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S. Korea to commemorate 10th death anniv. of ex-President Roh

Politics 09:47 May 23, 2019

SEOUL, May 23 (Yonhap) -- A memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of ex-President Roh Moo-hyun is set to be held Thursday in his rural hometown.

The ceremony will be held at the Bongha Village in Gimhae, some 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, at 2 p.m.

On May 23, 2009, Roh jumped to his death off a cliff behind his rural retirement home amid a widening probe by the prosecution into allegations that members of his family accepted illicit funds.

Roh, who served as the country's president from 2003 to 2008, was a liberal politician who fought to challenge regional divisions and authoritarianism.

Attendees to the service will include Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the chiefs of the ruling Democratic Party and three opposition parties, government ministers and presidential officials.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, the head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, will not join, but the conservative party will send a delegation of its lawmakers.

Among the participants is former U.S. President George W. Bush, who was Roh's U.S. counterpart.

Bush, who arrived in Seoul on Wednesday, plans to deliver a five-minute eulogy before memorial speeches by National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang and Prime Minister Lee.

Roh's sudden death sparked an outpouring of national grief a decade ago.

The Roh Moo-hyun Foundation said it has prepared for various memorial events as it believes now is the time to move forward after mourning.

South Koreans visit Bongha Village in Gimhae, some 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on May 22, 2019, one day before the 10th anniversary of the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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