Seoul, South Korea, Aug 18, 2009 / 22:34 pm
Thomas More Kim Dae-Jung, the first Catholic president of South Korea, died on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 85. Religious leaders remembered the Nobel laureate for his promotion of human rights and his peacemaking work.
The former president was hospitalized in Seoul on July 13 with pneumonia. He died of heart failure.
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, the Archbishop of Seoul, issued a condolence message after Kim’s death was announced. According to UCA News, the prelate praised the first Korean Nobel Prize recipient’s dedication to promoting human rights, democratizing South Korea, and working for peace on the Korean peninsula.
The cardinal said Kim forgave his political foes despite the persecutions and threats to his life he suffered.