President Roh Commits Suicide

Roh Moo-hyun, the President of South Korea from 2003 -2008. I was there during 2004-2005 and I liked that guy. I thought he got a very raw deal from the usual rumble-tumble childishness of Korean politics. Politics is divided along stubborn political lines that espouse ideology but in reality are more concerned with influence and pork-barrel money-grabbing. Roh was a brave human rights lawyer in the era of dictatorship and was asked to enter politics but fellow idealists who believed he might promote long-needed change. Roh didn’t feel emotionally up to the job and the traditional regionalism which besets Korean politics. In the end, his own party near abandoned him, his popularity fell and a good man who might have been able to change the dynamic left office, pushed out but entrenched corrupted politicians who felt threatened by change. After office, he was investigated for his family and himself taking bribes, leaving him further isolated and yesterday while hiking in the woods, he jumped from a rock, leaving this note; I can’t imagine the countless agonies down the road. The rest of my life would only be a burden for others. I can’t do anything because I’m not healthy. I can’t read books, nor can I write. Don’t be too sad. Isn’t life and death all part of nature? Don’t be sorry. Don’t blame anybody. It’s fate. Please cremate me. And please leave a small tombstone near home. I’ve long thought about that.

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