Listening Topic: History – Lecture about Kim Dae Jung

A. Listen to a college lecture. As you listen, choose the correct answer to each question.

 Who was the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2000?

      a   Octavio Paz

      b   Desmond Tuto

      c   Kim Dae-Jung

 What did he win it for?

      a   His work at Harvard

      b   His Sunshine Policy

      c   His economic reforms

B. Read the questions and answer the ones you that you can. Then listen to the lecture again and answer the rest of the questions. Listen again if necessary.

 Where was Kim Dae-Jung born?


 Why were there several attempts on his life?


 Where did Kim spend time in the US?


 What happened when he returned to Korea?


 What happened under Kim’s Sunshine Policy?


 Why is it called the Sunshine Policy?




1 c   2 b


 On an island in Korea

 He stood up against government corruption.

 At Harvard University

 He was put in prison.

 The leaders of North Korea and South Korea met to discuss reconciliation.

 It is named after one of Aesop’s Fables that teaches a about solving conflicts through gentle pressure instead of aggression.


A = Professor

B = Male Student 1

C = Male Student 2

D = Female Student

A:   OK. Does anyone know who one the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000?

B:   Was it Desmond Tutu?

A:   No, sorry. Any other guesses?

C:   I know. Octavio Paz.

A:   Wrong again. Anyone else?

D:   Wait, did you say in 2000?

A:   Yes, 2000.

D:   Oh, I think it was Kim Dae Jung, the former president of South Korea.

A:   Yes! That’s right! Kim Dae Jung. And does anyone know why he won the peace prize? OK, well let’s start from the beginning. Kim was born on an island in a part of the country that’s not really well-respected, but he ran for government offices in spite of that. He was critical of many former political leaders and policies. To this day, he’s known as a man who stood up against government corruption. But, as a result, he had a bunch of attempts on his life. At least three or four.

C:   You’re saying that people tried to kill him three or four times? Wow. People must have been really threatened by him.

A:   Yes, I guess you could say that. In fact, this one time, he was taken out in a boat by an enemy of his, and was on the verge of being thrown in the ocean but, at the last moment, he was released.

B:   That’s incredible.

A:   Yes, it is. On another occasion, he was sentenced to death, but once again he was released. He was allowed to leave the country and he traveled to the United States and spent some time teaching at Harvard before returning home.

B:   Do you mean he went back to Korea?

A:   Yes, he did. And he was immediately imprisoned when he arrived.

C:   Did you say he was thrown back in prison?

A:   Yes, that’s what I said. So eventually, he gets out of prison. And he gets elected president in 1997. He was inaugurated in 1998. Immediately, he began to improve economic conditions in the country. But the thing he’s known for most is what’s called his ‘Sunshine Policy’. You see, during his presidency, the leaders of South and North Korea actually sat down to talk about the prospect of possible reunification of the two countries. This was huge! The two sides actually agreed on several issues, including what the steps toward a reconciliation would look like. They discussed how the two countries might improve their relationship in the future. I’m not sure how much was really accomplished at these talks, but it was the beginning of a dialog that had never happened before.

D:   So why is it called the ‘Sunshine Policy’?

A:   Good question. The name comes from one of Aesop’s Fables. Maybe you know it. It’s the one about the sun and the wind competing to see who is stronger? There’s a man on the road wearing a coat. The sun and the wind argue about who is stronger, so they make a bet that says the one that can make the man take off his coat is the winner. So, the wind blows and blows, but that only…well, that just makes the man hold his coat tightly to him. So then the sun tries, and the sun’s gentle rays make the man remove his coat.

D:   Oh, I get it. The idea is that gentle pressure is more effective in resolving conflict than aggressive strength.

A:   Exactly. Now what do all of you think about that?

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