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The vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East produces unbearable pains, sufferings and deaths to the people in the region and helplessness and despair for the peace loving people in the rest of the World.

Yet, we must have hope in a hopeless situation and try to help even if we feel helpless. So, let us pray GOD for peace in the Middle-East and urge our respective governments to broker said peace - for, GOD willing, peace is attainable even if it appears impossible.

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: The President of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung (1924-2009) was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for his struggle for democracy and human rights in South Korea (and in East Asia in general), and for his efforts to ensure peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular. Kim Dae-jung has been called the “Nelson Mandela of Asia”.

Nationality: South Korean

Education: Graduate certificate from Kyunghee University, Seoul; Ph.D. in Political Science from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow, 1992

Occupation: President of South Korea (1997-2003)


1. In his Nobel Lecture (Oslo, December 10, 2000; Les Prix Nobel 2000), Kim Dae-jung said:

“Allow me to say a few words on a personal note. Five times I faced near death at the hands of dictators, six years I spent in prison, and forty years I lived under house arrest or in exile and under constant surveillance. I could not have endured the hardship without the support of my people and the encouragement of fellow democrats around the world. The strength also came from deep personal beliefs.

I have lived, and continue to live, in the belief that God is always with me. I know this from experience. In August of 1973, while exiled in Japan, I was kidnapped from my hotel room in Tokyo by intelligence agents of the then military government of South Korea. The news of the incident startled the world. The agents took me to their boat at anchor along the seashore. They tied me up, blinded me, and stuffed my mouth. Just when they were about to throw me overboard, Jesus Christ appeared before me with such clarity. I clung to him and begged him to save me. At that very moment, an airplane came down from the sky to rescue me from the moment of death.” (Kim Dae-jung 2000).

2. In a letter to his son, written in prison (November 24, 1980) Kim Dae-jung wrote:

“Only the truly magnanimous and strong are capable of forgiving and loving. Let us persevere, then, praying always that God will help us to have the strength to love and forgive our enemies. Let us together, in this way, become the loving victors.” (Kim Dae-jung, Prison Writings, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1987, 6).

3. In his Philadelphia Liberty Medal Acceptance Speech (July 4, 1999), Kim Dae-jung said:

“I have had a life-long pilgrimage toward freedom. Along the journey, certain forces have sustained me.

The first is the Christ that I believe in. He gave his life upon the Holy Cross for the rights of the oppressed people of Israel. He taught us how to be free in spirit.

He also told us to follow him bearing the cross as he had, if we willed to be his disciples. The cross was my training toward freedom.

I still remember the experience in 1980. I had been sentenced to death. I was waiting for execution day in the army prison. My wife and children came to visit me. We all prayed to God in tears. We cried together.

But no one in my family told me to compromise with the military dictatorship. They all encouraged me to keep my faith in God, and in freedom.” (Kim Dae-jung 1999).

4. “The future of mankind belongs to liberty. When we side with liberty, we are with God who implanted the love of liberty in all of us. When we side with liberty, we enhance our own dignity.” (Kim Dae-jung 1999).

5. In 1980 Kim Dae-jung wrote: “Love of God does not mean we must love Him first. Rather, He loved us first, creating the world and leaving it in our care, sending His only son to us to spread the gospel, and, finally, opening the way for us to deliver ourselves from sin through the crucifixion of His innocent son, Jesus. Through Jesus’ resurrection, God gave us hope for eternal life. God is with you at this very moment. He loves you, and He creates the good for you from all the right and wrong in your life when you genuinely believe in and obey Him.” (From a letter to his son, written in prison; see Kim Dae-jung, Prison Writings, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).

6. In a letter to his children (January 29, 1981, Prison Writings) Kim Dae-jung wrote: “Every time I think of the days you have all spent in anguish and suffering, particularly when I think about Hong-il, who is still being held in prison, pain and anguish fill my heart. My love for all of you is strong. I have determined to be a good father, the father of a blissful family. And yet I have caused you great pain and torment. In deep remorse, I can only pray to Jesus every day that your trials will in the end lead to some good.” (Kim Dae-jung 1987, 20).

7. In his Address at a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress (June 10, 1998, Washington, D.C.) the President Kim Dae-jung said:

“In 1973, I was kidnapped in Tokyo and taken onto a ship.

Bound and gagged, I was about to be thrown overboard.

But, as only someone who has brushed up to death’s door can know, I saw Jesus Christ near me.

I prayed for my life.

And I truly believe God saved me.” (Kim Dae-jung 1998b).