He did it again! It seems Roh Moo-hyun gave many Japanese a huge laugh today.
According to this online column [in Japanese] today, Roh Moo-hyun has sent a note of protest criticizing the author’ expression being “rude”, “impolite ” and “contempt to the leader of the country”. The author is, by the way, a Japanese news reporter/writer at Sankei Shinbun. This kind of behavior makes him called “small fry/lightweight(?) compared to Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-hee” get it? Mr. Roh?
The column, Roh Moo-hyun is protesting about, is this online column criticizing the plan to build a Memorial Hall for Roh Moo-hyun himeself.
(I don’t have time to translate right now….)
South Korea proudly presents Roh Moo-hyun, the entertainer.
Roh’s memorial hall to be built at hometown university
SEOUL — A memorial hall for President Roh Moo-hyun will likely be built at a private university in his hometown, Roh’s office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.
“Negotiations are under way between Cheong Wa Dae and Inje University on the construction of a Roh Moo-hyun Memorial Hall in the university’s main campus in Gimhae, the president’s hometown,” presidential spokesman Yoon Seung-yong said in a daily briefing.
Memorial plans criticized Taipei Times
The leading party yesterday strongly criticized President Roh Moo-hyun over plans to build a US$2 million memorial hall, saying part of the cost would come from public funds. Roh’s office said on Monday it was in talks with a private university in Roh’s home town of Gimhae on the construction of a hall to be dedicated to the president. Roh will stand down next year after five years in office. The Constitution bars presidents from seeking a second term. The university estimated the total cost at 2 billion won (US$2.1 million), which local media said would be partly funded by the government.
Roh Contemplates Memorial Hall Korea Times
President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday found himself in a fresh controversy over a plan to establish a memorial and a public policy school named after him.
Right after the months-long arguments over his Constitutional revision scheme, which he finally withdrew last weekend, the plan is drawing criticism that the incumbent head of state is already pursuing “after-retirement glories.’’
Chong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Seong-yong said in a press briefing that the presidential office and Inje University have just started consultations for a public policy school and a memorial for Roh, whose term expires next February.
He said that there was a discussion on the matter at Chong Wa Dae last Friday, when Roh had dinner with high-profile figures from the university including Paik Nak-whan, chairman of the university’s board of director, and Lee Kyeong-ho, its president.
Yoon, however, denied a news report earlier in the morning that the university, the only high-level educational institution based in Roh’s hometown, has already decided to set up the “Roh Moo-hyun School’’ at the request of the presidential office.
He added that Roh, as he has often expressed intention to return to his hometown after retirement and work for the local community, just told the guests that he would like to give lectures to students and share his experience with them as a retired politician.
“We are just in the initial stage of the matter,’’ Yoon told reporters. “Nothing has been decided yet. In particular, the media went too far when they wrote about the school.’’
But the disclosure of the closed-door meeting between the President and the university figures touched off a new controversy in the political circles.
“I’m not sure if it’s okay to talk about a private university’s plan,’’ opposition Grand National Party (GNP) spokeswoman Na Kyoung-won said. “But there still should be some achievements for a memorial to be set up for a president. And I doubt whether he has any.’’
Like the John F. Kennedy School of Government in the United States, the Clinton Library and the Carter Center, it is natural and popular in America that libraries and memorial halls are set up in commemoration of retired politician.
In South Korea, however, the Kim Dae-jung Library is the only memorial set up for a former president.
A state-funded memorial was once sought for the late President Park Chung-hee, but in vain due to the public antipathy toward his wrongdoings as an authoritarian ruler.
Opposition party opposes to Roh’s planned memorial hall Korea Times
The projected construction of a memorial hall for President Roh Moo-hyun is expected to face strong opposition as the nation’s main opposition party is determined not to grant budget when proposed.
“That is utterly ridiculous,” Na Kyung-won, a spokeswoman of the Grand National Party, told reporters Tuesday. “Our party will prevent the National Assembly from passing a budget proposal for the construction of the hall.”
A day earlier, the presidential office said it has been consulting with private Inje University at Roh’s hometown on the construction of a hall to commemorate the president. President Roh will complete his single five-year term in February 2007.
It is expected to cost about 2 billion won (US$2.1 million) to construct the hall, according to authorities concerned.
South Korea has no memorial hall dedicated to former presidents, though a library commemorating former President Kim Dae-jung, Roh’s predecessor, was established at Yonsei University in Seoul.
“President Roh will be the first South Korean president in history who has taken the initiative in building his own memorial hall,” Na said.