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Late leader Roh Moo-hyun's political legacy put under spotlight Updated: 2019-05-23 19:03:54 KST

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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