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(LEAD) Kim Dae-jung put back on respirator, hospital says

All Headlines 15:36 July 23, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES with doctor's quote and background from 4th para)

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung was again put on a respirator on Thursday after developing breathing difficulties, a Seoul hospital said.

The 85-year-old Kim, who served as president between 1998 and 2003, was admitted to Severance Hospital in western Seoul on July 13 with pneumonia and put on a respirator three days later.

The doctors had removed the ventilator on Sunday after his condition improved.

"Kim was rushed to an intensive care unit early Thursday morning due to pulmonary complications and placed on a respirator. But key medical indicators show that he is now regaining normalcy," said a Severance Hospital doctor.

In 2005, Kim was admitted to hospital after showing symptoms of a cold and fever.

Kim met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in June 2000 for the first-ever inter-Korean summit and won the Nobel Peace Prize later that year in recognition of his lifelong fight for democracy and efforts to promote reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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