The Chun Regime

The Chun Regime

Having suppressed the Kwangju uprising with brute force, General Chun Doo Hwan further tightened his grip on the government. He and three of his close associates served as the core of the junta committee, known as the Special Committee for National Security Measures. The three were Lieutenant General Ch'a Kyu-hon (deputy chief of staff of the army), Major General Roh Tae Woo (commander of the Capital Garrison Command), and Major General Chong Ho-yong (commander of the Special Forces). The junta vested in itself the authority to pass laws and to make all decisions affecting the state until a new National Assembly came into being.

On August 5, 1980, Chun promoted himself from lieutenant general to full general in preparation for retiring from the army on August 22. On August 27 he was elected president by the National Conference for Unification, receiving 2,524 of the 2,525 votes cast. The single dissenting vote was invalidated for an unknown reason.

Chun presented his objective at his September 1, 1980, inauguration: to create a new society where all past corrupt practices would be replaced by mutual trust and justice. In order to accomplish this goal, he planned to remove the old politicians from the scene; only those certified as "clean" would be permitted to participate in building the new order.

In the economic field, Chun intended to do away with excessive protection of industries and to encourage creativity. An increase in employment opportunities would be facilitated, and cooperation and coprosperity between labor and management would be brought about. Farmers' income would be increased by continuing the Saemaul Movement.

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