Chun Doo-hwan, Ex-Military Dictator in South Korea, Dies at 90


While his father, Chun Sang-woo, ran from debt-collectors and Japanese cops (after pushing certainly one of them off a cliff), his mom, Kim Jeom-mun, had excessive expectations for Doo-hwan, certainly one of their 4 sons. When a Buddhist fortuneteller predicted that her three protruding frontal enamel would block the boy’s path to future glory, she rushed into her kitchen and yanked them out with a pair of tongs, based on “Chun Doo-hwan: Man of Destiny,” a licensed biography revealed after his coup.

After ending vocational highschool, Doo-hwan gave up going to varsity as a result of he couldn’t pay tuition. Instead, he joined the Korea Military Academy, the place he practiced boxing and captained its soccer group as a goalie. (As president, he used to name the pinnacle coach of South Korea’s nationwide soccer group in the center of a match to dictate sport technique.)

General Chun was serving as head of the navy’s intelligence command in late 1979 when Mr. Park was assassinated by the director of Okay.C.I.A., his spy company, throughout a ingesting celebration. Mr. Chun and his military mates — largely officers like Mr. Roh who hailed from his residence province in the southeast of South Korea — arrested their boss and martial-law commander, the military chief of employees, Gen. Jeong Seung-hwa, and moved their troops into Seoul to finish his largely cold coup.

“It was a dirty rebellion that served no other purpose than to satisfy Chun Doo-hwan’s personal greed,” General Jeong mentioned later. He mentioned Mr. Chun’s cronies had flogged and waterboarded him to extract a false confession that he had been complicit in Mr. Park’s assassination.

Mr. Chun positioned the nation beneath a martial legislation, closing Parliament and universities and detaining outstanding dissidents, together with the 2 fundamental opposition leaders, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung. In May 1980, folks in Gwangju, Kim Dae-jung’s political residence base, rose up in protest, chanting, “Down with Chun Doo-hwan!”

Troops moved in, wielding batons and bayonets and opening hearth. Some protesters armed themselves with weapons stolen from police stations. The crackdown value at least 191 lives by official rely, together with 26 troopers and cops. Victims’ households mentioned the dying toll was a lot greater.

Mr. Chun’s navy junta later sentenced Kim Dae-jung to dying on a false cost of instigating the Gwangju rebellion at the behest of North Korea.



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