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[Opinion] `Cyber Swordsman` Roh Moo-hyun

Posted September. 26, 2008 15:03,   


Former President Roh Moo-hyun is posting articles under the pen name “Roh Gong I San” or “Roh Moves a Mountain,” on an online discussion forum he launched upon leaving office. He is not hesitant to express his dissenting views on major government policies and agenda, such as neo-liberalism, the financial crisis and national pension. Roh posted his first message last Thursday at 11:50 a.m. and six more the next day. He`s posted day and night, and as of yesterday, 19 posts by "Roh Moves a Mountain” have been put up, or an average of 2.7 a day. One of his comments was posted at 3:21 a.m. Perhaps he’s lost sleep because of worry over national issues.

On Tuesday, he attacked politicians from the southwest region, saying politicians living in Seoul but wishing to become lawmakers with Jeolla province votes by fanning regionalism are ruining the main opposition Democratic Party.

“Wasn`t he elected president because of votes from the Jeolla provinces? That was a very ungrateful comment,” said party lawmaker Park Jie-won, a confidant of former President Kim Dae-jung, in a radio program. “There is no law banning a former president from participating in politics, but there is at least a line that shouldn’t be crossed.” Park’s emotionally charged comments also reflect a personal grudge against Roh. Park served time in prison after being implicated in an independent probe into a secret money transfer to North Korea that Roh agreed to.

“Democracy 2.0” was initially launched with the aim of providing citizens a space for open and quality discussions. This new online forum, however, is now often called "another Agora” for being filled with Roh supporters and those who blast incumbent President Lee Myung-bak and his administration. “Most of the people seem to have come from Agora (a liberal-leaning Web community). It is a small Web site inferior (to Agora) in every aspect,” said one netizen. Another asked, “Why are you trying to fight and split (the nation).”

Roh experienced a great deal of trouble as president because of his eccentric comments over his term. He had been quiet for a while after returning to his hometown but obviously, he can no longer hold back his desire to talk. Being a cyber critic, however, is hardly the ideal model that a former president should pursue if he wants to contribute to national development. Roh’s writings are a far cry from editorials written with a calm and objective perception of the world, and are instead an attack on his opponents that leave emotional scars. In that regard, he is rather a swordsman than a critic.

Editorial Writer Huh Mun-myeong (angelhuh@donga.com)