Sat, May 30, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > S.Korean ex-president commits suicide

Former S Korean president's memorial march prolonged due to crowd

2009-05-29 06:51:45 GMT2009-05-29 14:51:45 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Mourners wearing yellow hats, Roh Moo-hyun's symbol color as it was used for his 2002 presidential election, wait for the late president's hearse on a street in central Seoul, capital of South Korea, on May 29, 2009. The funeral of Roh was held Friday in Seoul's historic royal palace, Gyeongbok Palace, attended by some 3,000 people, including President Lee Myung-bak. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

Mourners hold yellow ribbons, Roh Moo-hyun's symbol color as it was used for his 2002 presidential election, as they wait for the late president's hearse on a street in central Seoul, capital of South Korea, on May 29, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

Hundreds of thousands of mourners filled the central Seoul Plaza watching the funeral of former president Roh Moo-hyun through an electronic screen in Seoul, capital of South Korea, on May 29, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

SEOUL, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's memorial march to the cremation site was prolonged on Friday as more crowd than the authorities had expected filled the streets to bid a farewell to the late president.

The slow-pace procession, which was supposed to arrive at the Seoul Station first and then at Suwon's cremation site at 15:00 (0600 GMT), was delayed more than an hour, as the streets in the center of the city were crowded with hundreds of thousands of people.

The memorial rite, which was held right before the procession, was attended by some 500,000 people, according to local news channel YTN.

The Seoul Plaza, where the rite was held, is expected to be kept open to the public for the whole day for the first time since the ex-president's death, while the South Korean authorities had closed it on worries over gatherings turning into violent protests.

Mourners filled the plaza and the streets with waves of yellow, Roh's symbol color, following Roh's hearse along some 2 km from the Seoul Plaza to the Seoul Station.

Earlier in the day former South Korean president Roh's funeral was held in Seoul's historic royal palace, Gyeongbok Palace, attended by some 3,000 people.

Roh, served as president of South Korea from 2003 to 2007, jumped off a cliff near his home in Bongha Village as the prosecution probed into his bribery scandal worth some 6 million U.S. dollars.

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