Jeong Seung-hwa

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Jeong Seung-hwa
Birth nameJeing Seung-hwa
Born(1929-02-27)27 February 1929
Gimcheon, South Korea
Died12 June 2002(2002-06-12) (aged 73)
AllegianceFlag of Korea (1899).svg  Korea
Service/branch Republic of Korea Army
Years of service1947–1979
Rank Daejang General
Commands held Republic of Korea Army
II Corps
Capital Mechanized Infantry Division
3rd Infantry Division
10th Infantry Brigade(Mechanized)
26th Infantry Regiment
Korean name
Revised Romanization Jeong Seunghwa
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Sŭnghwa

Jeong Seung-hwa (정승화, 鄭昇和; 27 February 1929 – 12 June 2002) 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.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.

A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.

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.



Born on 27 February 1929 in Gimcheon, [1] Jeong Seung-hwa joined the Korean Army as a conscript in the 17th Regiment and fought at the Battle of Busan Perimeter. He later went to the Korea Military Academy and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 26th Infantry Regiment in 1950, where he later commanded in the early 1960s. He then commanded a Mechanized Brigade and an Infantry Division, before being appointed as Commander of II Corps in 1976.

Gimcheon Municipal City in Yeongnam, South Korea

Gimcheon is a city in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It is situated on the major land transportation routes between Seoul and Busan, namely the Gyeongbu Expressway and Gyeongbu Line railway.

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.

A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

In 1978, Jeong was appointed Army Chief of Staff, the most dominant role in the South Korean military. On the evening of 26 October 1979, while Jeong was dining at the Blue House presidential compound, South Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated at another facility in the compound. The assassin, Kim Jae-gyu, immediately sought out Jeong with a view to having him take over the presidency. [2]

Blue House South Korean presidential residence

The Blue House is the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea, and is located in the capital city of Seoul. The Blue House is in fact a complex of buildings, built largely in the traditional Korean architectural style with some modern elements.

Park Chung-hee South Korean army general and the leader of South Korea from 1961 to 1979

Park Chung-hee was a South Korean politician and general who served as the President of South Korea from 1963 until his assassination in 1979, assuming that office after first ruling the country as head of a military dictatorship installed by the May 16 coup in 1961. Before his presidency, he was the chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction from 1961 to 1963 after a career as a military leader in the South Korean army.

Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea, was assassinated on October 26, 1979 during a dinner at a Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) safehouse inside the Blue House presidential compound, in Gangjeong-dong, Seoul. Kim Jae-gyu, then the director of KCIA and the president's security chief, was responsible for the assassination. Park was shot in the chest and head, and died almost immediately. Four bodyguards and a presidential chauffeur were also killed. The incident is often referred to as "10.26" or the "10.26 incident" in South Korea.

Instead, an emergency cabinet meeting was convened at which Choi Kyu-hah, the prime minister, was declared acting president with Jeong implementing martial law. He plotted to exclude political soldiers such as the Hanahoe, an influential group of South Korean military officers. The group later instigated the Coup d'état of December Twelfth. As a result, key members of the Hanahoe, such as Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, arrested Jeong on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of Park. [3] [4]

Choi Kyu-hah 4th President of South Korea

Choi Kyu-hah, also spelled Choi Kyu-ha or Choi Gyu-ha, was President of South Korea between 1979 and 1980.

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 or the "12.12 Military Insurrection" was a military coup d'état which took place on December 12, 1979, in South Korea.

As a punishment, Jeong was reduced in rank to private and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1997, 17 years after the coup d'état, Jeong was cleared of any involvement in the death of Park by the Seoul District Court. He was restored to his general officer rank and received pay that had been forfeited at the time of his sentencing. [5] He died on 12 June 2002 in Seoul. [1]

See also


  1. 1 2 The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Chung Sung-Hwa". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. Wickham 1999, p. 12.
  3. Oberdorfer 2007, pp. 114–117.
  4. Chun Sung-woo (28 July 2010). "Ex-general who tried to repress coup in 1979 dies". Korea Herald . Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  5. Wickham 1999, p. 73.

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