Thoughts on President Roh’s Suicide

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

So former President Roh jumped off a mountain at 6:40am on Saturday morning.

I was on the KTX at that moment, departing Seoul to go to Gwangju. Just before I arrived there, something came on the TV, but I didn’t pay attention to it. Then a passenger answered her cellphone and blathered on about how she’s almost at her destination and then said, “Oh yeah! It’s on TV right now!”

I still didn’t bother to watch the TV, and I got off the train and met my uncle who picked me up. That was when he turned on the radio and the news of Roh’s death came and registered in my brain. And all my uncle could say to me was this: “What kind of country our we to force a former president like him to death?” I couldn’t answer because I had no clue what was going on with him. Sure, I briefly heard about his money scandal starting last month, but my interest in that kind of stuff is zero, so I knew nothing. However, now that I am finally on the computer (I had no computer access in Gwangju for fifteen hours) and am reading what’s going on in English, I understand.

After reading what happened, all I can say now is this: South Korea has a major problem with suicide, and it’s all because of the people. The people who are too critical of everyone and anyone, the people who like to gang up onto the victim until they have no choice but to commit suicide, and the people who refuses to realise it’s their fucking fault.

Granted, sometimes people do deserve the criticisms for whatever scandal or illegal activity they do, but I’m thinking more along those people who commit suicide for not doing anything bad. I’m thinking of those people who feel ashamed for not getting into the university they were told to get into. I’m thinking of those people who are expected to act in a certain way and when they don’t, they get bashed on. Sure, there have been a recent onslaught of celebrities deaths, but I know there are also those who are normal people like you or me who feel like they really shamed their nation, their people to the point they have to commit suicide.

Really, now, in these situations, collective society is a bitch. Of course, this entire post doesn’t have to be about South Korea — any country will do — but I think about all the famous suicides that occurred in South Korea in the last five years, and all I can do is just shake my head at my fellow people and my home country.


  1. Yikes. Yeah, that’s a problem in a lot of nations that are really pushing to be really good. I think too much pressure can break a person more quickly than anything else. To see a former president commit suicide… very startling and sad.

  2. It was very tragic to hear of how he jumped off a mountain. I read a little bit of his background story of how he basically taught himself and passed the bar exam and such. And then the recent money scandal.

    For the suicides in the United States, only recently and a few have been due to shame and guilt related to the current economic meltdown. For the rest, I feel that it’s more due to them being depressed rather than feeling ashamed and pressured by the public since these things seem to happen out of nowhere, like they had no reason to do so and they were loved by the public.

    Yeah, South Korea and Japan definitely have high rates of suicide. =(

  3. Oh Wow, I heard this last night while I was working. My manager told us the news and my coworker told me about the money scandal. I felt sad for him and his stupidity. I mean seriously, not just him, doesn’t people know that once you do something bad, serious consequences will result sooner or LATER. But then again, look at all the major corporations in our country scamming us and getting away with it because of our ignorance? sad…sad…damn it!

    Yeah, I know what you mean about Koreans, or probably asians in general. I am Korean but I was raised in America, so I am American Korean. I really don’t like Korean groups like Korean church. They never fail to make me feel like a outsider. I always feel like they are out there to judge you. Especially ajima’s. Oh they praise you how you are perfect within a minute of meeting, and than you make some mistake and their bashing on you. Psh, their fault for making a hasty “judgment” in the first place. I find Korean’s to be judgmental/critical and get too up in your face personal. But than I am Korean and of course I am judgmental as well…:), but I like my personal space and I respect theirs too. Americans like space! Culturally speaking. :D

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