Saturday, May 23, 2009

R.I.P. Noh Moo-Hyun (노무현)

Noh Moo-Hyun (노무현, commonly spelled Roh Moo-Hyun), the 16th president of South Korea, died on Saturday morning (GMT), May 23. He committed suicide by jumping from a cliff.

While I thought his actions throughout his presidency and in the aftermath were wretched, I still lament the loss of life. Yes, he was a criminal. Yes, he was a hypocrite. Yes, he deserved to be prosecuted.

Still, life in jail and life with public scorn is better than no life at all. Leaving behind a family to fight the legal battles left to fight, to take care of the debts still left in the air, is not an honorable thing to do.

I am disappointed that such a thing happened. Not only because I was disillusioned by the man while alive, but because I cannot believe he would take this route to evade his troubles.

Tweedledweeb and Tweedledumb.

While I may not have disagreed or agreed with his politics, I wanted to root for this guy. He was a charismatic speaker (though history tells us that Hitler was a great orator, so perhaps this wasn't a necessarily good quality) and he seemed like that nice middle-aged man in the neighborhood (아저씨) that would give you a dollar for ice-cream and tell you not to run too fast because you might get hurt.

It all came crashing down when he was impeached, then got re-instated, then left office and plopped into the middle of a very large corruption investigation. He's had a rough few years, I grant him that.

No one going into politics, particularly on a national level, expects their life to be normal or peaceful. At least, they shouldn't expect that.

I don't suppose that anyone will ever know exactly what Mr. Noh felt or experienced. His brief suicide note wasn't very illuminating. He's taken his worries, fears, secrets, loves, joys, lies, truths, and self into the grave.

Mr. Noh, are you at peace? Did you find something that's absolved you?

I doubt it. Your life is gone, you've left your mark on the world. I hope that the shadows and impressions you've left satisfy you. I hope you thought of your family and what they mean to you, what they are now going through.


Yulee Hwang March 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

i think you would write a totally different essay if you do some research about this President of Korea. He was a beautiful man. He deserve to be a true hero. This alleaged suiside and corruption...... If you believe in consequences of good and evil, don't trust what media say about it now. Just give it a little more time.