Former President Chun Doo-hwan, who seized power in a coup and ruled South Korea from 1980 to 1988, died at the age of 90.
He passed away less than a month after the death of former President Roh Tae-woo, who was one of Chun’s closest aides in the 1979 coup and was elected President.
Chun died at around 8:40 a.m. at his home in Yeonhui-dong, Mapo-gu, western Seoul, after years of ill health and a battle with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
He was born in Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang Province, in 1931 and graduated from the 11th Daegu Technical High School and Army Academy. He later trained in the United States, specializing in guerilla tactics and psychological warfare.
He served as deputy chief of the Cheong Wa Dae security office, commander of the Armed Forces Security Command, 10th head of the Central Intelligence Department, standing chairman of the National Security Legislative Council and head of the Army.
Chun took power through a military coup in 1979, and ordered a bloody crackdown during the Gwangju Democratic Uprising in 1980 that left hundreds of pro-democracy protesters dead.
Chun never apologized for the 1980 Gwangju massacre of pro-democracy protesters.