Bitter, Frustrated S. Koreans Mourn Dead Ex-Prez
Anti-graft leader turned out to be just like corrupt colleagues
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2009 11:46 AM CDT
A South Korean woman touches a portrait of former President Roh Moo-hyun at Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
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(Newser) – South Koreans spent the day yesterday mourning their former president, whose suicide left them sharply divided over his efforts to crush the very kind of corruption of which he was accused, the Los Angeles Times reports. “He was a two-faced person," said one researcher. “He set himself up as this crusader who was going to clean up South Korean politics.”

But others praised Roh Moo-hyun, the son of poor farmers, for breaking into the elite world of South Korean politics. His humble beginnings spurred his anti-graft convictions, but critics say the contentious Roh couldn’t overcome his insecurities. One expert said disillusioned South Koreans now realize that “once a symbol of protest and ethics, Roh was no different from conventional politicians.”