Sunday, 31 May 2009

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun commits suicide

"Roh, who was president from 2003 to 2008, had gone hiking near his home with an aide about 6:30 a.m. Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET on Friday), the state-run Yonhap news agency said.
He was found later with head injuries, and died at 9:30 a.m. after being taken to a hospital in Busan, police said. A hospital spokesman declined to comment.
Roh left a suicide note for his family that family lawyer Moon Jae-in handed out to South Korean media. News reports said Roh wrote it on his computer about half an hour before he left the house.
"I am in debt to too many people," the note reads. "Too many people have suffered because of me. And I cannot imagine the suffering they will go through in the future."
Roh's death came amid an investigation into a bribery scandal that had tarnished his reputation.
Prosecutors were investigating the former president for allegedly receiving $6 million in bribes from a South Korean businessman while in office. Roh's wife was scheduled to be questioned by prosecutors Saturday, and Roh was planning to answer a second round of questions next week.
With Roh's death, prosecutors said, the case against him has been suspended." ~CNN
While the American government and businessmen cheat and lie and deny everything later, President Roh chose death over dishonour. He chose to die for something he didn't know was wrong at first. His wife and his son-in-law were the ones who took the money, not him. Who knows, maybe he did know about bribe money. But the truth is, he committed suicide because he was burden with guilt.
"The corruption allegations against Roh were by no means the worst leveled against a South Korean president.
In 1997, two ex-presidents were convicted of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes while in office. Chun Doo-hwan, president from 1981-88, was fined $270 million; Roh Tae-woo, leader from 1998-93, was fined $350 million.
But the accusations were deeply shameful to Roh, who built a reputation as anti-corruption crusader." ~Yahoo News
Since South Korea is filled with North Korean spies and with people who have a "hint of red" (a secret communist), citizens tend to question the government with suspicion and often hate. Unlike other former presidents who had a hint of red or who were trying to take money from the people, President Roh wanted what was best for South Korea and I admired that.
"Though criticized as inexperienced and confrontational by some, Roh was praised by others as a humble, candid leader who pushed for political reform and fought against corruption. " ~Yahoo News
No matter how much people criticised President Roh, he was certainly better than the other former presidents. I liked him for trying to do what was right. People can debate that by saying he escaped his responsibilities by committing suicide, but in the end no one is perfect. The government in South Korea is corrupt anyway. Were the former presidents prosecuted for the money they stole? No, at at all. One top of that, the money was never returned.

I hope people will appreciate the current President instead of emphasising on his negative aspects. Korean people shouldn't point their finger at President Lee for framing President Roh if they truly did respect and mourn for his loss.

P.S. - I just pray that this time people won't be ignorant by putting 100% of their trust into the media to get information about the government. You'll get what I mean if you read about the whole cow disease uproar and protest against the American meat last summer. When I was in Korea, the whole media was just... ridiculous. I was stunned when I turned on the TV. Come on, I ate a crappy meat burgers for lunch everyday when I was in American school!!!! I probably had more chance of eating meat with cow disease. Even the Korean celebrities who are supposedly "international" opposed against American meats. Living in different countries opened my eyes and showed me how imperfect this world is... and how ignorant people can be. That's why even though my nationality is Korean and I was brought up in Japan and America all my life, I never consider none of them my home country. Patriotism is what causes people to be ignorant and hateful. My home is wherever I live at the moment, and I am quite satisfied with that.

Source: CNN, Yahoo News, PoliBlog

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