Roh Tae-woo

President of South Korea from 1988 to 1993

Roh Tae-woo (Korean: 노태우; 4 December 1932 - 26 October 2021) is a former South Korean politician and army general who served as President of South Korea from 1988 to 1993.

Roh Tae-woo

Quotes edit

Interview with the Los Angeles Times (23 June 1991) edit


"Roh Tae Woo : South Korea’s President Wants a Polity to Match Its Economy" in Los Angeles Times

  • One of the most moving experiences for me was to see realized the people’s desire to elect the president with their own hands and to see the release of politicians and others who were imprisoned because of their conviction.
  • I emphasized that authoritarianism . . . should be removed and that we should renovate both the system and the way of thinking that then prevailed. In my inaugural speech, I asked political leaders and government officials not to turn me into a Don Quixote. I emphasized the need for a completely fresh way of thinking . . . . Although the authority of the president should be preserved, authoritarianism should be eliminated.
  • As the nation transforms itself into a democracy, the public expects and demands more than ever that politicians and political parties work harder in the best interest of the country, the people and society. Our politicians, however, have given the impression that, on the contrary, they are engrossed in self-serving maneuvers to advance the interests of only their parties, factions or themselves, personally. The process of liquidating such negative political legacies of the old era has progressed more slowly than the people expected.
  • I am aware of the recent discussions about creating a nuclear-free zone in the Korean peninsula. But, in my view, it is meaningless to talk about declaring a nuclear-free zone in Korea alone. For the Korean peninsula to be protected against a nuclear threat, the neighboring countries of China and the Soviet Union must be free of nuclear weapons. To exclude this factor and talk only about U.S. nuclear weapons in (South) Korea--and I am not aware of whether they exist here--is not logical. The three countries that possess nuclear weapons (in this region) should get together and discuss the reduction of nuclear weapons. That, I think, is more logical.
  • North Korea’s recent decision to go along with South Korea in joining the United Nations separately means a change in North Korea’s policy toward the South remains to be seen. In these circumstances, I believe that South Korea and the United States must continue to maintain their solid cooperative relationship.

External links edit

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