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Roh’s Funeral to Be Held at Gyeongbok Palace

Posted May. 26, 2009 05:24,   


The funeral of former President Roh Moo-hyun will be held Friday at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul.

Chun Ho-seon, Roh’s former secretary for public relations and a member of the funeral preparatory committee, said, “We were considering the public stadium in Jinyeong-eup in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, considering former President Roh’s intent to return to his hometown after leaving office. But the committee decided to hold the funeral in Seoul to allow as many citizens as possible to attend because of the growing number of mourners.”

Roh’s side proposed to Public Administration and Security Minister Lee Dal-gon yesterday that the funeral be held at the court before Heungryemun at the palace, just like that of former President Choi Kyu-ha.

Lee said, “I’ll do my best.”

Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and his predecessor Han Myung-sook will co-chair the funeral committee. Han Myung-sook had served as prime minister under the Roh administration.

The ministry also received President Lee Myung-bak’s approval for the selection of the heads of the committee, and started to select advisers, vice chairmen and members.

A new taskforce chaired by Minister Lee and supported by director-generals and assistant ministers from government agencies will set up a basic funeral plan, details on the schedule and procedures of the funeral, and the list of invitees.

Roh’s side wants the funeral to start with an opening ritual at Roh’s hometown of Bongha Village around 6 a.m. Friday. The funeral procession would then depart for Seoul and the official ceremony would start at the court before Heungryemun at Gyeongbok Palace around 11 a.m.

After the funeral, his body will be cremated around Seoul and the remains will be moved to back to his village of Bongha. His remains will be stored at Jeongtowon, a Buddhist temple at Mount Bongha, until the burial site is picked.

Mourning altars will be installed across the nation. With the number of mourners growing, Cabinet members and presidential secretaries paid their respects to Roh at a mourning altar at the Seoul History Museum yesterday morning.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il also sent his condolences via the North’s official Korea Central News Agency at 6 a.m. “I convey my deep condolences to Madame Kwon Yang-sook and the bereaved family on the regrettable death of former President Roh Moo-hyun,” the report quoted Kim as saying.

In an unusual move, North Korean media also promptly carried news reports on Roh’s death.

manman@donga.com kimkihy@donga.com