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Leaving behind mixed legacy

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Roh's achievements overshadowed by misdeeds

The late President Roh Tae-woo, who passed away Tuesday, left behind a mixed legacy. He has been under criticism for his deep involvement in the 1979 military coup and the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju in May 1980. On the other hand he has been credited for leading a transition to democracy in Korea, ending the decades-long military dictatorships.

Despite praise for his achievements, his life was notably tainted with his role in helping his predecessor Chun Doo-hwan seize power through the coup and brutally suppressing the pro-democracy movement in the southwestern city of Gwangju. Roh along with Chun was convicted of treason and corruption in 1997. He also took flak for amassing a massive slush fund.

Most of all, he failed to make a sincere apology to the victims and........

© The Korea Times

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