Former South Korean dictator’s grandson exposes alleged family crimes, netizens fear for his safety
chun woo wonthe grandson of the former President of South Korea chun doo hwanMost recently, he caused a stir in South Korea with his obvious whistleblowing about his own family. He claimed that his relatives lived on illegal funds, committed crimes, and that his grandfather was a “slaughterhouse.”
I think my grandfather was a butcher. He is not a hero who defended his country, but simply a criminal.
– Chun Woo Won
Chun Doo Hwan has gone down in South Korean history as an iron-fisted military dictator who ruled from 1980 to 1988 as an authoritarian government. During Gwangju’s democratic uprising in May 1980, Chun’s military junta brutally repressed citizens who protested against his regime. According to official records, around 144 civilians were killed and 127 injured during these protests. But these numbers are hotly contested. Based on reports by foreign press sources and critics of the Chun Doo Hwan government, it has been speculated that the actual death toll was in the 1,000 to 2,000 range.
But Chun’s crimes were not limited to political repression. In 1997 the Supreme Court found him guilty of treason, corruption and other crimes and sentenced him to death. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment, and eventually a presidential pardon freed him from prison. After his release, Chun was ordered to lose [KRW] 220 billion to amass slush funds, but the former dictator refused to pay the sum, arguing there was only [KRW] 290.00 [/krw] left in his name. He died in November 2021 at the age of 90, until last October prosecutors could only collect [KRW]127.9 billion [/krw]which accounts for 58% of all seizures.
But recent revelations by Chun Woo Won have drawn attention to the case as it directly contradicts Chun Doo Hwan’s allegations of poverty. The former dictator’s grandson, 27, published a killing spree on March 15, claiming his whole family lives a life of luxury thanks to his grandfather’s huge slush fund. He also said those slush boxes are still in the Yeonhui-dong house in Seoul, where Chun Doo Hwan’s widow, Lee Soon Ja, currently resides.
I could go to school in the United States since I received millions of won from an unknown source every year… At least one billion won was used for my education. It would not have been clean money.
– Chun Woo Won Yonhap News Agency
He mentioned that his uncles probably received even larger sums of money. Chun Woo Won released music videos in which he made directly harmful statements to his father and grandmother. In a video, he revealed that his father fabricated legal documents to cover up his crimes in Korea and posed as a Christian preacher to obtain US citizenship. He also said that the former president’s third son currently runs a winery in Napa Valley. “Only those who have astronomical money can enter the wine business. I can smell the black money here.” Woo Won confirmed.
She also posted a video of an elderly woman playing golf on screen at her home, which she later revealed was her grandmother Lee Joon Ja. Chun Jae Young, Woo Won’s father, dismissed all of their claims, saying his son was unwell and that it was his fault for not being able to take better care of himself. However, Woo Won had uploaded records of his medical treatment showing he was able to work, anticipating that his family would likely claim he was mentally unfit. He mentioned that he worked in EY’s strategic consulting department in New York.
Chun Woo Won also claimed that he attempted suicide to escape his “sins and pains.” He revealed the names and profiles of some of his acquaintances on social networks, whom he accuses of drug use and sex crimes. Two of the accused are Air Force officers. Following Chun’s allegations, the Defense Ministry said it was considering investigating the charges.
On Thursday, March 16, Chun went live on YouTube at 4 p.m. and claimed to “disclose everything” about his family. During the show, he apologized for his crimes and those of his family, then announced he would give half his money to the public and donate $52,265 in real time to UNICEF. He also admitted to using LSD and marijuana and said he would be the first to be arrested as he was also a criminal.
According to this statement, he appeared to start using drugs during the live broadcast and showed signs of hallucinations. He began begging for his life when police, firefighters and an ambulance showed up outside his home. The live broadcast lasted an hour before officers entered the home and Chun was escorted on a stretcher. The ambulance took him to the hospital and the video was removed from YouTube for violating the platform’s rules. The NYPD has declined to comment on Chun’s current condition.
Chun Woo Won’s complaint drew attention to Korean online forums, where the public raised concerns about the young man’s safety.
- “Wow, he’s quite a religious person … I support him and I hope he’s safe.”
- “I worry if he’s safe with this crazy government around.”
- “It must have been difficult…”
- “Will journalists cover it? We don’t have journalists, we just have junk instead.”
- “Imagine that everyone around you is abnormal and you are the only normal one. It must hurt… He’s amazing.”
- “I’m cheering you on!”
- “This must be the time when society and the media cover this up. ㅠㅠ I pray for his safety.
- “That is the true function of religion. I cheer you on.”
fountain: Korea Herald and Theqoo