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`I`ve Lived a Difficult Life But Have No Regrets`

Posted August. 22, 2009 01:36,   


The late former President Kim Dae-jung’s diary entries written this year was unveiled yesterday.

The Jan. 7 entry was titled “Life is beautiful and history progresses.” The content of the diary was posted on the official homepage of a library named after Kim (condolence.kdjlibrary.org) to honor the late president, and in condolatory booklets distributed around the country.

Kim’s secretary told a news briefing yesterday, “His last diary entry was written June 4 as he couldn`t see well and his glasses didn`t fit."

The following is excerpts from what he wrote from Jan. 6 to early June this year. He fell ill last month.

The diary’s keyword was “gratitude.” He wrote on his birthday Jan. 6, “I devoted my life to democracy and did my best to help the economy turn around and get the two Koreas to reconcile. My life has not been perfect but I have no regrets.”

On May 2, he wrote, “I am happier with my life now with no particular pain in my daily life than when I was in poverty as a younger adult. If I count my misfortunes, they are limitless, but if I count what made me happy, that is also limitless as well. Which side I take will determine whether my life is a success or failure.”

On May 20, he wrote, "Sometimes I move in a wheelchair in my house, but my good wife is with me. It’s a thankful and rewarding life.”

He also mentioned North Korea issues many times, reflecting his great interest in inter-Korean ties.

On February 20, he said, “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited Korea, called me from her chartered plane before she left Korea. She seemed to have delivered a message to Seoul and Pyongyang by sponsoring the sunshine policy. In any case, I`m just grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Clinton for their attention and friendship.”

On May 25 when North Korea conducted its second round of nuclear test, he said, “This is deplorable. We should never accept this. The unskillful Obama administration has excluded North Korea while showing a strong willingness to improve the situation with Iran and Syria, and this has apparently led to North Korea’s decision to test a nuclear weapon.”

On the suicide of his successor Roh Moo-hyun May 23, Kim criticized prosecutors, saying, “His suicide was practically forced by them since they pressured him with the possibility of arresting him.”

On May 29 when Roh’s funeral took place with a large crowd, he wrote, "I think this was compounded by disappointment over reality and sorrow. The government should not move forcefully.”