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Acting Conscience, Kim Dae-jung
By Ko Sung-min  |  Secutor07@hanyang.ac.kr
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[8호] 승인 2010.09.01  
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

   It has been a year after the 15th President of Korea, Kim Dae-jung(DJ) passed away. DJ’s first memorial service was held in Seoul National Cemetery on August 18. Also in Seoul City Hall Plaza on August 17, DJ’s memorial altar was set up.  People expressed their sincere condolences to DJ.
   By DJ’s will, his autobiography was published after his death. The book got huge responses from Koreans that it ranked best-seller both on-line and off-line book stores. According to Sam-in publishing company, the book has revised and reissued in fourth edition for only two weeks due to the autobiography’s popularity.
Editorialist in Kyunghyang, Kim Taek-geun ghostwrote his autobiography. Writer Kim got information from DJ’s oral statement. DJ revised his autobiography until he entered hospital, 2009. After then, Lee Hee-ho, the wife of DJ, examined the book.

About the Autobiography
   Writer of DJ’s autobiography, Kim Taek-geun said, “To make a comparison the autobiography with DJ’s previous book is difficult. They are completely different. DJ’s previous book is fragmentary and unconnected. However, DJ’s autobiography is organized with his whole life during 85 years.”
For two years, DJ dictated 41 times for Kim to write his autobiography. According to Kim, DJ required him to write his autobiography interesting and also demanded him to write fair.
   Although DJ made his efforts to describe the fact, his autobiography has some controversial. Conservative Journalism like Dong-a said that Kim misrepresented the fact about tax investigation.
Autobiography means that someone writes his life himself. Because of autobiography’s this character that it based on someone’s thought, it is not objective. Autobiography is so subjective that it involves some controversial. So does Kim’s autobiography. But in this column, do not stick to the controversy that what is true and false. Reserve just a second and concentrate on DJ’s story. What did DJ want to say?

Behind the Story
   On June 15, 2000, then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il had a historical summit in Pyeongyang. After summit, DJ received Novel Peace Prize in the year 2000, for his efforts that campaigning for democracy and better North-South relations.
The inside tale of the historical summit in Pyeongyang is described in the book. After arriving at Pyeongyang airport, DJ accompanied Kim Jong-Il in the same car. The book describes exclusively the off-the-record communication between two leaders.
   The book also includes about unknown story with Park Geun-hye, daughter of Park Chung-hee, lawmaker of Grand National Party (HanNaRaDang). DJ often criticized the regimes ruled by Park Chung-hee for suppressing the innocent and helpless people who wanted to speak out freely. On August 12, 2004 DJ and Park Geun-hye met each other. The book describes what conversation was spoken between DJ and Park Geun-hye, and how DJ thought about her.
Kim Chan-nyeon, a sophomore in the Division of Tourism said, “Due to the book, I could know about the DJ’s secret.    Also before reading the book, I have thought DJ historical person, so I feel a sense of distance. After reading it however, DJ approached me not politician just human like us.”
   Following him, the book contains DJ’s humanity. The book says that DJ was the child of a concubine. In the book, DJ said, “I have never talked about my birth and my mother because I want to keep my mother’s honor that live as a concubine. Despite shaky difficult condition, mother brought me decently.”

DJ’s Advice to Current Government
   DJ concerned about the current government and criticized President Lee Myung-bak by saying, “Lee misunderstood pragmatism. Pragmatism should seek the best way for the nation and Koreans, but Lee behaves superciliously like he was still in a Construction Company.”
   DJ also expressed regret for the government’s policy toward North Korea. DJ said, “When Lee visited me as a candidate for President, he said that he agreed “Sunshine Policy” that bring about a peaceful coexistence with North Korea through reconciliation, cooperation and mutual exchange. So I believed Lee, but I was wrong. Lee does not have any direction about policy toward North Korea.”
   Writer Kim Taek-geun also said, “Government should accept DJ’s advices. Current government reveals many problems like huge step backward for democracy, burden on ordinary people and stained South-North relations. Government should accept DJ’s advice.”

DJ’s Last Request
   DJ’s autobiography means a great deal to not only government but also all Koreans. Writer Kim said, “Because the book makes Koreans feel nostalgia for the former President, the book became best-seller. Also DJ’s endeavors for democracy stir the national psyche that people want to read his autobiography.”
DJ’s life is challenge and protest. How the situation is difficult, DJ had not given up hope and stand up again. DJ wanted people to have acting conscience. To be real peaceful and justice nation, acting conscience is required. Not committing a crime is not enough. Doing nothing and just watching is also wrong.

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