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Coup d'état of December Twelfth

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Coup d'état of December Twelfth
DateDecember 12, 1979
Also known as12·12 Military Insurrection
ParticipantsShingunbu (containing Hanahoe (including Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo)) vs Government of Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea Armed Forces
OutcomeShingunbu (new military group)[1] became the controller of Republic of Korea Armed Forces

The Coup d'état of December Twelfth or the 12·12 Military Insurrection (Korean12·12 군사 반란; Hanja十二十二軍事反亂) was a military mutiny which took place on December 12, 1979, in South Korea.



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

After Jeong's capture, 29th Regiment of the 9th Division, along with the 1st Special Forces Brigade and 3rd Special Forces Brigade, 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[3] (Commander of Army Capital Security Command) and Major General Jeong Byeong-ju (Commander of Army Special Warfare Command), were also arrested by the rebel troops. Major Kim Oh-rang, aide-de-camp of Jeong Byeong-ju, was killed during the gunfight.[4]

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.[5]

The Coup d'état of December Twelfth and the Coup d'état of May Seventeenth were the beginning of the end of the Fourth Republic of Korea. The coup, alongside the Gwangju Uprising,[6] is the primary justification for Chun's 1995 arrest by the Kim Young-sam administration.

Cultural references






See also



  1. ^ compared to Gunbu (military group) causing May 16 coup
  2. ^ "기무사 '37년 소격동시대' 마감... 과천 이전". The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). 19 November 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  3. ^ "7월 26일은 비운의 진짜 군인 장태완(張泰玩) 장군 사망일 - 개미뉴스" [July 26th is the death anniversary of General Jang Tae-wan, a truly unfortunate soldier - Ant News]. Ant News (in Korean). Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  4. ^ "The harrowing real-life stories of the Korean military coup depicted in "12.12: The Day"". English Edition: The Hankyoreh. 29 November 2023. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  5. ^ "육사·하나회·쿠데타 질긴 인연 전두환과 노태우... 죽음도 '추종'". NewsPim. 2021-11-23.
  6. ^ a b "[영화는실화다] 영화 '서울의 봄'_ 12·12 군사 반란" [[The movie is a true story] Movie '12.12: The Day'_ December 12 Military Uprising]. YTN (in Korean). 24 November 2023 – via Naver.
  7. ^ "<방송> MBC「제4공화국」12.12사태 재현" [Broadcast MBC「Fourth Republic」Reenactment of the December 12 Incident]. Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). 31 October 1995. Retrieved 24 November 2023 – via Naver.
  8. ^ "'제5공화국', 12.12 장면 방송에도 시청률 하락" ['The Fifth Republic', viewership ratings drop even after the December 12 scene was broadcast]. Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). 16 May 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2023 – via Naver.
  9. ^ "12·12 다룬 '서울의 봄'과 '제5공화국' ...뭐가 같고 뭐가 다른가" ['12.12: The Day' and '5th Republic', both of which were covered on Coup d'état of December Twelfth... What's the same and what's different?]. Ilyo Shinmun (in Korean). 29 November 2023. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  10. ^ "오 유튜브에 서울의봄 올라왔는데?" [Seoul Spring was uploaded on YouTube]. Flayus. 9 December 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2023.
  11. ^ "許和平의원,'제4공화국'.'코리아게이트' 고소" [Rep. Heo Wha-pyeong sues the '4th Republic' and 'Koreagate']. Yonhap News Agency (in Korean). 7 December 1995. Retrieved 24 November 2023 – via Naver.
  12. ^ [신비한TV 서프라이즈] 1979년 12월 12일, 작전명 '생일 집 잔치'. 전두환을 필두로 한 10.26 사건으로 촉발된 그날 밤의 이야기, MBC 231203 방송 [[Surprise Mystery TV] December 12, 1979, operation name 'Birthday Home Party'. The story of that night triggered by the October 26 incident led by Chun Doo-hwan, broadcast on MBC 231203] (in Korean). MBC 미스터리 : 심야괴담회 X 서프라이즈. 3 December 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2023.
  13. ^ "지금 서프라이즈에서 서울의 봄 스포중..." [Spoilers for 12.12: The Day in Surprise...]. Dprime. 3 December 2023. Retrieved 10 December 2023.

Further reading

  • 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