Sunday, May 24, 2009

South Korean president throws himself off a cliff, feeling that "too many people are suffering because of me"

"What's left for me for the rest of my life is just to be a burden to others," his note said. "Don't be too sad. Aren't life and death both part of nature? Don't feel sorry. Don't blame anybody. It's destiny." He asked to be cremated, a small gravestone erected near his home.

SHOOT: Maybe there is a better way of taking responsibility than killing yourself. Maybe issuing a public apology, or even a private one to family. And having the ability to forgive oneself. Very interesting that he says life and death are both part of nature. True, but I'm not sure if suicide is.
clipped from
Police officers gather in front of home of former South Korean President Roh

Roh hurled himself off a 100 foot (30 meter) high cliff early Saturday while hiking, trailed by a security guard, near his home in Bongha, police in the nearby southern port city of Busan said. Life had become unbearable and "too many people are suffering because of me," Roh wrote in a note found on his computer, police said.

"I was utterly shocked," said Chun Soon-im, 63, of Seoul. "They say 'hate the sin but not the sinner,' and that's how I feel. The investigation must continue and we must get to the truth, but I cannot help feeling sorry for the man and those left behind."

Roh's is the latest high-profile suicide in a country with the highest suicide rate among the 30 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But the accusations were deeply shameful to Roh, who built a reputation as anti-corruption crusader.

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