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Date 17.08.16 Hit 166
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UnYong KIM's Memoir 80(Graphys)


              


80  People that Gave me Strength 5

 

 


 



- Kim Dae-jung 
Former President 

I believe that I should mention President Kim Dae-jung at this point. Although it may not be customary to mention the current president of my country, he is a man that I respect, and that is why I would like to write a few words about him. I had always respected President Kim, ever since his days in the opposition party. President Kim Dae-jung, who had contributed to the democracy of Korea, and led human rights movements, has spread morality in this country and through the world as “Asia’s Mandela.”

It seemed that IOC President Samaranch also deeply respected him as he visited him many times in the past. It is only President Kim Dae Jung and Mandela inauguration that Samaranch attended the inauguration ceremony. At the inauguration ceremony of Kim Dae-Jung, he flew directly from the Nagano Winter Olympics. President Kim, disregarding his tired body, sacrificed himself to resolving the IMF crisis as soon as he was elected President. At the inauguration ceremony held in front of the National Assembly on February 25th 1998, President Kim Dae-jung stood in front of former presidents Chun Doo-hwan, who was opposing him, Roh Tae-woo, and rival Kim Young-sam, and asked for National harmony. He also swore that he has forgiven the past political revenges.

As a Christian, I respected his faith in being able to forgive the wrongdoings of the past, and also learned a lot from his way of living, and was greatly influenced as a politician as well. After Presidents Mandela's inauguration, many organizations that had been persecuted was going to retaliate against white people. But Mandela said it is busy only building the country and emphasizes unity, not retaliation .

Although there were disagreements, through the “Sunshine Policy,” he tried to help the North Koreans, as they were our brothers that shared the same blood. The relationship between Korea and US, Korea and Japan, was the best during Kim Dae-jung's presidency. The future-oriented cooperation, coexistence and prosperity have been promised and the cultural exchange has started in earnest at that time. The Hallyu(Korean wave) have also entered Japan since then, and Japanese films have also come in.

1997년 김대중 대통령에게 사마란치와 필자가 IOC훈장 전수식을 하고 있다.jpg

      Awarding Olympic order(Gold) to President Kim Dae-Jung(1999)

Some people claimed that food should not be supplied to the North, but wasn’t it obvious to reach out our hand, when our brothers in the North were going through hardships? President Kim’s priority is to prevent war, and he is making continuous efforts to unite the two countries through dialogue and cooperation. I believe that these efforts are more than worthy of the Nobel Prize.

The reason that I became a politician was because of President Kim Dae-jung. I agreed to enter his new political party as his standing advisor because he convinced me that Korean politics needed fresh and influential people like me.

President Kim felt a special liking towards people who had been making efforts in the same field for a very long time. That is why he thought very highly of my work in globalizing taekwondo, as an IOC member, hosting of the Seoul Olympics, the Busan Asian Games, and 2002 FIFA World Cup. He opened Kangwon-Yongpyeong Asian Games and Seoul IOC Session in 1999.
I have lived as a sports leader up till now. There are no parties in the world of sports. Fortunately, all the political parties appreciated all the work that I have been involved in so far. The objective of sports is to make people healthier, and realize peace and harmony.

President Kim said, “Thank you for taking on such a difficult job.” But I answered that it was my pleasure to be able to serve my country and the people through the world of sports.

My objective, and my source of happiness, is making a better society and country through  sports, and promote Korea throughout the world. I was elected to parliament and served at Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee for four years. During the period, I attendend President Bush’s inauguration, and attended North & South Korea Summit meeting in Pyungyang in 2000, and brought North & South to march jointly at Opening Ceremony of Sydney Olympics first time in 50 years of divided history. Also, political involvement exposed me to a political attack as a scapegoat for defeat of Pyeongchang to Vancouver in bid of Winter Olympics. I thought IOC should protect its members if they are attacked politically just because they failed to get the Games.









 



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