Kim Young Sam, 1927–, South Korean political leader, b. Gyeongsang prov. He was first elected to the National Assembly in 1954 and served nine terms. A long-time political dissident and opponent of military rule, he was banned from politics from 1980 to 1985 and was twice subjected to house arrest. Kim was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1987, but after three decades in opposition he shrewdly merged his party with the ruling party in 1990 to form the Democratic Liberal party (now the New Korea party). In 1993 he became the first nonmilitary president in more than 30 years, and initiated political and economic reforms, but in 1998, amid corruption scandals and public loss of confidence, he was succeeded by his rival Kim Dae Jung.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.