In South Korea, a former president notorious for directing a massacre and oppressing democratic activists during his term (1980-88), has been criticized for participating in a cadet review at the Korea Military Academy (KMA) and enjoying perks as a former head of the state, despite his criminal record.
Former President Chun Doo-hwan is mostly remembered as a military dictator who rose to power through a military coup, arrested and persecuted activists, suppressed free press, and clamped down the Gwangju Democratization movement (also known as the ‘Gwangju Massacre’) with an army, killing several hundred civilians. Chun was initially sentenced to death for this tragic event but was later pardoned and instead received a jail term and fine.
Chun made the national headlines again with his cadet review at the KMA on June 8, 2012. In the following week, more news reports revealed further facts about Chun; one claimed that when playing golf at the Academy's golf course, Chun was escorted by eight armed guards [ko] provided by the police.
내란죄로 형이 확정된 범죄자이자 국가 추징금 미납자를 국민 세금으로 경호?
살인마 전두환이 상왕 대접 받는 세상이군요. ‘육사생도사열’ 논란의 와중에 군 골프장에서 ‘VIP 골프'를 즐겨 국민적 분노를 사고 있는데, 한술 더 떠 전두환의 안전을 위해 무장경찰이 경호를 펼친 사실까지 드러났네요.[…]
Accusations were also thrown at the Korea Military Academy, a prestigious institution for the undergraduate education and military training of officer cadets and also the former school of Chun Doo-hwan and other military leaders. @jjang24025 tweeted [ko]:
육사 포함 사관학교 차라리 폐교합시다! 쿠데다주역, 반역자, 살인자 전두환에게 충성하는 육사. 그들이 과연 나라를 지킬 지휘관이 되겠습니까. 너도나도 야전은 기피하고 좋은 보직만 찾는다는데, 썩은 정치꾼들만 더 양산하지 않는다는 보장이 어딨습니까.
육사생도들 이등병 전두환할배가 존경스러운가? 한번 육사선배는 영원한가? […] 허갸 90년대출생인 네들이 뭘알겠냐!!
육사에서 5.16이나 12.12 등의 군사 반란에 대해 어떻게 가르치는지 정말 궁금하네요. 교수들이나 훈육관들이 제대로 가르쳤다면 애국심으로 똘똘 뭉쳤다는 생도들이 그런 반응을 보였다는게 절대 이해가 될 수없으니 말입니다.
@shinfran later updated his timeline with tweets linked to news articles quoting KMA pupils who later complained [ko] that they had not been made aware of whom they were saluting. Reports claim that although it is customary that the academy notifies pupils on who will be attending the cadet review, especially when well-known figures pay visits, no announcement was made about Chun's appearance this time.
[…] (육사에서) 전두환을 반란으로 민주주의 유린한 실패한 군인으로 가르칠 수 있을 때 육사는 명예회복을 할 수 있을 겁니다.
육사 교장 **가 전두환이를 불러더가 생도들을 사열시킨 거는, 지 스스로 조폭 깡패 중간 보쓰 짓이나 하고 있다는 거를 실토한기지. “야들아, 너그 큰 행님 오싰다. 큰 인사 올리라” “안녕하십니까, 행님””
What really concerned people was not the cadet review itself, but it as evidence that the old military power still has a firm grip on power. Earlier this month, one of Chun's closest inner circle member was nominated as chairman [ko] of the National Assembly and debate is still going on around the daughter of another military dictator who will be running for president in the coming election.