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S Koreans bid farewell to former president Roh

FORMER South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's funeral started today in Seoul's historic royal palace, Gyeongbok Palace, attended by some 3,000 people, including President Lee Myung-bak.

After having a one-hour-long traditional departure ceremony in Bongha village, some 450 km south of Seoul, the late president's hearse left his hometown at around local time 6:00am, with around 20,000 people gathered to see off the ex-president.

Arriving from the ex-president's home in Bongha village to Seoul, the ceremony began at local time 11:00 am and is expected to last for more than an hour.

As a "people's funeral", the ceremony was jointly led by former Prime Minister Han Myung-sook and the incumbent Prime Minister HanSeung-soo, after which various regional rituals were held.

Many international leaders and diplomats, including Kathleen Stephens, US Ambassador to South Korea, paid tribute to the late president as well.


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