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Kingmaker Kim Yoon-hwan Dies of Cancer

Posted December. 15, 2003 22:38,   


Kim Yoon-hwan, the former chair of the Democratic National Party, also known by his nickname, Kingmaker, died on December 15 at 10:50 a.m. He was 71 years old.

Kim, suffering from kidney cancer, fell into a coma on December 6 around 10:00 a.m. He was checked into the National Cancer Center in Goyang, Gyeonggido, where he did not wake up from the coma and passed away.

He went to the U.S. for cancer treatment in January and returned to Korea on October 2. He has since regularly visited the cancer center for treatment.

Kim began his journalist career as a reporter at Daegu Ilbo. He served as a Tokyo correspondent and acting editor-in-chief at Chosun Ilbo. He debuted in politics by holding a non-elected seat at the 10th National Assembly as a member of Yujeonghoe. He has since served five different terms in the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th assemblies.

He served as presidential aide of political affairs and chief of staff during the latter period of the Fifth Republic. Kim played a crucial role in the presidential elections of Roh Tae-woo and Kim Young-sam. He also served twice as general secretary of a governing party, twice as floor leader, three times as chair of another ruling party, and twice as chair of an opposition party.

Kim is survived by his wife, Yi Jeol-ja, three daughters, and a son. At the mortuary of Seoul Asan Hospital, where his coffin is placed, condolence callers from various walks of life formed a long line. The funeral cortege will leave the mortuary on December 18 at 8:00 a.m. He will be buried in his hometown of Gummi.