Kim Dae Jung was born on January 6, 1924, son of a middle class farming family in Hayi-do, Korea. After graduating from high school in 1943 he took a position with a Japanese owned business. In 1945 he took over the business and soon became a respected member of the Korean business community. In 1961, in his fifth try for elected office, Kim won a seat in the Natinal Assembly. Shortly after the election Park Chung Hee seized power and dissolved the legislature. Kim assumed a position in opposition to Park and became widely recognized as the leader of Korea's political opposition.
In 1970 Kim was chosen President of the Korean Democratic Party. In 1971 he ran in the national presidential elections, but lost the election to President Park. Kim became an outspoken critic of the Park regime and in 1973 was kidnapped by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, jailed for three days and placed under house arrest. In 1976 he was again arrested and was released in 1979. He was arrested in 1980 on charges of sedition and conspiracy following the assassination of Park Chung Hee. Kim was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later reduced to twenty years. In 1982 he was released and allowed to go to the United States for medical care. When he returned to Korea in 1985 he was placed under house arrest. Kim ran as the presidential candidate for the Peace and Democracy Party in 1987.
From the description of Kim Dae Jung speech, 1983 Mar. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122654233