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Kim Young Sam Apologizes for Split in South Korea Vote

December 23, 1987|From Times Wire Services

SEOUL, South Korea — Opposition leader Kim Young Sam apologized Tuesday for splitting the opposition vote in last week's presidential election and said his party will participate in the coming election for the National Assembly.

Kim's apology followed one Monday by his rival, Kim Dae Jung. The two Kims lost last Wednesday's balloting to Roh Tae Woo, candidate of the governing Democratic Justice Party. Roh won with nearly 37% of the vote.

Together, the two Kims received 55% of the vote. Opposition supporters blamed them for failing to unite behind a single candidate.

"I offer my apologies to the people for failing to achieve the . . . great cause of ending military rule and attaining democracy," Kim Young Sam said Tuesday. "More than anything else, the failure to field a single opposition candidacy is responsible (for the defeat), and I . . . realize that I am to be blamed personally."

But Kim said he still blames the loss on massive election fraud.

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