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Former South Korean president, Roh Tae Woo dies at 88

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Former South Korean president, Roh Tae Woo dies at 88

Former South Korean President Roh Tae Woo has died aged 88, according to his aides.

Assistants said Roh, who served as president from 1988 to 1993, was recently admitted to hospital after his health deteriorated.

Roh, a former general, succeeded former President Chun Doo Hwan after helping him seize power in a 1979 military coup.

The coup filled a power vacuum created by the death of authoritarian former president Park Chung Hee.

As pro-democracy rallies spread massively across the country in 1987, Roh accepted calls for a direct presidential system and was elected president later that year by direct vote.

In an apparent attempt to shed his military image, Roh began his administration under the slogan of ushering in an era of ordinary people.

In 1996, Roh and Chun were convicted of corruption and mutiny for their role in the 1979 military coup and in the brutal suppression of the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern town of Gwangju. .

Roh was sentenced to 17 years in prison and approximately 260 billion won ($ 223 million) in fines.

He was pardoned in 1997.

dpa / NAN

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