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South Korea Buries Former President Kim Young-sam

  • VOA News

The coffin of the late former South Korean President Kim Young-sam is lowered by the honor guard during his burial ceremony at the national cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

The coffin of the late former South Korean President Kim Young-sam is lowered by the honor guard during his burial ceremony at the national cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

Thousands of mourners gathered Thursday at South Korea's parliamentary headquarters to say farewell to former president Kim Young-sam, the democracy crusader who died Sunday at age 87.

The televised funeral was held on the lawn of the National Assembly, where Kim took his oath of office in 1993 and served a single five-year term.

Kim made his reputation as a nine-term lawmaker who fought more than two decades of political dictatorship in South Korea. His work earned a loyal political following, but also many enemies.

Kim's term ended in disappointment after the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and 1998, when tens of thousands of South Koreans lost their jobs and forced him to accept an international bailout. He left office in disgrace in 1998.

Kim was suffering from a serious blood infection when he died Sunday in a Seoul hospital. President Park Geun-hye, who is ill after a trip abroad, paid her respects at the hospital before Kim's remains were transported to the funeral site.

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