SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- The former chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) said Sunday that suicide should not be treated as something that deserves respect, an apparent reference to late lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan, who jumped to his death last week.

Hong Joon-pyo, from the conservative party, made the remark as Roh, of the minor opposition Justice Party, took his own life last Monday amid a political funds probe.

"In any case, it is not a normal society where committing suicide is glorified," Hong said on his Facebook. "If someone is found to have engaged in wrongdoings, he or she should receive corresponding punishment. It is just another way of evading responsibility if one chooses suicide to avoid (punishment)."

Roh, long known for his clean image, recently faced a probe into allegations that he took 50 million won (US$44,700) from an aide to a power blogger, known by the nickname Druking, who is at the center of an online opinion rigging scandal.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the Justice Party immediately condemned Hong's remarks.

"It is common sense to mourn the death of Roh, given the path that he walked during his life," Kim Hyun, spokeswoman for the party, said. "Hong, who is bent on going viral, should refrain (from making such a rude remark)."

Earlier this month, Hong left for the United States after his party suffered a huge defeat in the June local elections.

"No one has glorified Roh's death. People just felt pain at what led to his death," the Justice Party said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency