|Birth Day:||December 20, 1927|
|Death Date:||Nov 22, 2015 (age 87)|
As per our current Database, Kim Young-sam died on Nov 22, 2015 (age 87).
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After receiving his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Seoul National University, he enlisted in the Republic of Korea Army.
Kim was born in Geoje Island, by the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula, to a rich fishing family on 20 December 1927, when Korea was under Imperial Japanese rule. He was the eldest of one son and five daughters in his family. During the Korean War, Kim served in the South Korean military as a student soldier (or Officer candidate). In 1952, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Seoul National University.
In 1954, Kim was elected to the National Assembly of South Korea, as a member of the party led by Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea. At the time of his election, Kim was the youngest member of the national assembly. A few months after his electoral victory, Kim left his party and joined the opposition when Rhee attempted to amend the constitution of South Korea. Kim then became a leading critic, along with Kim Dae-jung, of the military governments of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan.
In 1974, he was elected as the president of the New Democratic Party. While he temporarily lost his power within the national assembly in 1976, Kim made a political comeback during the final year of Park Chung-hee's rule. Kim took a hardline policy of never compromising or cooperating with Park's Democratic Republican Party until the Yushin Constitution was repealed and boldly criticized Park's dictatorship, which could be punished with imprisonment under the new constitution.
In August 1979, Kim allowed around 200 female workers at the Y.H. Trading Company to use the headquarters of New Democratic Party as a place for their sit-in demonstration and pledged to protect them. One thousand policemen raided the party headquarters and arrested the workers. One female worker died in the process and many lawmakers trying to protect them were severely beaten, some requiring hospitalization. The YH Incident garnered widespread criticism and led to Kim's condemnation, with an assertion that Park's dictatorship would soon collapse. After this incident, Park was determined to remove Kim from the political scene, like the imprisoned Kim Dae-jung, and instructed the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) to engineer such a move. In September 1979, a court order suspended Kim's presidency of the New Democratic Party.
When Kim called on the United States to stop supporting Park's dictatorship in an interview with the New York Times, Park wanted to have Kim imprisoned while the Carter Administration, concerned over increasing human right violations, issued a strong warning not to persecute members of the opposition party. When Kim was expelled from the National Assembly in October 1979, the United States recalled its ambassador back to Washington, D.C., and all 66 lawmakers of the New Democratic Party resigned from the National Assembly.
When it became known that the South Korean government was planning to accept the resignations selectively, uprisings broke out in Kim's hometown of Pusan. It was the biggest demonstration since the Syngman Rhee presidency, and spread to nearby Masan and other cities, with students and citizens calling for an end to the dictatorship. The crisis was one of the causes for the assassination of Park Chung-hee on 26 October 1979 by KCIA Director Kim Jae-gyu.
The government's oppressive stance towards the opposition continued under Chun Doo-hwan, who seized power with a military coup on 12 December 1979. Kim Young-Sam was expelled from the National Assembly for his democratic activities and banned from politics from 1980 to 1985. In 1983, he undertook a 21-day hunger strike protesting the dictatorship of Chun Doo-hwan.
When the first democratic presidential election was held in 1987 after Chun's retirement, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung ran against each other, splitting the opposition vote and enabling ex-general Roh Tae-woo, Chun's hand-picked successor, to win the election. This was also despite support from the first female presidential candidate, Hong Sook-ja, who resigned her candidacy in order to support Kim.
On January 22, 1990, he unexpectedly merged his Democratic Reunification Party with Roh's ruling Democratic Justice Party to form the Democratic Liberal Party. Kim's decision angered many democratic activists but he maintained his political base in Busan and Gyeongsang. Kim chose to merge Roh's ruling party in order to become Roh's successor in 1992, which he became the presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Liberal Party.
As the candidate of the governing party, he defeated Kim Dae-jung in the 1992 presidential election. He was only the third civilian to hold the office, and the first since 1962.
In 1994, when American president Bill Clinton mulled over attacking Nyongbyon, the centre of North Korea's nuclear program, Kim advised him to back down to prevent renewal of fighting.
Kim's new ministerial party, the DLP lost its narrow majority in the National Assembly in 1996. Kia Motors collapsed soon thereafter, setting off a chain of events which embroiled South Korea in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis during the last year of his presidency.
After his presidency, Kim traveled the world promoting democracy, and speaking at events such as Towards a Global Forum on New Democracies in Taiwan in January 2007.
He died in Seoul National University Hospital on 22 November 2015, from heart failure, at the age of 87. On 26 November 2015, a televised state funeral was held for Kim at the National Assembly lawn, during which Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn delivered the opening remarks. Later that day, Kim was buried in the Seoul National Cemetery.
Currently, Kim Young-sam is 93 years, 7 months and 16 days old. Kim Young-sam will celebrate 94th birthday on a Monday 20th of December 2021.
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