Former South Korean President Dies at 85

Kim Dae Jung, who died on Aug. 18 of heart failure in Seoul at age 85, was not the father of democracy in South Korea, but he was its consolidator

Yonhap / Reuters

Kim Dae Jung, then an opposition party leader, speaks to the media at his home in Seoul in this photo from Aug. 14, 1973

Kim Dae Jung, who died on Aug. 18 of heart failure in Seoul at age 85, was not the father of democracy in South Korea, but he was its consolidator. Throughout the era when South Korea was effectively ruled by the military, Kim was its most active and prominent dissident. He came within 1 million votes of upsetting then President Park Chung Hee in an election in 1971, after which Park amended the constitution and turned South Korea into a one-party police state. In 1973 government agents — with Park's assent — kidnapped and apparently planned to kill Kim. The U.S....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!