Coup d'état of December Twelfth

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12.12 군사반란
DateDecember 12 1979
Also known as12.12 Military Insurrection
ParticipantsROK Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan
OutcomeFifth Republic of South Korea
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The Coup d'état of December Twelfth (Hangul: 12.12 군사반란; Hanja: 12.12 軍事叛亂) or the "12.12 Military Insurrection" was a military coup d'état which took place on December 12, 1979, in South Korea.

Republic of Korea Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan, commander of the Security Command,[1][2] acting without authorization from Acting President Choi Kyu-ha, ordered the arrest of General Jeong Seung-hwa, ROK Army Chief of Staff, on allegations of involvement in the assassination of President Park Chung Hee.

After Jeong's capture, 29th Regiment of the 9th Division, along with the 1st and 3rd Airborne Brigades, invaded downtown Seoul to support the 30th and 33rd Capital Security Group loyal to Chun, then a series of conflicts broke out in the capital. Two of Jeong's allies, Major General Jang Tae-wan (Capital Security commander) and Major General Jeong Byeong Ju (special forces commander), were also arrested by the rebel troops. Major Kim Oh-rang, Aide-de-camp of Jeong Byeong Ju, was killed during the gun-fight.

By the next morning, the Ministry of Defense and Army HQ were all occupied. Chun and his fellow 11th class of Korea Military Academy graduates, such as Major General Roh Tae-woo, commanding general of 9th Infantry Division, and Major General Jeong Ho-yong, were in charge of the Korean military. Chun was supported in the coup and the subsequent consolidation of power by the powerful private club of military officials called Hanahoe.

The Coup d'état of December Twelfth and the Coup d'état of May Seventeenth ended the Fourth Republic of South Korea and led to the Fifth Republic of South Korea.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas (Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass, 1997, ISBN 0-201-40927-5, p. 121)
  • Young, James V. Eye on Korea: An insider account of Korean-American Relations. (Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX) 2003. ISBN 978-1585442621