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Late President`s Memoir to Be Published This Year

Posted August. 20, 2009 08:21,   


The late former President Kim Dae-jung’s memoir will reportedly be published by the end of the year.

A former lawmaker from Kim’s Donggyo-dong political faction said, “We will push ahead with the memoir’s publishing as part of efforts to commemorate him in the wake of his death.”

The date of publication will likely be announced after Kim’s funeral. Since preparation for the publication has been completed, the memoir will likely be released around year’s end.

Rep. Park Jie-won of the main opposition Democratic Party, who was a longtime confidant of Kim, said, “Former President Kim left no special words to his wife, Lee Hee-ho (about the memoir), but review and proofreading had been nearly finished.”

“He hoped to hold a luncheon meeting for a final review with people who helped him write the book early last month, but the meeting was canceled due to his poor health.”

Just before his hospitalization, Kim reportedly expressed strong affection for the book, saying, “I hope you do your best in polishing it to effectively convey my philosophy and spirit.”

He said this to former Board of Audit and Inspection chief Han Seung-heon and Yoo Shi-choon, a former member of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, both of whom helped write the memoir.

A person who took part in writing the memoir said, “Former President Kim showed such strong affection for the memoir that he even selected the titles for small sections.”

Kim began compiling his memoir from 2005 and made verbal presentations more than 60 times. Until July 11, just two days before his hospitalization, he reportedly made a verbal presentation on the disputed fielding of a single opposition candidate in the 1987 presidential election.

All of his verbal presentations were videotaped. People who participated in the writing of the book compiled and edited what Kim had to say. The publishers also used materials from his presidential administration, making the memoir’s first draft voluminous.

The memoir will be released in two volumes, one covering the time from his birth to the 1997 presidential election and the other focusing on his presidency. The book reportedly contains his take on personal relations with key political leaders, including former presidents, and his regret over military governments that labeled him a violent and pro-North Korea leader.

“Letters in Prison,” a compilation of letters he exchanged with his wife while in prison, will also be published soon.

A Japanese-language version of “Kim Dae-jung’s Critical Biography” will be released in Japan next month.

polaris@donga.com kimkihy@donga.com