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Passings

Richard Hamtok Pae

Korean language TV pioneer

August 31, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Richard Hamtok Pae, 82, who founded the first Korean-language television broadcasting company in the United States and worked on South Korea's democracy movement with Nobel Prize recipient and former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, has died.

Pae died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from lung cancer, his family said.

In 1972, Pae formed the first TV broadcasting company to air Korean-language programs to the then-emerging Korean American community in Los Angeles.

In the mid-1980s, he helped found the Free Korea Network and worked closely with South Korean political dissident Kim Dae Jung, who was in exile in the United States. At the time, South Korea was under military rule. Kim later returned to South Korea and became president before being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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