Roh Hoe-chan (Korean: 노회찬, 31 August 1956 – 23 July 2018) was a South Korean politician. He was a member of the 17th, 19th, and 20th National Assemblies. A progressive, and a prominent socialist politician, Roh was involved with multiple progressive-leaning parties, lately with the Justice Party from 2012 until his death in 2018.
|Member of the National Assembly|
30 May 2016 – 23 July 2018
|Preceded by||Kang Ki-youn|
|Succeeded by||Yeo Yeong-gug|
|Constituency||Seongsan District (Changwon)|
30 May 2012 – 14 February 2013
|Preceded by||Hong Jung-wook|
|Succeeded by||Ahn Cheol-soo|
|Constituency||Nowon C (Seoul)|
30 May 2004 – 5 February 2008
|Born||31 August 1956|
Busan, South Korea
|Died||23 July 2018 (aged 61)|
Seoul, South Korea
|Political party||Justice Party (2012–18)|
|People Party (1992)|
Democratic Party (1996)
Democratic Labor Party (2000–08)
New Progressive Party (2008–11)
Unified Progressive Party (2011–12)
|Alma mater||Korea University (B.A)|
|Revised Romanization||No Hoechan|
Roh was born on 31 August 1956 in Busan into a middle-class household. He attended the prestigious Kyunggi High School in the 1970s. Afterwards, Roh went to college, taking part in political movements, and in 1982 was hired as a welder at a factory where he organized the factory workers. Roh was instrumental in the formation of the Incheon Democratic Workers' Federation (인민노련) with the aim of creating the workers' party. He was jailed for 30 months after being caught by the government in 1989, accused of breaking the National Security Act.
He served as a member of the National Assembly from 2004 to 2008. He co-founded the New Progressive Party with Sim Sang-jung, Cho Seungsoo, and other members of the People's Democracy faction of the Democratic Labor Party. He unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Seoul as a New Progressive Party candidate in 2010. He again served as a member of the National Assembly on behalf of the Unified Progressive Party and the Justice Party in 2012 to 2013. Roh broke with the Unified Progressive Party after allegations that the faction led by the party leader Lee Jung-hee had manipulated the party list to elect members of her own faction into the National Assembly. He, with Sim Sang-jeong and Rhyu Si-min, formed the Progressive Justice Party in October 2012, but in 2013 it became the Justice Party.
In 2005, he posted the names of the prosecutors implicated in corruption cases involving Samsung on the internet. He was charged with breaking Korea's communication secrecy act, and after a long legal battle, he was sentenced to 4 months in prison and given a 1-year suspended prison sentence in 2013.
In July 2018, Roh was under investigation into accusations that he had accepted ₩50 million from an aide to an influential blogger known as "Druking" while at the center of an opinion-rigging scandal.
Roh married fellow labor activist Kim Ji-sun in 1988. The couple had no children. Roh was a cello player from his elementary school days, and often dreamed of a society where every citizen could pick up a musical instrument.
Roh committed suicide, aged 61, by jumping from his mother's apartment in Seoul on 23 July 2018. His death occurred during the course of the special prosecutor's investigations into the illegal political funds of Druking, the main perpetrator of the South Korean opinion-rigging scandal.
Roh's will, addressing the Justice Party and its membership, admitted receiving ₩40 million (approximately US$35,300) from Druking's organization but denied any form of favoritism in exchange for the campaign contribution.
- Yun, Seong-min. ""난 사회주의자" 법정서 외친 엘리트 노동운동가 노회찬" ["I am a socialist," the leading labor activist, Roh Hoe-chan]. Joongang Ilbo. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Candidate – Roh Hoe-chan". Our Campaigns. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Iconic liberal lawmaker found dead amid bribery allegations". Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- Steinberg, David I.; Shin, Myung (2006). "Tensions in South Korean Political Parties in Transition: From Entourage to Ideology?". Asian Survey. 46 (4): 531. doi:10.1525/as.2006.46.4.517. JSTOR 10.1525/as.2006.46.4.517.
- "Opposition Lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan Commits Suicide Amid Funding Probe". KBS World Radio. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Prominent South Korean politician commits suicide". SCMP. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Keep-D". Nodutdol. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Seoul Mayor Race". Our Campaigns. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "South Korea 2013" (PDF). Ecoi.net. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Headlines, July 23, 2018". Korea Post. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- 제2차 당대회(혁신당대회) 회의자료 및 결과. Justice Party (in Korean).
- "Korean lawmaker who exposed Samsung corruption forced from office". The Verge. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Opposition lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan jumps to death amid funding probe". Korean Times. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- Kim, Jeun-gi. "[여적]첼로를 닮았던 노회찬". Kyunghyang Sinmun. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- 노회찬 아파트서 투신사망…유서 "금전받았으나 청탁과 무관"(종합). Yonhap (in Korean). 23 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- "[전문] 노회찬 유서…"나는 여기서 멈추지만 당은 당당히 앞으로"". Naver. Yeonhap News. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Roh Hoe-chan jumps to death over Druking case". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 23 July 2018.