History of South Korea

Assassination of Park Chung-hee
Kim Jae-gyu on trial ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1979 Oct 26

Assassination of Park Chung-hee

Blue House, Seoul

The Assassination of Park Chung-hee was a major political event in South Korea which took place on October 26, 1979. Park Chung-hee was the third President of South Korea and had been in power since 1961. He had led an authoritarian regime and had implemented sweeping economic reforms that had brought rapid economic growth to the country.

On October 26, 1979, Park was attending a dinner at the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) headquarters in Seoul. During the dinner, he was shot by Kim Jae-gyu, the director of KCIA. Kim had been a close ally of Park and had been serving as his bodyguard for many years.

The news of Park's assassination quickly spread throughout the country and sparked widespread protests. Many people viewed Park as a dictator and were glad to see him gone. However, others saw his death as a great loss since he had brought much economic prosperity to South Korea during his rule.

In the aftermath of Park's death, the country entered a period of political turmoil. This led to the election of Chun Doo-hwan as President in 1980, who then led an authoritarian military regime until 1987 when democratic elections were held again.

The assassination of Park Chung-hee remains a significant event in Korean history and is still remembered today. It was the first time that a Korean President had been assassinated and it signaled the end of an era of authoritarian rule in the country.

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