Arts & Entertainment

Former South Korean dictator’s grandson draws social media attention

Seoul, Mar 17 (EFE).- The Instagram and YouTube accounts of Chun Woo-won, grandson of former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan, have been gaining attention in his country this week since he began using them to openly criticize his grandfather and his relatives for using embezzled funds.

Since Monday, Chun has been publishing photographs in which he accuses his uncles or his own father of making use of the money that the dictator allegedly kept hidden abroad or pointing out acquaintances of his for allegedly using drugs (a serious crime in South Korea) and harassing women.

Chun, 27, who appears to live in New York, also posted a video in which he calls his grandfather a “slaughterer” and a “criminal.”

Chun made a live stream Friday on YouTube in which he used drugs in front of the camera and displayed erratic behavior until the police entered his apartment and the broadcast was interrupted.

The agents transferred him to hospital, according to Yonhap news agency, which showed the video had been removed from the account.

His grandfather, who died in 2021 at 90, came to power in 1979 through a coup that made him president until 1988.

In 1980 Chun ordered the brutal suppression of a popular rebellion in the city of Gwangju, 260 kilometers south of Seoul, which left at least 200 dead and 1,800 injured.

Chun was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996 (he received a presidential pardon a year later) and to pay KRW 220 billion (about $166 million) as punishment for embezzling a large amount of public funds.

The former dictator only ever paid less than a quarter of that amount, and his claim that he already only had KRW 290,000 (about $220) to his name became famous nationwide amid accusations that he had hidden the rest of the funds in the United States.

His grandson said this week in another video that his father, Chun Jae-yong, the former dictator’s eldest son, is now trying to obtain US citizenship to appropriate all that money. EFE


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