Times Wire Reports

Former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung died today, a hospital spokesman said in Seoul.

Kim, 85, was a longtime opposition leader who survived assassination attempts and a death sentence to become South Korea's president. He served from 1998 to 2003.

His unflagging efforts to reconcile with communist North Korea, including a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 2000, earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kim Dae-jung had been hospitalized with pneumonia since last month. He died shortly after 1:40 p.m., said Lee Sung-man, a spokesman for Severance Hospital in Seoul.

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