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(Kim Death) (LEAD) Former President Kim dies at 85

All Headlines 14:09 August 18, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details)

SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) -- Former President Kim Dae-jung died at Seoul's Severance Hospital at 1:42 p.m. Tuesday after a long battle with pneumonia and related complications, hospital officials said. He was 85.

Kim, who served as president from 1998-2003, was admitted to Severance Hospital in western Seoul on July 13 with pneumonia and put on a respirator three days later. He underwent surgery on his bronchial tubes in late July as part of procedures to facilitate his breathing.

Beginning late Monday night, Kim's health condition suddenly deteriorated, with his heart failing intermittently, the hospital officials said.

He is survived by his wife and former first lady Lee Hee-ho and three sons.

Kim met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in June 2000 for the first 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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