Ex-dictator Received by Honor Guard. Netizens Stunned


Ex-dictator inspecting the honor guards

Controversy erupted this week over a photo showing former dictator Chun Doo-hwan presiding over a military parade, returning a salute from a guard of honor at the Korea Military Academy (KMA). The image of Chun spread virally across Twitter and other SNSs, outraging netizens. He shocked Internet users, for the KMA  is a prestigious institution recognized for its strict regime, patriotism, and morale, whereas Chun is remembered for his responsibility in ordering the Gwangju Massacre.

From Daum:

Grand-daughter’s ‘super luxurious wedding’ followed by honor guard reception… Twitter users say world is going ‘topsy-turvy’

Critical reaction to the news that the ex-dictator Chun Doo-hwan over his granddaughter’s super luxurious wedding, closely followed by the news that he was received by the honor guard is spreading fast across the social network world.

When the news that Chun was saluted by the officers in Korea Military Academy (KMA) and inspected the honor guard for the event celebrating the fundraising 20 billion won ($17 million USD) surfaced, the move was widely criticized by the netizens. Also present in the ceremony were other key members of the 5th Republic, including the ex-chief of the Agency for National Security Planning Jang Se-dong, ex-Defense Security Commander Lee Hak-bong, ex-Minister of Interior Jung Ho-yong, ex-Joint Chief of Staff Goh Myung-sung.


Twitter reactions on ex-dictator inspecting honor guards

The Twittersphere was heavily critical of the honor guard ceremony that Chun received saying it was ‘mind-blowing’. One Twitter user (@breez****) wrote ‘What country in the world gives honor guard ceremonies to a coup d’etat thug? This is really something.’ @cysh*** wrote ‘He got to inspect the honor guard because he is an alumnus of the Korea Military Academy or because he was an ex-president? This move insults the nation as well as the officers at KMA.’

Another Twitter user (@sang*****) wrote in exasperation that ‘he called himself a Great Leader, and now he is flexing his muscle in hope of staging a comeback? This is a topsy-turvy world we live in.’

This latest scandal came after the news that Chun’s grand-daughter held a luxurious several hundred-thousands won wedding at the Shilla Hotel [one of Korea’s top hotels]. The wedding hall at Shilla Hotel is often used by the top celebrities in South Korea, including Jang Dong-gun/Ko So-young and Jun Ji-hyun.

Comments from Daum:


Wow FUCK I am commenting totally out of spite. Fuck are you kidding me? This is completely outrageous. Who invited him? He gets fucking saluted? For a death-row convict? This is one fucking scummy-country, hail-the-fucking-ROK moment. Ah I can just swear on and on.


This means the KMA supports the head of the treason? Totally nuts.


I hate North Korean sympathizers and the Unified Progressive Party ought to be reformed… but that (conservative) side is equally unlikable. Saenuri and the treasonous group… what should we call them? Like a dog…. dog world this is.


Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun‘s biggest mistake is not having so much as touched Chun’s hair during their tenure. I hope next administration will fix that.


I thought this was an old footage, fuck. This is what became of our country. Does this even make sense?

바보와 천재의 공존:

We should be able to say Kim Jung-il is a SOB and likewise we should be able to say Chun Doo-hwan is a fucker. Arrest those KMA officers who saluted that murderous dictator as co-conspirators.


If the 5th Republic with Chun Doo-hwan as the president comes back again, the average citizens and middle-class will be welcoming with open arms.. If you were manual laborer, you made over 1 million won ($850 USD) a month.. Students go on protests and they can still find jobs afterward. We all fondly remember our parents returning home with a bag of fresh fruits… Now even the riches cannot afford fruits.. Those who vilify him as devil are only one group – the democratic activists… They screwed this country and killed off the middle class while profiting from our downfall.


Those involved in this ceremony, including the principle of KMA… and all those who saluted him….. Arrest them for violating the National Security Act….. Officially saluting the treasonous scum…. If this is not a treason, what is???


The guy once on death row is still in power, the presidential candidates still visit him to receive his grace, dirty past still with us. What will our children learn from this? We have no justice to speak of, and we should entertain none.


We badmouth our president as if he is a random dog in town, so what does that make us? Our moral education really blows. Foreigners leave this country now.


It is not enough to eviscerate him and now this~~~ This is nuts, this stinks to high heaven


Oh the state of the world we live in. After the Rat [referring to the current President], it has really hit the bottom. Chun Doo-hwan’s message to KMA officers ‘Stage a military coup and you too could become a president’


Someone please cut his head off.. Oh why did Kim Dae-jung pardon him… Such a big mistake..

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  • Godori

    Can I sit on this sofa or do I have to stand and salute?

  • Brett Sanbon

    Im in agreement with the netizens. I never really take sides, politically, but to salute a man who clearly violated the human rights of the Korean people for years seems crazy to me. He wasnt a good man and he was a murderer… to me it seems the equivalent of saluting KIS or KJI

    • Justin_C

      yeah, i think people have woken up to the fact that, whether you stand on this or that side of the border, extra-judicial killing, coup d’etat and dictatorship are really no different whether done under the name of defending juche communism or defending liberal democracy. i think that’s why they call this treasonous..

  • Chucky3176

    I’m not a fan of Chun Doo Hwan, but there is some evidence that the May 18 1980 massacre was actually orchestrated by 600 North Korean commandos that wore South Korean military uniforms, as well as dressing up as student protesters. Their goal was to kill the two opposing forces to make them turn on each other. He says North Korean commandos dressed up as South Korean army, massacred civilians, to make it look like the South Korean military did it.

    This is the ex general of the Special Forces North Korean army, Im Chun Young, who defected to South Korea. He’s part of the group headed by North Korean military defectors to South Korea, holding a press conference in Seoul.



    I believe this is a possibility. First, why would an ex NK officer of the special forces lie? Second, in 1980, South Korea’s defenses were much more weaker than it is today, so it’s not unreasonable to believe that North Koreans infiltrated the South, using wooden boats and small submarines that avoided radar detection.

    • Chucky3176

      I’m referring to the 1980 Gwangju massacre.

    • Brett Sanbon

      I’m all for conspiracy theories, but I know at least 1 big reason why an ex-NK officer would lie. Think about it.

    • Ben

      This is ridiculous…there is real hard evidence showing that it was Chun and his administration that ordered the troops to Gwangju. Who ordered the troops to fire is different, but there is no doubt that those were soldiers from the SOUTH Korean army, not the North.

      As for Chun, its unimaginable he has been able to hold onto his wealth and would even be invited to the KMA. Its a sad scene.

      • Paul M

        If there is real hard evidence that Chun was responsible for the Gwangju massacre (of which I don’t doubt) then it begs the question why this is man still walking free. While at the same time it takes relatively minor indiscretions by current Presidents for opposition party members to call for impeachment.

        • Chucky3176

          He was arrested and sentenced to death in 1995. But he was pardoned by president Kim Dae Jung in 1998. Under the law, he has every right to walk around and participate in anything he desires.

          • acorn

            you forget that he owes the government of south korea somewhere around $200million in fines, not including compound interest. he was stripped of legal recognition as the head of the state by the judiciary. no one is stopping from going shopping or jogging – it’s the restatement of his illegal regime that is troubling the people.

          • Ben

            You are right in a way and the blame for this situation should be assigned to the KMA for allowing this type of ceremony to take place. There is absolutely no reason to salute Chun. He is a convicted criminal that was stripped of all titles and prestige. The only reason he can afford to hold such luxurious weddings is because he stole millions of dollars from the Korean government and hid it within his family. There are just some many things wrong about this guy its hard to keep it short but in the end I think it reflects more on the culture of the Korean military than it does Chun.

          • Paul M

            Interesting, do you know if Kim Dae Jung gave any reasons for the pardon?

    • lamster

      North Korea is true Korea. What are you talking about? Do you not know your history? NWO (rothschilds, elites, banks, bilderberg, all powers of capitalism) used U.S. (proxy) to install capitalism in the world. North Korea resisted capitalism and south Korea bought into the lies of the NWO (freedom and liberty). Do South Koreans have no shame?? Your government is run by capitalists (fake democracy) and your president Lee Myung Bak is a puppet for the NWO.
      The Korean media is full of unknown, politically driven, influenced, news biased, brain washing agendas.
      Anti-Bullying, Multiculturalism, Koreans are Racist are the most reported news this year.
      Stop buying into NWO propaganda. 600 North Korean commandos doing what? Man you’re ridiculous.

  • Jang

    ” Twitter users say world is going ‘topsy-turvy’ ”

    Since this happened decades ago how “is” the world going topsy-turvey? I think they’re just now catching on, good on them, even if they are a bit late in realizing it.

  • An anonymous boy…

    I’m inclined to think most people being outraged about this are shortsighted.

    First of all, this guy was forgiven by the government of South of Korea, has donated tons of money to KMA over the years, and has presided over a KMA ceremony in the past.

    Clearly the guy wasn’t a good person, but I wouldn’t forget that the rulers before him weren’t exactly good either. For all the evil he did, he also did do a lot of good for South Korea despite his corruption. Some may argue that the ends justified his actions.

    And the fact is, his crimes were pardoned by a president no less, and he donated to the vary place he was received at. What is more outrageous: the pardon of Chun or to salute/ and receive the pardoned Chun?

  • Mich’insaeki

    KBang.. the people posting in your comments section make your entire website redundant. Netizens come across as increasingly rational and level-headed compared to the whacky extremist rhetoric routinely posted in your English comment section. And who needs laborious translations for that?

    Best of luck with your project.

  • Tippy Long Stocking

    “Twitter users say world is going ‘topsy-turvy’” – THE WORLD is regressing. People are arguing against democracy and freedom now, people are arguing against helping others, people are arguing against anything good that people can do for each other in the name of nationalism – in nearly every country now.

  • Chris

    One thing to keep in mind is that the military lieutenants of Chun’s days are now generals in the RoK military. They didn’t get purged when the dictatorship was tossed out. It may seem unthinkable in today’s connected, globalized climate, but even prosperous countries like South Korea can lapse back into authoritarian government if a large enough people in charge get the wrong idea and the right+military would happily find an excuse to implement a state of emergency. All it takes is an international incident, say China trying to strongarm the Yellow Sea, or a large provocation from North Korea.

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