History of South Korea

Coup d'état of December Twelfth
Coup d'état of December Twelfth ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1979 Dec 12

Coup d'état of December Twelfth

Seoul, South Korea

Major General Chun Doo-hwan, commander of the Defence Security Command, without authorization from Acting President Choi Kyu-hah, arrested General Jeong Seung-hwa, ROK Army Chief of Staff, accusing him of involvement in the assassination of President Park Chung-hee. Subsequently, troops loyal to Chun invaded downtown Seoul and arrested two of Jeong's allies, Major General Jang Tae-wan and Major General Jeong Byeong-ju. Major Kim Oh-rang, an aide-de-camp of Jeong Byeong-ju, was killed in the gunfight. By the next morning, the Ministry of Defense and Army HQ were all under Chun's control with the assistance of his fellow 11th class of Korea Military Academy graduates. This coup, alongside the Gwangju Massacre, led to Chun's 1995 arrest by the Kim Young-sam administration and established the Fifth Republic of South Korea.

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