Former South Korea President Kim Dies Aged 83Obituaries | August 18, 2009, Tuesday // 08:48| views
Kim, who was being treated for pneumonia, was reported to have died after suffering heart failure. Photo by korea-is-one.org
Kim Dae-jung, the former president of South Korea, has died at the age of 83, hospital sources say.
Kim, who was being treated for pneumonia, was reported to have died after suffering heart failure.
The former leader had spent his life pursuing democracy and reunification with the North, the BBC reported.
He survived several attempts on his life and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his "Sunshine" policy efforts to improve ties with Pyongyang.
Kim was declared dead just after 1340 local time, a spokesman at the Severance hospital in Seoul said.
Kim was branded a dangerous radical during South Korea's decades of military rule.
He survived several assassination attempts, was sentenced to death, and tortured in jail. He was exiled twice and put under house arrest countless times.
He made history when he was elected to the presidency in December 1997 on his fourth attempt - the first peaceful transfer of power from a ruling to an opposition party since the country was founded in 1948.
He remained president until he stepped down in 2003.
In 2007 South Korea's spy agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), admitted abducting Kim in 1973, with tacit backing from then leader Park Chung-hee.
The report said there was some evidence to suggest the kidnap was initially planned as an assassination attempt.
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