South Korean Spies Admit Kidnapping Future Prez

They abducted Kim Dae-jung in 1973
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2007 2:51 PM CDT
A South Korean visitor looks at former President Kim Dae-jung's picture at Kim Dae-jung Presidential Library in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – South Korea's spy agency has admitted that it kidnapped future president Kim Dae-jung in 1973, the BBC reported. The abduction of the opposition leader was approved by then leader Park Chung-hee and may have been intended to end in assassination. Agents grabbed Kim from a Tokyo hotel and bundled him into a boat. Kim's life was reportedly saved by a US plane that flew overhead, spooking his captors.

The admissions are the product of a three-year investigation into past actions by South Korea's National Intelligence Service. Kim had lost an election to Park in 1971. He was imprisoned for several years but reentered politics and was eventually elected president in 1997. His policies of engagement with North Korea won him the Nobel Peace Prize.