President Obama offered his condolences today after the death of Kim Dae-jung, the democracy activist imprisoned by South Korea's military dictators who later became the country's president and Nobel laureate.
He died in Seoul today of pneumonia at age 85.
"I was saddened at the passing of former President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea, a courageous champion of democracy and human rights. President Kim risked his life to build and lead a political movement that played a crucial role in establishing a dynamic democratic system in the Republic of Korea," Obama said in a statement. "His service to his country, his tireless efforts to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, and his personal sacrifices on behalf of freedom are inspirational and should never be forgotten. On behalf of the American people, I extend my condolences to his family and to the Korean people."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.