Committee for the
Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, who was in Seoul to attend
a National Liberation Day event on Aug. 15, to the hospital to
inquire after him.

Any such visit could be led by Kim Yang-kon, the director of the
United Front Department of the Workers' Party and chairman of the
Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, or Ri Jong-hyok, deputy director of
the department and vice chairman of the committee.

Kim Yang-kon, who is in charge of external affairs, was on hand
during Hyun's meeting with Kim Jong-il on Sunday. Ri, who has been a
point man in business with the ROK, attended a memorial service at
Mt. Kumgang for the late Hyundai Group chairman Chung Mong-hun,
Hyun's husband.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is
identical to the Korean version.)


KIM DAE-JUNG: A LIFE OF TRIALS AND STEELY DETERMINATION
(Chosun Ilbo, August 19, 2009, page 16: EXCERPTS)

By Reporter Kim Min-cheol

The life of former President Kim Dae-jung was too full to describe
in a few words. His tumultuous 85 years are so intertwined with
Korea's modern history that it is impossible to talk about the
nation's hardship and glory without mentioning Kim's name.

- Trials and Tribulations

Kim was given the nickname "honeysuckle," and it is difficult to
find a better way to sum up Kim's life than the flower, which
endures the harshest of winters and blossoms in early summer.

Born in January 1924 in South Jeolla Province, Kim was the second
son of a poor farmer. He graduated from Mokpo Commercial High School
(Jeonnam Jeil High School today) and married his first wife Cha
Yong-ae in the port city. It was in Mokpo that he was elected twice
as a lawmaker, following his victory in the general election in
1963.

Until he rose to the presidency, Kim's political career was
characterized by one tribulation after another. His six years in
prison and 10 years under house arrest are a testament to his
endurance. Kim often said he had four brushes with death. In
September 1950, he was captured by communist soldiers and escaped
from Mokpo prison just before he was about to face a firing squad.
In 1971, he suffered a mysterious and near-fatal car accident as he
was campaigning in support of a New Democratic Party candidate
running for a seat in the eighth National Assembly.

When in October 1972, President Park Chung-hee declared new measures
to reinforce his authoritarian rule, Kim was unable to return from
Japan and remained there in political exile. He rallied anti-Park
forces in Japan, prompting Park to have him kidnapped by the Korean
Central Intelligence Agency in downtown Tokyo. KCIA agents
apparently intended to drown him in the middle of the East Sea but
were forced to abort the mission under pressure from the U.S.
government.


SEOUL 00001326 010 OF 012


Instead, Kim was brought back to Korea and put under house arrest at
his home in Seoul. There, he began his pro-democracy movement. In
1976, he was arrested on charges of leading the proclamation of an
anti-government manifesto and served a two-year prison term. He was
released in 1978 but immediately put under house arrest again.

Kim enjoyed a brief "spring of democracy" following the
assassination of Park in 1979, but the new military government that
rose to power in 1980 accused him of sedition and conspiracy and in
January of 1981, the Supreme Court sentenced him to death. However,
international efforts to save him and widespread coverage of his
plight in the international press forced the government to commute
the sentence to life in prison and then to 20 years imprisonment.
He spent two years and seven months in jail.

In December 1982, Kim was exiled from Korea for the second time.
This time, he headed to the U.S. He suddenly returned to Korea in
February 1985, just ahead of the general election, but was placed
under house arrest again. He was finally able to resume political
activities following the June 10 pro-democracy demonstrations that
swept the country in 1987.

- Failure and Comeback

Kim is seen as a successful politician not just because be became
president, but because he had to endure countless defeats and
setbacks, as well as the painful process of recovery to reach that
point. Even in his darkest hour, his political will never wavered.


His bid for the presidency in 1971 was as an important opportunity
to consolidate his status at the center of Korea's political
establishment for the next 30 years. He ran for president four
times since then and was finally elected as Korea's 15th president
in December 1997. It was the first ever peaceful transfer of power
for the Republic of Korea since its establishment.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is
identical to the Korean version.)


KIM DAE-JUNG: CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS AND LATER LIFE
(Chosun Ilbo, August 19, 2009, page 17: EXCERPTS)

By Reporter Kim Min-cheol

Kim spent much of his life studying ways to bring the ROK and North
Korea closer together. It is impossible to talk about him without
mentioning his "Sunshine Policy" of rapprochement with the North.
He started the policy immediately after taking office and by 2000,
brought about the first summit between the two sides since the
Korean Peninsula was divided. In recognition of that achievement,
he became the first Korean to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

That is why Kim is considered to have set the framework for
inter-Korean reconciliation. But critics accuse Kim of being
unprincipled in engaging the North and aiding its nuclear weapons
program with an under-the-table payment of $500 million to arranging
the summit.

- Presidency

Kim made the transition to Cheong Wa Dae abruptly and without
preparation because Korea was in the midst of an economic crisis,
taking the helm almost the day after his election win by directing
measures to steer the nation out of the crisis. He pushed ahead
with so-called "Big Deal" business swaps between the country's major
conglomerates, closures of nonviable financial institutions and
other painful restructuring measures. As a result, Korea was able
to repay all of the loans it received from the International
Monetary Fund in August 2001, earlier than expected.

Kim paid as much attention to inter-Korean relations as to the
economic crisis. His attentiveness to the issue dates as far back

SEOUL 00001326 011 OF 012


as 1971, when he first ran for president. His main focus at that
time was on resolving tensions on the Korean Peninsula by pledging a
peace guarantee supported by the United States, Japan, the Soviet
Union and China. He also pitched a three-stage unification plan
that began with a confederation of North and South Korea,
transitioning to a federal system and eventual unification. In the
confederation, a summit would serve as the highest decision-making
body. The federal system would be created once peace takes root on
the Korean Peninsula, followed by unification. Because of such
political beliefs, Kim was constantly accused of being a communist
sympathizer and dangerous progressive.

In November 1998, the first year of Kim's presidency, ROK tourists
were granted unprecedented access to North Korea's scenic Mt.
Kumgang resort. During his presidency, there were several incidents
that could have dampened inter-Korean relations. A North Korean
submarine intruded into ROK waters in the East Sea, a tourist was
detained in the North Korean resort at Mt. Kumgang, and a bloody
naval skirmish occurred along the West Sea border. But Kim did not
abandon the Sunshine Policy.

He finally held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in
June 2000. It was the first time that the leaders of the two Koreas
had met in half a century of division. During his historic visit to
North Korea between June 13 to 15, the two Kims signed the June 15
Declaration. In recognition of this achievement, Kim, in December
of that year, became the first Korean to receive the Nobel Peace
Prize. Following the summit, Kim brought about tearful reunions of
families who had been separated by the Korean War, and launched a
cooperative economic project, the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Only after Kim's presidential term ended was it revealed that
Hyundai Group had paid North Korea $500 million in the process of
arranging the summit, raising suspicions that the various kinds of
financial support to the North were used to fuel its nuclear weapons
program. This caused many to reassess the merits of the Sunshine
Policy.

Despite Kim's rapprochement policies, North Korea conducted two
nuclear tests -- one in 2006 and another in 2009 -- damaging the
legacy of the Sunshine Policy and unification plan. The final word
on his policies remains to be spoken.

Corruption scandals involving his three sons as well as confidants,
including Kwon Roh-kap, which began emerging in early 2002, tainted
the final months of Kim's presidency. It was during this period
that his health deteriorated and he required dialysis.

Following Korea's first-ever peaceful transition of power, Kim's
party was able to maintain its lead since Kim was succeeded by Roh
Moo-hyun in February 2003.

- Life after the Presidency

After his presidential term ended, Kim continued to serve as a
messenger of peace. He traveled to Europe, China, Malaysia and
other countries around the world to deliver his message in
interviews with the international press. He remained largely silent
on political issues during the Roh presidency but resumed his
political activities following the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak
Administration in 2008. In numerous interviews and lectures, Kim
strongly criticized the Lee Administration's hard-line stance toward
North Korea. His aides say his health got worse after the suicide
of former President Roh, which was a great shock to the Nobel
laureate.

Throughout his life, Kim was seen as a staunch fighter for
democracy, a leader of people and messenger of reconciliation. But
he was also labeled as being too generous to North Korea and
criticized for favoring people from his stronghold in South Jeolla
Province by appointing key officials from the region to his
government. Now, history will be the judge of Kim's legacy.

(This is a translation provided by the newspaper, and it is

SEOUL 00001326 012 OF 012


identical to the Korean version.)


TOKOLA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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