South Korea’s former president Roh Tae-woo dies at 88

SEOUL: Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, who became president in a landmark democratic election before ending his tumultuous political career in prison, died in hospital on Tuesday in the capital of Seoul. He was 88, without citing the cause of death.

Roh is survived by his wife and their two children.

He was a war veteran who played a pivotal but controversial role in the transition to democratic elections from rule by authoritarian leaders, has died, a Seoul hospital confirmed.

Roh ruled South Korea as president from 1988-1993, died of complications from various illnesses after his condition worsened while dealing with a degenerative disorder, Kim Yon-su, head of Seoul National University Hospital, told at a news conference.

Roh had been in poor health since 2002 when he received surgery for prostate cancer and he was repeatedly hospitalized in recent years.

Roh was born on Dec. 4, 1932, the son of a poor farmer in Talsong County, near the southeastern city of Taegu. He was educated first at the Korean Military Academy in Seoul and later attended a psychological warfare course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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