Ex-President Chun says he considered serving second term
Former Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, who was convicted for his role in the 1980 bloody crackdown on pro-democracy movements in the southern city of Gwangju, said he had once considered serving a second term before finishing out his single, seven-year term.
Chun, 81, revealed the behind-the-scenes story during a meeting on Wednesday at his home in Seoul with a group of visiting students at the graduate business school of Yale University. His remarks were aired by a local television channel.
Chun, an ex-military general who seized power through a 1979 coup, finished out his term in early 1988 after his military colleague Roh Tae-woo won the 1987 presidential vote. Before the election, the Chun government amended the Constitution to shorten the single presidential term to five years.
"I served as president for seven years and considered serving again for another seven years," Chun said.
But, he said he decided to give up the idea of serving a second term because an "unfortunate situation could have happened." Chun said he is currently preparing to write his memoirs.
He took power after staging a military coup in 1979 following a leadership vacuum left by the assassination of President Park Chung-hee.
Chun's troops brutally quashed the pro-democracy uprising in 1980 in Gwangju, killing about 200 citizens and wounded 1,800 others, according to official data. Unofficial figures put the death toll at more than 2,000. (Yonhap)