Speaker attends former President Kim Young-sam’s memorial ceremony
National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang on June 20 attended the 50th anniversary of the late former President Kim Young-sam's founding of his political home base in the Sangdo-dong neighborhood of Seoul.
In remarks at the ceremony, held at the Kim Young-sam Memorial Library in Sangdo-dong, Speaker Moon said, In 1979, former President Kim made Sangdo-dong his political home base. Back then, the Sangdo area was the ROK's cradle of democracy, a sanctuary for this tireless supporter of parliamentarianism, and the setting for a fierce battle for democracy.
Fifty years ago today, at 10 o'clock at night, unidentified attackers threw a bottle of acetic acid at the car carrying Mr. Kim, who was then the opposition floor leader at the National Assembly. The terrorist attack remains a symbolic incident from that harsh era when the Korean people hungered for democracy, he said.
Democracy, which we live with every day, was what the people of this country safeguarded by shedding their blood and tears. Such struggles could succeed only thanks to the life-and-death battles by political leaders such as former President Kim who did not think of their own interests, but cared about the generation to come.
He went on to say that Mr. Kim never succumbed to threats and terrorism, but only grew stronger in the face of the military dictatorship. His 23-day hunger strike against the military junta in 1983 served as a turning point from which the country's pro-democracy advocates began to rally. Every step that he took set a milestone in the history of the Republic of Korea's politics, he underlined, adding that Mr. Kim's actions ultimately left a giant's footprints that today's politicians must follow.
Speaker Moon also took note of President Kim's lifelong principle: All state affairs must be decided upon at the National Assembly; National Assembly Members may fight, but they should do so only at the National Assembly. He said the principle demonstrated Mr. Kim's keen insight, reflecting his trust in parliamentary politics and his love of the parliament. We must deeply consider the former president's spiritual legacy, and be aroused by the heavy sense of our responsibilities as assembly members.
Source: The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea