S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute of Korean Political Studies (한국정치연구소) 한국정치연구 (Journal of Korean Politics) 한국정치연구 Volume 08/09 (1999)
The Korean Presidential Election in December 1997 Kim Oae-jungs Victory as a Momentum for Democratic Consolidation
- Park, ChanWook
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 한국정치연구소
- 한국정치연구, Vol.8, pp. 57-80
- South Korea held the cleanest and fairest presidential election ever in its history on December 18, 1997. It was a momentous event in which the peaceful transfer of power to the opposition took place for the first time. By winning this election, Kim Dae-jung reached the climax of his dramatic political life in his seventies. In the authoritarian era, he suffered from long years of harsh treatment, such as assassination attempts, kidnapping, exile, imprisonment, and house arrest. Even after democratic transition, his political career was by no means smooth sailing. He was vulnerable to his opponents' attempts to paint him black by invoking his old image as a radical or leftist sympathizer. Electoral defeat in the 1992 presidential election led him to retire from politics. When he made political comeback two and a half years afterwards, he fell under criticism by those who regarded him as blinded by his greed for power.
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