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South Korea's former president Kim Dae-jung, who was the first South Korean leader to shake hands with the North's leader Kim Jong-il, died Tuesday at 85 from heart failure.
Kim, unlike his predecessors, embraced the North and propelled an engagement policy towards the North that would later become known as the Sunshine policy. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 after holding a historic summit with his North Korean counterpart.
In his earlier years, the former president was a fervent fighter against the military dictatorship in the country. He survived assassination attempts, and was the leading figure in the opposition party until he took office in 1998.
Kim was recently hospitalized from pneumonia with the local media and public closely monitoring his condition.
The country is in a state of mourning with broadcasters running special reports and programs dedicated to the loss of its former leader.
Kim is the second ex-president South Koreans lost this year, after former leader Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide in May.