Here's the email:
This email is to learn how foreigners with deep understanding about the country's modern history evaluate the late Kim and his achievements. An article based on answers to this email will be published on Monday edition.
1. How do you evaluate the late former President Kim Dae-jung as a politician or an pro-democracy activist?
2. What do you think is the most brilliant feat Kim has made during his presidency or throughout his life?
3. Please give us other comments you want to leave.
Kim Dae-jung embodied everything that a Korean politician should. He was came from a poor part of the country, was charismatic, inspiring and revolutionary. His life was one that an industrializing Korea could really relate to since he essentially personified the Korean nations' post-WWII struggle. And while there is no denying his contributions towards the democratization of Korea, I think the real effects of DJ can be witnessed in the uncompromising zeal of his supporters and the stagnation of serious and positive rapprochement with North Korea.
Just as we are now seeing with Roh Myu-Hyun supporters leaving the Minju party to create their own, Kim Dae-jung aroused similar enthusiasm and contempt for civil bipartisanship. Politcos and staunch supporters from the DJ-era refuse to acknowledge election mandates and laws passed under any opposition party. Rather than using the many democratic avenues that DJ fought to establish, they resort to lynch-mob discourse and petty branding, i.e., "Lee Myung-bak is a dictator." The sheer emotionalism connected to DJ has somewhat disconnected his message and followers from pursuing a true democratic society. Losing an election is part of the system. Refusing to accept a loss is part of the problem.
*The GOP in the US is suffering from the same delusions.
Secondly, DJ was known for his
I'm not so sure this what the Times was looking for, but that's what they got.
His story is one to be impressed with and that's what Koreans buy into. But leading a divided nation takes much more than a compelling story.