Home > Kim Dae-Jung > Chronology
1943 Graduation from Mokpo Commercial High School
1964 Graduate School of Business Administration, Korea University, Seoul
1967 Graduate School of Business Administration, Kyung Hee University, Seoul
1970 Graduate Program in Economics, Kyung Hee University, Seoul
1983 Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
1992 Honorary Doctorate of Political Science, Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, Moscow
1992 Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Mar. 1944 Begins a career in a Mokpo shipping company
Aug. 1945 After the Liberation on August 15, joins the Korea Restoration Preparation Committee led by Yeo Un-hyeong; withdraws when the Committee becomes left-leaning
Apr. 1946 Joins the Mokpo Chapter of the New Democratic Party (NDP); leaves after detecting its left-wing tendency
Apr. 9,1946 Marries Cha Yong-ae, who later gives birth to two sons Hong-il and Hong-eop
October 1948 Takes the position of CEO at Mokpo Daily, which he retains until October 1950
June 1950 The Korean War breaks out during his business trip to Seoul; returns to Mokop on foot
Sept. 1950 Detained by the communist army but escapes moments before execution by shooting
Mar. 1951 Installed as CEO of Heungguk Shipping Co., President of the Jeollanam-do Shipping Association, and a Trustee at the Korean Shipbuilders’ Association
May 13, 1961 Elected to the 5th National Assembly in a by-election after three unsuccessful attempts; fails to be sworn in due to the May 16 Military Coup that dissolved the Assembly
May 1962 Marries Lee Hee-ho, who later gives birth to their last son Hong-geol
Jul. 1962 Arrested on the charge of “anti-revolution”
Jul. 1963 Participates in the rebuilding of the Democratic Party; becomes the Party’s spokesperson
Nov. 1963 Elected to the 6th National Assembly; becomes spokesperson of the Democratic Party
Apr. 1964 Delivers a 5 hour and 19 minute-long filibuster speech in order to stall the approval on the unlawful arrest of rep. Kim Jun-yeon
May 1965 Named spokesperson of the People’s Party
Aug. 1966 Chairs the Policy Committee and sits on the Political Affairs Committee of the People’s Party
Jan. 24, 1970 Enters the NDP nomination race
Sep. 29, 1970 Elected as NDP candidate for the 7th presidential election
Oct. 16, 1970 Proposes a peace guarantee by the US, the USSR, China and Japan; inter-Korean exchanges for non-political purposes; a reunification theory; and the abolition of reserve forces
Nov. 13, 1970 Publishes My Goals in the 1970’s in Korean
Feb. 1971 Meets political leaders in the US including Senator Edward Kennedy and Chairman Fulbright of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; visits Japan on way back
Apr. 18, 1971 Campaign rally in Jangchungdan Park
Apr. 27, 1971 Wins 46% of the votes cast in the 7th presidential election, barely losing to Park Chung-hee
May 24, 1971 Injured in a suspicious car accident at Muan, Jeollanam-do, during a campaign tour for NDP candidates of the 8th general election
May 25, 1971 Elected to the 8th National Assembly
Dec. 1971 Publishes Mass?Participatory Economy (in Korean)
Jul. 13, 1972 Proposes two Korea’s joint-entry into the UN at a foreign press conference after the July 4th South-North Joint Statement
Oct. 13, 1972 The Korean Constitution suspended by Park’s military regime in the so-called Yusin, or reform, measures; the intended brief stay in Tokyo for medical treatment turns into the beginning of an exile
Oct. 18, 1972 Issues the first anti-Yusin statement in Tokyo
Nov. 1972 Calls for the nullification of the referendum on the illegally revised Yusin Constitution in Washington
1973 Continues protests against Yusin measures in the US and Japan through the local press and Korean communities
Aug. 8, 1973 Abducted in a Tokyo hotel and nearly downed by Korean CIA agents
Aug.13, 1973 Placed under house arrest at Donggyo-dong residence; barred from any political activities
Aug. 22, 1974 Supports reform-minded Kim Young-sam in his bid to become the party leader at NDP national convention
Nov. 27, 1974 Joins, though still under house arrest, the National Conference for Democracy Restoration, a central force for anti-dictatorship struggle
1975 Sentenced to one-year of imprisonment on charges of election law violation (with regard to the 1963 presidential election)
Mar. 1, 1976 Leads the March 1st Declaration for Democratization along with other dissidents including Yun Bo-seon, Jeong Il-hyeong, Ham Seok-heon and Mun Ik-hwan; arrested for breach of Emergency Executive Order No. 9; sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment in trial court
Mar. 23, 1977 Sentence commuted by the Supreme Court to 5 years in prison and suspension of rights to hold office for 5 years
May 7, 1977 Stages a hunger strike while serving time in Jinju Penitentiary in protest against restrictions on visitation
Oct. 31, 1977 Visited by Cardinal Kim Su-hwan
Dec. 22, 1977 Transferred to Seoul National University Hospital
Sept. 6, 1978 Stages a hunger protest against even stricter restrictions on visitation, window views, communications and exercise in the hospital cell
Dec. 27, 1978 Released from jail after two years and nine months following suspension of sentence; placed immediately under indefinite house arrest
Apr. 4, 1979 Spearheads the organization of the National Coalition for Democratization and Reunification along with Yun Bo-seon, Ham Seok-heon and Mun Ik-hwan; co-chairs the Coalition in its struggle against dictatorship; arrested three times
Dec. 8, 1979 Released from house arrest after President Park’s assassination and the subsequent repeal of Emergency Executive Order No. 9
Feb. 29, 1980 Pardoned and reinstated
Mar. 1980 Addresses a crowd at YWCA for the first time in nine years; tours the nation delivering political lectures on the invitation of universities
May 13, 1980 Issues a statement voicing concerns over student demonstration becoming increasingly violent
May 16, 1980 Holds a joint press-conference with NDP leader Kim Young-sam to propose six stabilization measures (including lifting of martial law, release of political prisoners)
May 17, 1980 Full martial law imposed nation-wide; arrested by the Martial Law Command led by Major General Chun Doo-hwan on fabricated charges of treason; Gwangju Democratization Movement breaks out
Sept. 17, 1980 Sentenced to death by a court martial
Dec. 4, 1980 Ruling upheld by the appellate court 1981 Conferred the Bruno-Kreisky Human Rights Award, Austria
Jan. 23, 1981 Sentence remitted to life imprisonment due to international pressure
Mar. 2, 1982 Prison term reduced to 20 years
Dec. 16, 1982 Transferred to Seoul National University Hospital
Dec. 23, 1982 Sentence suspended after 2 years and 7 months; leaves for the US for medical treatment
Jan. 8, 1983 Settles in Alexandria, Virginia with family
Jan. 31, 1983 Opines on the democracy and human rights situation of Korea in an interview with Newsweek
Feb. 1983 Continues to have interviews with the US press and media; participates in events hosted by Korean communities; establishes the Korean Institute for Human Rights in Washington, D.C.; leads US-based campaigns for Korea’s democratization; presents lectures on the invitation of American academia, religious and social groups
May 16, 1983 Awarded a Doctor of Law, honoris causa, by Emory University, Atlanta
Jun. 1983 Rallies support from Washington and New York for Kim Young-sam’s hunger strike against Chun Doo-hwan regime’s suppression of political freedom
Sept. 1983 Visiting fellow at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
Jan. 1984 Advisor to the International Council, Union Theological Seminary, NY; Advisor to the International Committee for the Relief of Victims of Tortures, Minneapolis
Dec. 1984 Sends a letter to President Chun Doo-hwan containing intention of return to Korea
Feb. 8, 1985 Returns to Korea after 2 years and 3 months of exile amid much concern over safety; arrested at Kimpo Airport and immediately put under house arrest; spurs the advance of opposition parties including the incipient New Korea Democratic Party (NKDP) in the Feb. 12 general election
Mar. 6, 1985 Restrictions on political activities lifted (for 16 people including Kim Dae-jung, Kim Young-sam, Kim Jong-pil); still barred from politics with amnesty and restoration of civil rights left unaccomplished
Mar. 18, 1985 Agrees to consolidate opposition forces and co-chair the Council for the Promotion of Democracy (CPD) with Kim Young-sam
Jun. 17, 1985 Issues a joint statement with Kim Young-sam calling for democratization
Nov. 1985 The English translation of Mass-Participatory Economy and Conscience in Action published
Feb. 12, 1986 A million signature campaign for direct presidential election initiated by NKDP and CPD
Jul. 1986 Nominated to the position of Permanent Advisor of NKDP but thwarted by the authorities
Nov. 15, 1986 Reveals the intention of not running for the presidency on the condition that President Chun voluntarily accepts direct election
Apr. 8, 1987 Launches a new Reunification Democratic Party (RDP) together with Kim Young-sam
Apr. 10, 1987 Placed under house arrest (no visitors allowed, 12 sentry boxes and a surveillance house built around the residence)
Jun. 25, 1987 Released from house arrest
Jul. 9, 1987 Pardoned and civil rights restored (with regard to the KDJ treason case in 1980)
Sept. 8, 1987 Visits Gwangju after 17 years and pays respect to victims of May 18th Democratic Movement buried in Mangweol-dong Cemetery (now May 18th Memorial Park); visits hometown Mokpo and Hauido Island after 28 years
Oct. 1987 Announces running for the 13th presidential election with the support and endorsement of representatives from various sectors
Oct. 27, 1987 Conferred George Meany Human Rights Awards of AFL-CIO, US
Nov. 12, 1987 Founds the Party for Peace and Democracy (PPD); elected Party President and candidate for the 13th presidential election
Dec. 16, 1987 Loses the election to Roh Tae-woo
Apr. 26, 1988 Elected to the 13th National Assembly; PPD becomes the first ever opposition party to hold a majority in the Assembly
May 18, 1988 Meeting of three opposition party leaders produces 5 points of agreement with regard to investigations into corruption cases of the 5th Republic and the massacre during the May 18th Gwangju Democratic Movement
Nov. 18, 1988 Testifies before the special parliamentary hearing on Gwangju massacre; establishes the fact that the KDJ treason case was fabricated by the military regime of Chun in a bid to seize power
Aug. 3, 1989 Indicted with regard to Rep. Seo Gyeong-won’s visit to North Korea; case dropped
Jan. 8, 1990 Stages a hunger strike demanding four items including decentralized state administration
Jan. 23, 1990 Launches a campaign against Roh Tae-woo, Kim Young-sam and Kim Jong-pil’s scheme to merge three main parties into one gigantic ruling party
Jul. 27, 1990 Elected as Party President at PPD national convention
Oct. 8, 1990 Holds a hunger strike for 13 days demanding decentralized state administration and dissolution of the Army Security Command; transferred to Sinchon Severance Hospital
Apr. 9, 1991 PPD recruits leading dissident figures such as Lee Wu-jeong into PPD and re-launches as New Democratic Union Party (NDUP)
Sept. 10, 1991 NDUP merges with the Democratic Party led by Lee Gi-taek
Mar. 24, 1992 Elected to the 14th National Assembly
May 25, 1992 Nominated as candidate for the 14th President of the ROK by the Democratic Party
Sept. 1992 Honorary Doctorate in Political Science, Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, Moscow
Dec. 18, 1992 Loses the presidential election to Kim Young-sam
Dec. 19, 1992 Announces retirement from politics
Jan. 26, 1993 Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK
Jul. 1993 Returns to Korea
Dec. 1993 A New Beginning (Korean version) published
Jan. 1994 Establishes the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Region
May 1994 Proposes a package deal and former US President Carter’s visit to North Korea as a special envoy for the resolution of the nuclear issue during an address “My Suggestions for U.S.-Asian Policies” at the National Press Club, USA
Sept. 1994 Addresses the Heritage Foundation and puts forward the Sunshine Policy
Dec. 1994 Forum of Democratic Leaders in the Asia-Pacific (FDL-AP) founded; takes the position of Resident Co-president
Jul. 1995 Returns to politics
Sept. 1995 Inaugurates the National Congress for New Politics (NCNP)
May 1997 Nominated as NCNP’s presidential candidate
Dec. 1997 Elected the 15th President of the ROK defeating Lee Hoi-chang and Lee In-je
Feb. 25, 1998 Inaugurated as the 15th President of the Republic of Korea
Jun. 1998 Presented the International Human Rights Award of the International League for Human Rights
Jul. 1999 Awarded the Philadelphia Liberty Medal by the Philadelphia Foundation, Pennsylvania
Jan. 2000 President, Millennium Democratic Party
Jun. 2000 Holds an inter-Korean summit for the first time in 55 years of division; announces the South-North Joint Declaration
Dec. 2000 Awarded the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize
Feb. 24, 2003 Leaves office
Aug. 8, 2003 Conferred the Manhae Peace Award, Korea
Nov. 3, 2003 Dedication of the Kim Dae-jung Presidential Library and museum
Dec. 9, 2003 Decorated with the Bernardo O’Higgins Great Cross of Chile
Dec. 15, 2003 Conferred the Award for an Outstanding Contribution of the Chunsa Na Un-gyu Film Festival in recognition of policies for film industry promotion
Jan. 29, 2004 Acquitted in the re-trial of the Kim Dae-jung treason case
May 10-19, 2004 Tours France, Norway and Switzerland; addresses the OECD, the Nobel Committee and WHO
Jun. 15, 2004 Delivers a special address at the International Conference to Commemorate the 4th Anniversary of the June 15th South-North Joint Declaration represented by both Koreas
Jun. 29, 2004 Visits China and holds talks with Chairman Jiang Zemin
Nov. 6-14, 2004 Visits Sweden and Rome; holds talks with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson and Italian President Carlo Ciampi; presents a speech at the 5th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (Rome, Italy)
Dec. 2004 Visits Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; delivers a special address at the 2nd East Asia Forum
Dec. 2004 The 21st Century and the Korean People, a selection of speeches and interviews, published in the Korean, English and Japanese languages