Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine

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9780230620483: Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine
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For the first time, using original sources and his own reporting going back to 1972 when he met Kim Dae Jung at his home in Seoul, Donald Kirk explores the great untold story of modern Korean history. This book recounts the rise of Kim Dae Jung from an oppressed region of Korea, beginning with his schooldays, his activities in the Korean War and his entry into politics. The book addresses his populist politics, his ascent to the national stage and his encounters first with the dictators who tried to take his life and then had him tried and sentenced to death for the Kwangju revolt. The book outlines DJ’s life in exile in the United States, his great return to Korea and his entry into presidential politics climaxed by his election in 1997 at the height of economic crisis. Focusing on DJ’s Sunshine policy, his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and his drive for the Nobel, the book tells the story of payments that brought about the summit and the prize as well as the corruption that ensnared his sons and top aides.

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About the Author:

Donald Kirk, journalist and author, has covered Korea for American newspapers and magazines beginning with assignments there as Far East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in the early 1970s. Since then he’s reported from Korea for The Observer of London and USA Today and served as Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, CBS Radio and the Asia Times. He is the author of two books on Korean economic issues, Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung and Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era as well as books on his years as a war correspondent in Vietnam and a Fulbright research scholar in the Philippines. He currently travels to Korea and elsewhere from his home base in Washington, D.C.

Review:

“As Don Kirk details, Kim [Dae Jung]'s presidency was a tragic disappointment. . . Korea Betrayed helps us better understand the manifold gifts and flaws of this extraordinary statesman.”--The Washington Times

 

“The late Kim Dae Jung--the remarkable political dissident who rose to be President of South Korea and to win the Nobel Prize for Peace--is revered internationally, but his reputation in his native South Korea is much more controversial and contested. In this critical biography, Donald Kirk--a journalistic eminence who has been covering Korea for more than 30 years--helps us understand why this could be so. In his fascinating book, Kirk not only traces Kim Dae Jung's great political rise, but also details the moral and financial corruption that came to engulf, and permanently tarnish, the ‘DJ’ Presidency.  Korea Betrayed will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every student of modern Korea. Kirk's account of the failure of DJ's ‘Sunshine Policy’ toward North Korea, furthermore, should be ‘must reading’ for all American policymakers before they prepare to deal with Pyongyang.”--Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, The American Enterprise Institute

 

“Donald Kirk's Korea Betrayed is a comprehensive yet cogently written look at one of the most important figures in the past hundred years of Korean history. Brilliantly researched and equally well written, Kirk's newest book could not come at a more important time.  Kirk's book reminds American and South Korean policy makers why decisions made in the past are so relevant for foreign affairs today--as Washington, Pyongyang, and Seoul are at a crossroads in foreign relations that will affect the security of Northeast Asia for many years to come.”--Bruce E. Bechtol  Jr., Professor of International Relations, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and author of Red Rogue: The Persistent Challenge of North Korea

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