Ex-South Korean President Roh Tae-woo dies at 88

A Seoul hospital says former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo has died. He was 88.FILE - In this Dec. 22, 1997, file photo former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, with his wife Kim Ok-sook standing beside him, waves to his supporters and neighbors upon arrival at his home after he was released from the Seoul prison in a special amnesty. Seoul hospital says Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, former South Korean President Roh has died (Yonhap via AP, Fiie)Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, with his wife Kim Ok-sook standing beside him.

The Seoul National University Hospital said Roh died on Tuesday while being treated for an illness. It gave no further details.

Roh led an army division into Seoul in support of the 1979 military coup that that made his army friend Chun Doo-hwan president. The coup and a subsequent military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1980 are two of the darkest chapters in South Korea’s modern history.

Massive pro-democracy uprisings in 1987 forced Roh and Chun to accept a direct presidential vote. Roh eventually won the presidential election later in 1987.

After leaving office, Roh admitted amassing a fortune in kickbacks and went to prison. He was pardoned in a bid for national reconciliation and spent his later years out of the public eye.

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