The dictator died this morning. “Gwangju butcher” Chun Doo-hwan, the president who ruled South Korea in the 1980s, passed away today at 8.40am at his home in Seoul. He was 90 years old and had been ill for some time.
His death, according to the New York Times on its website, was confirmed by the National Police Agency of South Korea. In 1996 Chun was sentenced to death on charges of sedition and subversion for his role in the coup of 1979, the one that brought him to power. He was also charged with the massacre of protesters in the southwestern city of Gwangju the following year. The former dictator, however, was pardoned in 1997 in a gesture of reconciliation, shortly after Kim Dae-jung, a former dissident who once sentenced to death by the military junta of Chun, was elected president.
Chun ruled from 1979 until early 1988, and was also convicted of raising hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes from wealthy and politically close families. Chun, who never apologized for his actions, was the last to die among South Korea’s three military presidents-generals.