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Former South Korean coup leader-turned-president dies at 90

former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan. (KOREA POOL/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
November 23, 2021

Chun Doo-hwan, a former South Korean general who rose to power in a 1979 military coup after the assassination of his predecessor, has died. He was 90.

The former president died at his home in Seoul Tuesday morning after suffering from chronic diseases, Yonhap News reported, without citing anyone.

Chun served as president from 1980 to 1988 after leading a military coup in the chaotic aftermath of the assassination of his predecessor, Park Chung-hee, a dictator who led the country for nearly two decades. Chun was later sentenced to death for his role in a crackdown that killed almost 200 anti-government protesters in 1980, which was later commuted to a life sentence.

He was later pardoned by President Kim Yong-sam in the 1990s, on the advice of then President-elect Kim Dae-jung.

Chun’s death comes less than a month after Roh Tae-woo, who succeeded Chun as the country’s first democratically elected president, died last month at age 88.


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