Ex-South Korean President Roh Tae-woo dies at 88

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A Seoul hospital says former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo has died. He was 88.

The Seoul National University Hospital said Roh died on Tuesday while being treated for an illness. It gave no further details.

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Roh led an army division into Seoul in support of the 1979 military coup that that made his army friend Chun Doo-hwan president. The coup and a subsequent military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1980 are two of the darkest chapters in South Korea’s modern history.

Massive pro-democracy uprisings in 1987 forced Roh and Chun to accept a direct presidential vote. Roh eventually won the presidential election later in 1987.

After leaving office, Roh admitted amassing a fortune in kickbacks and went to prison. He was pardoned in a bid for national reconciliation and spent his later years out of the public eye.

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