Since I have received a few emails from family and friends with concern after news of former South Korean President Roh Moo-Ryun’s suicide, I feel compelled to blog on this topic. Especially since his suicide was to have been reported internationally as having occurred in my Korean hometown, Busan (it is the closest large city to the cliff President Roh jumped off of).
I am in no position to comment on his politics or his successes/failures as a leader, but in conversations I have had with Korean people, President Roh was certainly a person that seemed to spark people. He was known as a clean politician as well, a reputation that certainly took a knock when allegations of he and his wife receiving roughly $6 million in bribes from a business man in Korea.
The bribery investigation apparently took a toll on Roh, especially with regards to the scrutiny it placed on his family and close associates.
Here is a good NY Times article about the situation and the reaction of people here in Korea: