Obama Mourns Ex-South Korean President Roh

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 24, 2009, 15:04 Updated : May 24, 2009, 15:04

U.S. President Barack Obama mourned the death of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday mourned the death of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

Obama remembers former President Roh as contributing to a 'strong and vital' relationship between the two countries.

"I was saddened by the news of the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea," Obama said in a statement. "During his tenure, President Roh contributed to the strong and vital relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea."

"On behalf of government of the United States, I offer my condolences to his family and to the Korean people," he added.

Roh jumped to his death Saturday from a high cliff while hiking near his home in South Korea earlier on Saturday.

Embattled former President Roh Moo-hyun has jumped to his death while hiking in the mountains behind his rural southern home. He was 62.

Roh was hiking in the southern village of Bongha when he threw himself off a steep cliff, lawyer Moon Jae-in told reporters in the city of Busan. In a suicide note left for his family, Roh reportedly said life was difficult and apologized for making "too many people suffer."

Roh, a self-taught former human rights lawyer, had prided himself on his clean record in a country with a long history of corruption. He served as president from 2003 to 2008.

Roh had gone for an early Saturday morning walk, accompanied by a security guard, but half way up a mountain he hurled himself off a steep cliff.

Roh and his family had been caught up in a corruption investigation.

Obama is offering condolences to Roh's family and the Korean people on behalf of the U.S. government.

Edited by Jung, Eunsun
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