Other Events, deaths, births, of OCT 13
On an October 13:
Kim Dae Jung 2000 The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Kim Dae Jung, 76 [photo >], for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular.
      In the course of South Korea's decades of authoritarian rule, despite repeated threats on his life and long periods in exile, Kim Dae Jung gradually emerged as his country's leading spokesman for democracy. His election in 1997 as the republic's president marked South Korea's definitive entry among the world's democracies. As president, Kim Dae Jung has sought to consolidate democratic government and to promote internal reconciliation within South Korea.
      With great moral strength, Kim Dae Jung has stood out in East Asia as a leading defender of universal human rights against attempts to limit the relevance of those rights in Asia. His commitment in favour of democracy in Burma and against repression in East Timor has been considerable.
      Through his "sunshine policy", Kim Dae Jung has attempted to overcome more than fifty years of war and hostility between North and South Korea. His visit to North Korea gave impetus to a process which has reduced tension between the two countries. There may now be hope that the cold war will also come to an end in Korea. Kim Dae Jung has worked for South Korea's reconciliation with other neighbouring countries, especially Japan.
      The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to express its recognition of the contributions made by North Korea's and other countries' leaders to advance reconciliation and possible reunification on the Korean peninsula.

     Kim Dae Jung was born on 03 December 1925 to middle class farmers on Ha Enido, a small island in South Cholla province, but the family moved to the nearby port of Mokpo so Kim could complete high school. He began dabbling in anti-establishment politics while working in the shipping industry. After his fifth try for political office, Kim was elected to the National Assembly in 1961. One month later, Gen. Park Chung-hee seized control of the government through a military coup, launching Kim's career as a key opposition figure. The tough, authoritarian Park proved the perfect foil for the fiery oratory of the charismatic Kim. The more Park persecuted Kim, the more Kim's popularity grew -- especially in the region of Cholla. Many residents of the provinces of North and South Cholla felt disadvantaged during the regime of Park, who was from the Taegu region in the southeast, their political rival.
      During the height of the Vietnam War, in 1971, Kim proclaimed his liberal views on the reunification of North and South Korea. He was branded a communist by the government, but in his first president race he won 46% of the vote running against Park. Kim was headed to a rally in Seoul a month after the election when a truck turned directly into the path of his car, forcing him off the road. The truck hit another vehicle, killing two people. Kim was left with a permanent limp from the incident, which is widely believed to have been an assassination attempt.
      Park tightened his hold in 1972, scrapping the constitution and doing away with any pretense of democratic rule. Kim traveled to Japan for medical treatment and continued his anti-Park campaign. In August 1973, South Korean agents kidnapped Kim from a Tokyo hotel and took him out to sea in a small boat where he spent several harrowing days. "He was bound hand and foot and waiting to be thrown over the side," Gregg said. When U.S. Ambassador Philip Habib was informed of the abduction, he called Park and warned him that he would face severe repercussions from the United States if Kim were killed. Kim was returned to his Seoul home, battered but alive, and spent the next nine years under house arrest, in jail or in exile.
      In 1979 Park was assassinated by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency and another general, Chun Doo-hwan, imposed martial law as he moved to take over the presidency. Kim and other leading opposition figures were arrested as tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Kwangju, in South Cholla Province. Troops used force to quell the demonstrations, killing at least 200 people by some estimates. While in the United States during exile, Kim made a tearful plea for his countrymen and his cause Kim was charged with sedition and nearly executed, but again the United States intervened and Kim's life was spared.
      Under a deal with the Reagan administration, Kim boarded a plane to the United States in 1982. He used his time in exile well, brushing up on his English, working as a visiting fellow at Harvard University and cultivating influential American friends. Even these contacts could not help him when he returned to his homeland a few years later. As soon as he stepped off the plane in Seoul, Kim was knocked down by Korean security officers and dragged back into house arrest. 'I never lost hope' Kim made two more failed bids for president -- in 1987 and 1992 -- before declaring that he was quitting politics. His retirement did not last long. The maverick politician forged a dramatic coalition with Kim Jong-pil, another opposition leader and the founder of the KCIA, and Kim Dae-jung was elected president in 1997, at the height of the Asian economic crisis.
1987 Costa Rican President Oscar Arias wins Nobel Peace Prize
annex to

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