Sunday, May 31, 2009

President Roh's Funeral

Images from the funeral of President Roh, courtesy of a friend of mine from the language exchange.

And the last one from the Chosun, an English language newspaper based in Seoul:

I'm sure lots of places were closed for the funeral; Sherlock Academy was not. Michael spent most of the day watching the funeral on the Internet.

There is some speculation that "this was no suicide...this was MURDER." South Korea's very own Kennedy assassination. At the very least, lots of Koreans hold the current president, Lee Myung-bak, responsible for the death, as he pushed for the aggressive corruption probe into the kickbacks scandal surrounding Roh.

Kim Sung-gyeon, a 50-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair, said the public needed to know the true circumstances behind Roh's death. "In my opinion, this is a political assassination, a political murder."

The outspoken Roh, who served from 2002 to 2008, crafted an image as a clean politician with humble roots who stuck up for common people. Young voters liked him because he promised to stand up to Washington. Others favored his policies to promote democracy, fight corruption and push for better relations with North Korea.

Roh's funeral procession began rolling at dawn from his southern hometown of Bongha, where he killed himself on May 23. Villagers lined the streets as his hearse, covered in white chrysanthemums, departed for the capital.

His official funeral ceremony was held in the courtyard of the 14th-century Gyeongbok Palace in the heart of ancient Seoul. Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns chanted prayers as part of the multifaith ceremony reflective of South Korea's respect for religious diversity and its changing society.

Roh's suicide note was read aloud, including his pleas to his wife and two children not to be "too sad" and his description of his suffering as "unbearable."

Opposition lawmakers jeered President Lee as he and his wife approached the altar to pay their respects.

"President Lee Myung-bak, apologize!" opposition lawmaker Baek Won-woo yelled, jumping to his feet and cursing Lee before security guards hauled him away. "This is political revenge, a political murder!"


  1. asah! i came across said "blag" in an internet search, hey wait a min... i know this sherlock academy! oh, and hi!