Korea’s “Democracy Godfather” Dies

 <Photo>  The portrait of Kim Geun-tae is entering into the mortuary of the Seoul Nationl University Hospital on 30.


Kim Geun-tae, a leader of Korean democratic movement died Friday from a brain disease. He was 64. He was dubbed the “Godfather” of the country’s democratization.

He served as leader of Korea’s former ruling Uri Party and health minister. He had long suffered symptoms of harsh torture for his democratization efforts decades ago. He was imprisoned for more than 10 years for leading protests against military dictatorships in the 1970s while studying at Seoul National University, and the 1980s.

He has been receiving intensive treatment for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis(CVST) since early this month at Seoul National University Hospital.

He stood at the forefront of demonstrations against the iron-fisted rule of former President Chun’s military regime, during which he was arrested by notorious state intelligence agents and tortured with water and electric shocks for 15 days at a secret interrogation room in Seoul.

He entered mainstream politics in 1995 and won a National Assembly seat in the 1996 general elections. He won twice more but lost in the 2008 elections.

He served as health and welfare minister in 2004 under the liberal presidency of Roh Moo-hyun. He was then widely viewed as one of the presidential hopefuls for the Uri Party, a predecessor of the DUP.


3 Responses to Korea’s “Democracy Godfather” Dies

  1. 이병철 2 June , 2012 at 12:40 am

    what i am trying to say is that it is so sorry to hear the death of our great democratic leader, but we need to take the initiative to fight against our rights!

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