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Former S Korea president angers Koreans by playing golf

"Butcher of Gwangju" has been evading trial on grounds of dementia

Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan

Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A leaked video of former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan on a golf course has angered the country's citizens.

The video was made public on Friday (Nov. 8) by Lim Han-sol, Deputy Leader of the Justice Party of South Korea, according to UDN. Chun, also known as the “Butcher of Gwangju,” has been evading trial on the grounds of suffering from dementia.

He is accused of slandering activists of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement of 1980, as well as the late Catholic priest Pius Cho.

After the video was made public, civil organizations including the 5.18 Memorial Foundation issued statements condemning Chun, calling his behavior a mockery of history. Other South Korean political parties also issued similar statements.

The ruling Democratic Party said he should be forced to appear in court, and that he was mocking the nation's people and judges, urging the prosecution to "use all means to achieve justice." The opposition Bareunmirae Party also believes the former president should be in court, not on a golf course.

In his memoirs published in April 2017, Chun said that Cho’s testimony of the massacre, in which 606 died, was shameless lies, calling him “Satan in disguise,” according to SCMP. The late priest claimed to have witnessed military planes firing on the Gwangju protesters.

In 2018, it was revealed for the first time that the army had used attack helicopters to fire on civilians. Also, that soldiers engaged in acts of sexual violence during the crackdown.