Kim Young-sam (RR: Gim Yeong-sam ; MR: Kim Yŏng-sam ; Korean 김영삼; 金泳三, December 20, 1927-) was the President of South Korea from 1993 to 1998. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leading opposition politician, along with Kim Dae-jung. When the first democratic presidential election was held in 1987 after ex-general Chun Doo-hwan's retirement, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung ran against each other, splitting the opposition vote and enabling ex-general Roh Tae-woo--Chun Doo-hwan's hand-picked successor--to win the election. Kim Young-sam ran again in 1992 and won. Although Kim tried to reform the South Korean conglomerates (jaebeol), he is remembered mostly now for the Asian financial crisis, the Korean portion of which began in 1997 (the last year of his tenure) with the collapse of Kia Motors.
A string of large-scale disasters marred South Korea during Kim's presidency, including the SungSoo Bridge collapse, a sinking of a ship, and a crash of an airliner, Korean Air Flight 801.