Kim Jiha is a South Korean poet and playwright whose early poetry theme was in political resistance. After having written poems including Five Thieves criticizing President Park Chung-Hee's dictatorship he was sentenced to death in 1974 for orchestrating an anti-government movement, and then to life imprisonment. His sentence was suspended following Park's assassination. On January 4, 2013, 39 years after the death sentence, Kim was cleared of sedition charges by a Seoul court.
Since 1980s Kim's view of human condition has evolved to incorporate Korean traditional Dong-hak and other eastern and western philosophies into a theory of life, seeking balance and harmony in the nation and ultimately in the world.
Kim metaphorically refers to mountains and waters to indicate the relations between Korea and the United States.
Kim was born in Mokpo, South Cholla Province, in 1941 and received a BA in Aesthetics from Seoul National University in 1966.