Former South Korean President Kim Young-sam dies

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Kim Young-sam was president of South Korea during the first nuclear crisis with North Korea

Former South Korean President Kim Young-sam, an iconic figure of South Korea's pro-democracy movement, has died aged 87

Mr Kim was taken to hospital with a fever and died of a blood infection and heart failure on Sunday morning.

For decades, Mr Kim fought against military rulers and pushed for democratic reform.

For his part in the pro-democracy movement, he was placed under house arrest twice in the 1980s.

He then served as president from 1993 to 1998, during which, two generals-turned-presidents were indicted on mutiny and treason charges stemming from a coup.

Kim pardoned the two convicted military strongmen - Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo - at the end of his term.

During Mr Kim's presidency, military tensions created a cloud over the Korean peninsula. North Korea threatened to withdraw from the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and began removing spent fuel from its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which could be reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium.

According to AP, at one point the US military drew up plans for a strike against a North Korean nuclear facility, but Mr Kim opposed it, sure that it would lead to a full-scale conflict.

Former US President Jimmy Carter brokered a deal under which the North agreed to freeze and eliminate its nuclear facilities, but that deal collapsed in 2002.