Chun Doo-hwan passed away.

I did not leave a message of reflection or apology.



At the time of the May 18 Democratization Movement, the order to fire, which killed many people, was again on the cutting board.

Chun Doo-hwan's secretary, Min Jeong-ki, answered the question about the firing order on the day of his death.



▲ On the 23rd, in front of Chun Doo-hwan's home in Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, former Blue House secretary Min Jeong-ki officially announced the death of Jeon.

“The trial results showed that there was no such thing as an order to fire. There is no such thing as an order to fire. ... At that time, Security Commander Chun Doo-hwan, who was neither the president, nor the commander of martial law, nor was in the chain of command, when and how the Airborne Forces You have to specify in detail whether you commanded and fired an order to fire, and you should be held accountable for that. Apologize unconditionally and vaguely, that question itself is wrong."

- Min Jeong-ki, former secretary of the Blue House


In his autobiography published in 2017, Chun Doo-hwan also said, "The organized and repeated attacks of armed protesters took the form of a typical special attack operation. Discussing whether to order fire in such a situation is something that cannot be done even with basic common sense of military operations." I wrote.




In fact, it is a claim that is not new.

Many years ago, many media had done a lot of fact-checking, but Chun Doo-hwan did not give up his claims, and he died just like that.



If so, why did Chun Doo-hwan keep repeating these claims?

Today's fact check is trying to pinpoint the reason for the repeated firing order fact check.




Doo-Hwan Chun's consistent assertions are first, "There was no order to fire," second, "Even if there was, I did not participate in the decision-making process", and third, "Moreover, I was not a decision-maker."

Why did you keep making this claim?



First, it is necessary to confirm the judgment of the Supreme Court of April 17, 1997.

At that time, the Supreme Court confirmed the lower court sentenced Chun Doo-hwan to life imprisonment, who was charged with nine counts, including murder for the purpose of rebellion.



▲ ​April 1997, Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan awaiting the Supreme Court ruling


At the time, the Supreme Court clearly states that there was an order to fire.


"Since it is of a nature that cannot be carried out without the premise of shooting at the protesters, it is clear that the execution order contained a firing order stating that it was possible to kill people within the scope of the operation..."

- Supreme Court 1997. 4 17. Sentence 96 degrees 3376


Simply put, it was the judge's judgment that there could be no such thing as firing without an order.



However, the Supreme Court at the time could not prove who the firing order originated from.

Evidence of who, when, where, and how the order was issued was lacking.

However, the Supreme Court recognized the crime of murder for the purpose of rebellion and specified 'comprehensive' responsibility.


(The trial court) held that (it was judged) responsible for the crime of rebellion even for individual acts of rebellion that were not directly involved as long as each of the members of the rebellion group comprehensively recognized and tolerated the act of rebellion...

The acknowledgment of the facts and the judgment of the lower court as above is accepted as justifiable...

.

- Supreme Court 1997. 4. 17. Sentence 96 degrees 3376


In other words, as the military commander, he acknowledged responsibility for firing on Mr. Chun, but there was no sentence saying "It was Chun Doo-hwan who ordered the firing."




That was the beginning of the frustrating controversy over the firing order.

Chun Doo-hwan has interpreted it in his own way, saying, "The court did not acknowledge my responsibility," and even after he passed away, he repeated the same argument through the mouth of an aide.



Some may think that it is a matter of interpretation of the judgment.

However, few believe that Mr. Chun, who held the military power at the time, is free from responsibility for the massacre.

It is a 'confirmed fact' that Mr. Jeon is already legally responsible, and there are only 'details' related to how much he intervened in the firing order and its aggressiveness.



In the end, direct evidence was needed.

After the Supreme Court ruling, politicians, civil society, and the media gathered together to find materials that could prove Mr. Jeon's responsibility.



In 2007, the Ministry of National Defense's Past Photographic Investigation Committee found that key evidence related to the firing order had been destroyed.

It is 'evidence' of the destruction of evidence.



▲ In July 2017, the Ministry of National Defense announced

Some key data could not be found.

First, in the file of instructions written by the Army Headquarters, the '5.

3.~6.

Records up to '29.' are missing.

This omission was the same in the 80 year regular military report of the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Soon, '4.

24.~6.

There are no records for the period up to 22.'.

In preparation for 5/17, the new military government could not find a plan to rectify the situation.

-Ministry of National Defense's Past Photographic Investigation Committee, <Report on the Investigation Results of 12/12, 5/17, 5/18 Incidents>, July 24, 2007, pp. 18-19.


It is not known who, how, or why these evidences were destroyed.



The search for evidence from the government and civic groups continued.

And it paid off.

Direct evidence related to the firing order begins to be unearthed one by one.



In August 2017, an official document specifying the issuing of an order to fire was confirmed.

It was written by the 505 Security Unit stationed in Gwangju on May 21, 1980, and it was the day the martial law forces opened fire in front of the Jeonnam Provincial Office.

In the document, it is written, 'Order to load live ammunition and fire in case of emergency (20 rounds per person) to all teachers and troops stationed at Chonnam National University.'

It was an official document that could directly refute Chun Doo-hwan's claim that "there was no firing order."




In October of the following year, a document came out that Chun Doo-hwan had been attending meetings of military leaders since the early days of the May 18 Democratization Movement and took the lead in discussing martial law operations.

It was a secret document published by the new military at the time, <Five Gong Warriors(前史)>.



The document also contains the situation on May 21, 1980, when there was a mass shooting at the Jeonnam Provincial Office.

At that time, a meeting was held in the Defense Minister's office to determine the 'right to self-defense' by the firing order, and Mr. .

Chun Doo-hwan has always denied participation in the martial law military operation meeting.

It was material that could refute the claim that "I did not attend the firing order decision-making process."



The investigation into the 5/18 truth is still in progress.

Documents continue to be excavated, and pieces of history are being put together.

One disappointment is that there was no clear testimony from the parties to the new military unit.



▲ During the Roh Tae-woo regime, Mr. Chun Doo-hwan and his wife entered Baekdamsa Temple


Recently, I heard good news from SBS 8 News. Recently, the May 18 Fact Investigation Committee visited and investigated Hwang Young-si, then deputy chief of staff of the army and then martial law commander, Lee Hee-seong, who were the core of the new military, and announced that they would soon conduct a face-to-face investigation into the last primary target of the investigation, former special forces commander Jeong Ho-yong.



In particular, it is known that Jeong Ho-yong conveyed his position to the investigation committee that he wanted to reveal the facts accurately, saying that he had been placed overly responsible for the 5/18.



In an interview with SBS, Song Seon-tae, chairman of the May 18 Fact Investigation Committee, said, "Since almost everything is revealed who gave the instructions and came through a certain line of command, we can actually come to a certain conclusion naturally about that part."




In recent years, the SBS fact-checking team has fact-checked false information related to May 18th as soon as May 18th. However, in May of every year, false information slowly lifted its head and spread, and the cycle of fact-checking continued.



It was no different after Chun Doo-hwan's death. On online bulletin boards, rumors of the 5/18 North Korean military intervention and armed riots are again creeping up. There was also a lot of commotion at Jeon's mortuary, with YouTubers flocking to him and obstructing reporters' questions. They were YouTubers who protected Mr. Even now, various media outlets are publishing fact-check articles about Min's remarks, but for those who spread rumors, it may not be the facts that are important to them.



Nevertheless, he realizes that the only thing that can break the cycle of false information and fact-checking is 'facts'. There were a lot of rumors, but many people believed in the power of evidence, and furthermore, made judgments in line with common sense. Civil society, politicians, and even the media came together to find evidence. That's one step closer to the truth. The various reactions that have come up so far may be growing pains to reach the historical truth.



I have not heard of Chun Doo-hwan's apology, but I believe that sooner or later, at least the person's testimony will come out. At least, on May 18, 2022, I hope that there will be no repeated fact-checking regarding 5/18 false information.



If you type SBS facts on the Internet, you can request a fact check verification. If you request it, we will fact-check it to the best of our ability.




(Interns: Minseon Kwon, Haeyeon Song)

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