Former South Korean military dictator Chun Doo-hwan dies at the age of 90. Political News

His former press assistant said that former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan exercised an iron-fisted rule over the country after the military coup in 1979 and triggered large-scale democratic protests. He has passed away at the age of 90.

Former press secretary Min Joong-ki told reporters that his health condition has deteriorated recently and he died at his home in Seoul early in the morning. Later that day, his body will be transferred to the hospital for the funeral.

In 1980, as a former military commander, Chun presided over the massacre of democratic demonstrators by the Gwangju army. He was later convicted and sentenced to a reduced death sentence.

His death was about a month after the death of former president and coup comrade Lu Taiyu, who played a crucial but controversial role in the country’s troubled democratic transition.

During the trial in the mid-1990s, an indifferent and straightforward Jun Jun defended the coup necessary to save the country from the political crisis and denied sending troops to Gwangju.

“If the same situation occurs, I believe I will take the same action,” Chun told the court.

All were tried after resignation in 1987, accused of ordering a military crackdown on student protesters in 1980, causing thousands of deaths [File: AP Photo]

Born on March 6, 1931, in Yulgok-myeon, a poor agricultural town in Hamcheon County in the southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula, when Korea was a Japanese colony.

He joined the army after school and was promoted all the way until he was appointed commander in 1979. Responsible for investigating the assassination of President Park Zhengxi that year, he courted his main military allies and controlled the South Korean intelligence agency to lead the December 12 coup.

“In front of the most powerful organization in the presidency of Park Jeong Hee, what surprised me was how (all) easily controlled them and how he skillfully took advantage of this situation. In an instant, he seemed to have grown into a giant,” the coup d’etat During the period, Jun Jun’s subordinate Park Junguang later told reporters Zhao Jiazhe.

Despite the growing economic prosperity, the eight-year rule of the President’s Blue House was characterized by brutality and political repression.

In 1987, Mr. Quan resigned following a democratic appeal from student leaders across the country.

In 1995, he was charged with treason and treason, and was arrested because he refused to appear in court and fled back to his hometown.

In what the local media called the “Judgment of the Century,” he and Roh Moo-hyun were convicted of treason, treason and bribery. In their verdict, the judges said that Jun Jun came to power “through illegal means, causing great harm to the people.”

According to the testimony of survivors, former military officers and investigators, it is believed that thousands of students were killed in Gwangju.

In 1996, former South Korean presidents Noh Tae-woo (left) and Chun Doo-hwan (right) in prison uniforms appeared in court to hear their original sentence of reduced sentences for mutiny, treason, and bribery [File: Reuters]

Roh was sentenced to long-term imprisonment and Chun was sentenced to death. However, the Seoul High Court recognized Cheon’s role in the rapid economic development of the Asian “tiger” economy and the peaceful transfer of the President to Roh Moo-hyun in 1988, and therefore reduced his sentence.

The two were pardoned and released by President Kim Young Sam in 1997, in what he called an effort to promote “national unity.”

Chun returned to the spotlight many times. In 2003, he claimed to have 291,000 won (US$245) in cash, two dogs, and total assets of some household appliances. He also owed about 220.5 billion won (US$185.6 million) in fines, which caused an uproar nationwide. His four children and other relatives were later discovered to own large tracts of land in Seoul and luxury villas in the United States.

In 2013, Chun’s family vowed to repay most of his debts, but as of December 2020, his total outstanding fines are still approximately 100 billion won (84.2 million US dollars).

In 2020, Chun was found guilty and sentenced to eight months of probation for slandering the deceased democracy activist and Catholic priest in his 2017 memoir. The prosecution has appealed and Chun will face trial next week.

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