Exiled East: Kim Dae Jung at Emory Open Access

Park, Sun (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/m326m291t?locale=en


Late 20th century South Korean history was one of the most turbulent episodes of Korean history. From 1950 to 1987, the South Korean people experience a civil war, three dictatorships, two revolutions and two military coups. The nation found itself at a crossroads, as the Korean military struggled against the pro-democracy movement for control of Korean politics, all while the United States, focused on both containing the spread of Communism and also promoting democracy, found itself unable to successfully stabilize Korea and also democratize it at the same time.

           In the midst of the South Korean struggle between militarism and democracy and the global clash between Communism and Capitalism, a charismatic democracy activist by the name of Kim Dae Jung began to rise to prominence. As Kim climbed through the ranks of the democracy movement, another supporter of Korean democracy, James T. Laney, began to make public efforts in the United States to oppose dictatorship in Korea. Unexpectedly, these two men would forge an unlikely friendship dedicated to the promotion of democracy and human rights in Korea during the late Cold War.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                                                           1

Historiography                                                                                                                       6

Chapter One: Meeting the Morning Calm: James T. Laney in Korea                          13

Christian Human Rights, Revolution and the Cold War                                                23

Breaking the Ominous Silence                                                                                           28

Chapter Two: Fighting for Democracy against Militarism                                           37

Why Here? Examining Emory’s relationship with Kim                                                 45

Christianity, Democracy and Human Rights in Korea                                                   52

The Paradox of Emory                                                                                                       64

Chapter Three: Kim Dae Jung in America                                                                        66

The Implications of Exile: Understanding Kim’s time in America                             84

Epilogue: When Dawn Comes: Kim and Laney after America                                     89

Bibliography                                                                                                                        100

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