Kidnapping of Kim Dae-jung

Kidnapping Of Kim Dae-Jung

Kidnapping of Kim Dae-jung

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The South Korean dissident leader Kim Dae-jung, later president of South Korea, was kidnapped on August 8, 1973, in Tokyo, Japan.


In the 1971 presidential election, Kim represented the Democratic Party, challenging incumbent President Park Chung-hee of the Democratic Republican Party. Kim won 45.2% of the popular vote but lost to Park's 53.2%. Following the election, Kim was involved in a car accident which left him with a permanent injury on his hip joint. Believing the accident to be an attempt on his life, Kim fled to Japan where he eventually began an exile movement for democracy in South Korea, following Seoul's declaration of the Yushin Constitution in October 1972.


Around noon of August 8, 1973, Kim was attending a meeting with the leader of the Democratic Unification Party held in the Room 2212 of the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo.

At around 13:19, Kim was abducted by a group of unidentified agents as he walked out of the room after the meeting. He was then taken into the empty Room 2210 where he was drugged and fell unconscious. Later Kim was moved to Osaka and later to Seoul, South Korea.

Kim was later quoted as saying that a weight had been attached to his feet aboard the boat heading toward Korea, indicating that the kidnappers had intended to drown him by throwing him into the sea. They were, however, forced to abandon this plan as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force began a pursuit of the kidnappers' boat. Subsequently Kim was...
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