South Korean Leader to Accept Nobel Peace Prize at Ceremony
South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung was to receive Sunday the Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma at an award ceremony in Oslo honoring his efforts to reconcile North and South Korea and his support of democracy and human rights.
Kim was to accept the prestigious honour from the chairman of the Nobel Committee, Gunnar Berge, at 1:00 PM (1200 GMT) at Oslo City Hall, in the presence of Norway's King Harald V, the Norwegian government and invited guests.
At the close of the ceremony, Kim was expected to deliver a speech focusing on democracy, human rights and peace on the Korean peninsula and in the region.
Before leaving Seoul for Norway, Kim issued a statement saying he hoped the award, which also comes with a prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (1.07 million euros, 910,000 dollars), would boost South Korea's international image and credibility.
"I would like to share this honor with all the people who have been persistently taking part in efforts to open a new era distinguished by democracy, human rights and inter-Korean reconciliation," Kim said.
"The awarding ceremony ... will be a rare chance to improve the image and international credibility of South Korea," he said.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in October that it was awarding the Peace Prize for 2000 to the 75-year-old former dissident "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular."
The two Koreas are technically at war, as an armistice ending the 1950-1953 Korean War has yet to be replaced by a permanent peace treaty.
At a watershed summit in June in Pyongyang, the South Korean president and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il agreed to move toward reconciliation and end enmity stemming from the war – OSLO (AFP)
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