Coup d'état of December Twelfth

Last updated
12.12 군사반란
Date December 12 1979
Location Seoul
Also known as 12.12 Military Insurrection
Participants ROK Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan
Outcome Fifth Republic of South Korea
Part of a series on the
History of South Korea
Emblem of the Government of the Republic of Korea.svg
Prelude to Division 191948
Korean Provisional Government 191948
USAMGIK 194548
First Republic 194860
Korean War 195053
Syngman Rhee administration 194860
April Revolution 1960
Heo Jeong Caretaker Government 1960
Second Republic 196061
Jang Myeon Cabinet 196061
May 16 coup 1961
Constitutional Vacuum 196163
Yoon Bo-seon administration 196162
First Junta 196163
Third Republic 196372
Park Chung-hee administration 196372
October Restoration 1972
Fourth Republic 197281
Assassination of Park Chung-hee 1979
December 12 coup 1979
May 17 coup 1980
Gwangju Uprising 1980
Fifth Republic 198188
Chun Doo-hwan administration 198187
June Democratic Uprising 1987
Sixth Republic 1988present
Roh Tae-woo administration 198893
Kim Young-sam administration 199398
National Moratorium 19972001
Kim Dae-jung administration 19982003
Roh Moo-hyun administration 20032008
Lee Myung-bak administration 20082013
Park Geun-hye administration 20132017
Moon Jae-in administration 20172022
Flag of South Korea.svg South Koreaportal

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.

Hangul Native alphabet of the Korean language

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great. It may also be written as Hangeul following the standard Romanization.

Hanja Korean language characters of Chinese origin

Hanja is the Korean name for Chinese characters. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation. Hanja-mal or Hanja-eo refers to words that can be written with Hanja, and hanmun refers to Classical Chinese writing, although "Hanja" is sometimes used loosely to encompass these other concepts. Because Hanja never underwent major reform, they are almost entirely identical to traditional Chinese and kyūjitai characters, though the stroke orders for some characters are slightly different. For example, the characters and are written as 敎 and 硏. Only a small number of Hanja characters are modified or unique to Korean. By contrast, many of the Chinese characters currently in use in Japan and Mainland China have been simplified, and contain fewer strokes than the corresponding Hanja characters.

Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government; illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch, a golpe, or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.


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.

Republic of Korea Army Land warfare branch of South Koreas military

The Republic of Korea Army, also known as the ROK Army, is the army of South Korea, responsible for ground-based warfare. It is the largest of the military branches of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces with 464,000 members as of 2018. This size is maintained through conscription; South Korean men must complete 21 months of military service between the age of 18 and 35.

Chun Doo-hwan Korean politician and army general

Chun Doo-hwan is a South Korean politician and former South Korean army general who served as the President of South Korea from 1980 to 1988, ruling as an unelected coup leader from December 1979 to September 1980 and as elected president from 1980 to 1988. Chun was sentenced to death in 1996 for his role in the Gwangju Massacre but was later pardoned by President Kim Young-sam, with the advice of then President-elect Kim Dae-jung, whom Chun's administration had sentenced to death some 20 years earlier.

Jeong Seung-hwa was a South Korean general officer, and the 22nd Republic of Korea Army Chief of Staff. He was present at the Blue House presidential compound, site of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee, when it took place on 26 October 1979.

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.

Jang Tae-wan was an army general and politician of South Korea.

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.

Korea Military Academy military academy

Korea Military Academy (KMA) is the leading South Korean institution for the education and training of officer cadets for the Republic of Korea Army. Along with the Korea Army Academy (Yeongcheon), it produces the largest number of senior officers in the Korean army. Commonly referred to as Hwarangdae ) as a reference to the Hwarang, an elite organization of youth leaders which existed in Korean history, it is located in Nowon-gu, a northeast district of Seoul, South Korea.

Roh Tae-woo Army general and President of South Korea

Roh Tae-woo (Korean:노태우;Hanja:盧泰愚);Korean pronunciation: [no.tʰɛ̝.u]; born 4 December 1932) is a former South Korean politician and ROK Army general who served as President of South Korea from 1988 to 1993.

Hanahoe was an unofficial private group of military officers in South Korea headed by Chun Doo-hwan, who later became the South Korean president. The members were mostly graduates of the eleventh class of the Korean Military Academy in 1955. Hanahoe formed the core of the group that eventually took control of the presidency and government from Choe Gyuha, ending the Fourth Republic.

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.

The Coup d'état of May Seventeenth was a military coup d'état carried out in South Korea by general Chun Doo-hwan and Hanahoe that followed the Coup d'état of December Twelfth.

See also

History of South Korea Wikimedia history article

The history of South Korea formally begins with its establishment on August 15, 1948.

Further reading

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