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Former president Roh given state funeral

PM says Roh’s achievements will be honored with people

Mourners pay their respects to former President Roh Tae-woo at the funeral hall of Seoul National University Hospital, where the mortuary was set up, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Mourners pay their respects to former President Roh Tae-woo at the funeral hall of Seoul National University Hospital, where the mortuary was set up, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Former President Roh Tae-woo will be given a state funeral, the prime minister said Wednesday, citing his achievements as president.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, “While serving as the 13th president, the deceased made many achievements in the country’s development. The government will honor his achievements with the people through a state funeral.”

Kim told the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and related ministries to thoroughly prepare the funeral procedure without neglect.

He also expressed his deep condolences for the death of Roh and gave his deepest sympathies to his bereaved family.

A plan to hold Roh’s funeral as a public funeral ceremony was submitted to a meeting of the Cabinet in the morning at the recommendation of the minister of public administration and security. President Moon Jae-in then made the final decision.

Article 2 of the State Funeral Act stipulates that if a person eligible as a head of state, such as a former or current president, dies, their funeral can be held as a state funeral. The president decides after deliberation by the State Council upon the recommendation of the minister of the interior and safety in consideration of the opinions of the bereaved family.

The prime minister will chair the funeral committee and the minister of public administration and security will chair the executive committee.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security further explained why Roh is to be given a state funeral.

“Even though Roh made historical errors concerning a military coup on Dec. 12 in 1979, he contributed to Northern policies such as basic inter-Korean agreements. His efforts to pay fines in relation to the coup were also considered.”

His body, however, will not be buried in the National Cemetery, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. The National Cemetery Act excludes burials at the cemetery if a person was sentenced to prison.

The five-day funeral period is set from Tuesday to Saturday. The funeral and burial ceremonies will be held Saturday, but the location will be decided after discussions with the bereaved family in the funeral committee.

During the national funeral period, state and local governments as well as public institutions will fly the national flag at half-staff.

President Moon Jae-in and Cheong Wa Dae have yet to send separate messages to Roh. Cheong Wa Dae is considering the level of the mourning message and whether Moon will deliver his direct condolences.



By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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