Late leader Roh Moo-hyun’s political legacy put under spotlight

A great number of people, as we can see, are
still mourning the loss of President Roh. But his legacy in politics still divides opinion. Our political correspondent Kim Min-ji takes
a look back at time in office and after. Roh Moo-hyun came to power in February 2003
as South Korea’s 16th president. He was a liberal politician who fought against
regionalism, corruption and social polarization. “The generation which permits cheating and
privileges must be put to an end. Let’s open a new era in which people who are
fair and square are the ones that succeed.” The three policy goals of Roh’s so-called
‘participatory government’ were to pursue democracy for the people, foster a balanced
society where all live well and open an era of peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. Roh also put national interests first when
it came to economic and diplomatic issues. During his term, he inked a free trade deal
with the U.S. and dispatched South Korean troops to Iraq despite strong opposition from
his own supporters. He also made headway toward establishing peace
on the Korean Peninsula,… holding a summit with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Although he’s now remembered as a warm-hearted
leader who worked to improve the lives of the people,… his life as president and after
his term in office wasn’t always easy. He clashed with opposition parties over his
progressive policies,… and was even impeached in 2004 on charges of violating election laws,
before later being reinstated after the Constitutional Court ruled in his favor. And not long after he returned to his hometown
after his term ended,… he was mired in a bribery scandal which tarnished his reputation….
prompting him to take his own life. He denied allegations that members of his
family accepted illicit funds,… but the intensity of the probe appeared to be too
much for the former leader. The investigation, which some claimed was
politically motivated,… ended following Roh’s death. Ten years on from his death… assessments
of Roh’s political legacy are still divided. President Moon Jae-in, who served as the presidential
chief of staff to the late former leader,… has vowed to uphold Roh Moo-hyun’s dreams
with the same tasks still lingering… such as rooting out regionalism and authoritarianism,…
and establishing peace on the Korean peninsula. While paying respects after he won the presidency
in May 2017,… President Moon said he will return again to
pay tribute after successfully completing his duties as president by seeking the changes
demanded and desired by the Korean people. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.

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