South Korean ex-dictator Chun Doo-hwan dies at 90

South Korean ex-dictator Chun Doo-hwan, who brutally crushed opponents until mass demonstrations forced him out, died on Tuesday, his longtime aide announced.

The former president died at his home in Seoul, Min Jeong-ki told reporters outside the Chun residence. He was 90.

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He oversaw the country’s economic rise and secured the 1988 Olympics for Seoul. He was the first South Korean president to hand over power peacefully.

A general in the South Korean military, Chun took power in a coup aftern the 1979 assassination of strongman Park Chung-hee.

He was president from 1980 to 1988, ruling with an iron fist and brutally crushing his opponents. Chun remains among South Korea’s most reviled figures.

He is known as the “Butcher of Gwangju” for ordering his troops to put down an uprising against his rule in the southwestern city.

In 1996, he was convicted of treason and condemned to death, in part over what happened at Gwangju, but his execution was commuted on appeal and he was released following a presidential pardon.

The official toll for the dead or missing at Gwangju is around 200 people, but activists say it may have been three times as high.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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