KIM, DAE JUNG, 1925-  .
Speech, 1983 Mar. 30.


EXTENT:  .1 cubic ft. (1 folder)

ACCESS: Unrestricted

REPRODUCTION: All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

COPYRIGHT: Information on copyright (literary rights) available from repository.

CITATION:  Kim Dae Jung Speech, MSS 111, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.

Biographical Note

Kim Dae Jung was born on January 6, 1924, son of a middle class farming family in Hayi-do, Korea. After graduating from high school in 1943, he took a position working in a Japanese owned business. Kim took over the business in 1945, and quickly became a rich and respected member of the Korean business community. When the Korean War broke out Kim was captured by the Communists and sentenced to death, but he was able to escape.

 In 1954, he entered politics, opposing the policies of South Korean President Syngman Rhee. In 1961, in his fifth try for elected office, Kim won a seat in the National Assembly and served on the Finance Committee. His victory and tenure in the legislature did not last long. Shortly after the 1961 election, Park Chung Hee seized power in a coup and dissolved the legislature. Kim quickly assumed a public position in opposition to President Park. Over the next decade he became widely recognized as one of his country's leading orators and a charismatic leader of the political opposition.

 In 1970, Kim was chosen as President of the Korean Democratic Party. In 1971, he ran in the national presidential elections. He lost the election to President Park, but won more than 46% of the vote. Following his electoral defeat Kim became an outspoken critic of the Park regime and it's repressive policies. In 1973, agents of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency kidnaped Kim from his hotel room in Tokyo, Japan and smuggled him back to South Korea. Japanese - Korean relations were severely strained by the kidnapping of Korea's most prominent opposition leader. On his forced return to Korea Kim was jailed for three days then placed under house arrest.

 In 1976, he was again arrested and jailed for campaigning for the restoration of democracy. Kim was released from prison in 1979, after serving 33 months of an eight year sentence. On October 29, 1979, President Park Chung Hee was assassinated. In May of 1980, Kim was arrested on charges of sedition and conspiracy. He was tried by a military court and sentenced to death. Following worldwide protest over the management of the trial and the sentence, President Chun Doo Hwan commuted the sentence to life and later reduced it to twenty years. In December 1982, Kim was released from prison and allowed to go to the United States for medical treatment. In February 1985 he returned to Korea and was placed under house arrest. Kim was chosen as President of the Peace and Democracy Party, and ran as their presidential candidate in the 1987 election. 

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a cassette tape recording of Kim Dae Jung's March 30, 1983 speech at Emory University. The topic of the speech, presented as part of Emory's Human Rights Year celebration, was Christianity, Human Rights, and Democracy in Korea. A complete transcript of the speech is also available.

Last Modified: 10/08/00