Will He or Won't He?

"Kim Dae Jung! Kim Dae Jung!" That cry greeted South Korea's best-known opposition leader last week as he visited his native Cholla region for the first time in 16 years. Though Kim, 63, called the trip a "sentimental journey of the heart," the adulation he met transformed the three-day tour into a political triumph. It also raised anew a hot question: Would Kim break a vow not to run for office and seek to become a candidate in December, when South Korea holds its first democratic presidential elections since 1971?

Kim certainly acted like a man on the hustings. His voice...