Richard V. Allen, National Security Advisor to Reagan

June 21st, 2011

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In this episode of Korean Kontext, I have the opportunity to speak with Richard V. Allen, who, in the weeks preceding his official instatement as National Security Advisor to President-elect Ronald Reagan in 1981, was involved in a secret agreement to intervene on behalf of liberal political leader Kim Dae-jung, who had been sentenced to death by the then-Korean government under Chun Doo-hwan. The details of this story have only recently become known, even to Kim Dae-jung, who, nearly 20 years later, became the 15th president of South Korea.

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  • morton smith

    Thanks for providing an important facet of US-ROK relations. However, I am surprised that no mention was made of an earlier successful effort by the US to save KDJ’s life under the Park Chung Hee regime. In both cases , despite the claims of “progressive” elements in Korea, the USG acted to strengthen Korean democracy. The ultimate pity is that despite these efforts KDJ’s Government was a great disappointment, and his nascent relationship to North Korea were close to disaster.

    Jun 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm