The Tragic Meaning of Korean Politics and a Symbol > Updated 6/14/2019

On Korean Memorial Day KyungHo visited Seoul National Cemetery.

If you google him, I’m sure you can easily find out hundreds of articles, documentaries, TV dramas, movies and images about Park Chung-Hee, former President of South Korea, who was assassinated in 1979. Therefore I do not want to add my own unprofessional, not-so-deep insight with a little biased opinion to waste your time. Instead, I simply want to summarize his life with a few pros and cons about his political and economical achievements, failure and legacy with my own cold eyes and KaTalk Chatterbox comments by my old EMD buddies in Korea.


Park Chung-hee

Former President of South Korea



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. Wikipedia

Born: November 14, 1917, Gumi-si, South Korea
Height: 5′ 2″
Presidential term: December 17, 1963 – October 26, 1979

Spouse: Yuk Young-soo (m. 1950–1974), Kim Ho Nam (m. 1936–1950)

His wife >
Yuk Young-soo
Park Chung-hee’s wife




Yuk Young-soo was the wife of the 3rd South Korean president Park Chung-hee and the mother of the 11th South Korean president Park Geun-hye. She was killed in 1974 during an attempted assassination of her husband, Park Chung-hee. Wikipedia

Born: September 29, 1925, Okcheon-gun, South Korea
Height: 5′ 7″
Spouse: Park Chung-hee (m. 1950–1974)

His daughter >
Park Geun-hye
Former President of South Korea



Park Geun-hye is a former South Korean politician who served as the 18th President of South Korea from 2013 to 2017. Park was the first woman to be President of South Korea and also the first female president popularly elected as head of state in East Asia. Wikipedia

Born: February 2, 1952 (age 67 years), Samdeok-dong
Height: 5′ 4″
Presidential term: February 25, 2013 – March 10, 2017
And the tragedy began…

Connect Korea
Published on Feb 7, 2014

In 1974, the President of Korea, Park Chung Hee, was shot at while he gave a speech. His wife was killed. Park Chung Hee was later assassinated in 1979. His daughter, Park Guen Hye is the current president of South Korea. Mun Se-gwang was the assassin. A Japanese man who sympathized with North Korea


(20 Aug 1974) The funeral in Seoul of Yuk Yoong-soo, wife of the President of South Korea Park Chung-hee, murdered during an assassination attempt on her husband.

British Movieton

Published on Jul 21, 2015
Various shots on the third day of his official state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, MR PARK CHUNG HEE, visited FEDERAL CHANCELLOR LUDWIG ERDHARD in his official residence, The Palais Schaumburg at Bonn. The two statesmen met at the cabinet room for political talks. You can license this story through AP Archive:… Find out more about AP Archive:


Published on Jul 21, 2015

Korean/Nat Two former military strongmen, who led South Korea through one of its most turbulent eras in the 1980s, went on trial together over their bloody seizure of power 16 years ago. The two former South Korean presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo are accused of mutiny and treason and their appearance in court provoked an angry demonstration outside

Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo wearing prisoners’ uniforms and white rubber shoes were led into the packed courtroom. The two former army generals had arrived at the court five minutes apart. Surrounded by about a dozen court officials, they did not answer any questions by reporters. Unlike most other prisoners, they were not handcuffed, apparently out of deference to their former positions. It is the first time in South Korean history that two former presidents have faced trial together for alleged wrongdoing in office. They are charged with mutiny and treason and are already on trial separately on charges of bribery. The two ex-presidents, childhood friends and later military companions, sat side by side in the first row of the defendants’ seats. More than 200 spectators, family members and reporters are here for “the trial of the century” as the local media have dubbed it. One of those watching the trial closely is Kang Wee-seuk who writes for Taiwan’s Joong-Ang Daily News. Kang says the trial is unique and that in every aspect that it is a “global trial”. He said the Korean people are behind this “historical correcting” process because of their concern for the future but he also expressed sympathy for those on trial. SOUNDBITE: (Korean ) This is the first step into correcting what is bad in the history of 20th century. In some sense, the two people on trial are the sacrificial lamb in the cleansing process.” SUPERCAPTION: Kang Wee-seuk, Joong-Ang Daily News However, the consensus seems to be that this trial is inevitable and that it had to happen. Outside the courtroom, emotions were running high and at least six people were arrested by police as they tried to throw rocks and eggs toward the two ex-presidents’ buses. Dozens of other protesters shouted for the men’s deaths. If convicted they may indeed face the death penalty, but execution is considered unlikely. SOUNDBITE: (Korean) The present government should not use this trial to their advantage. Instead, they should allow the lawyers to conduct a fair and just trial.” SUPER CAPTION: Roh Byung-chan, Businessman The two former generals are accused of masterminding a 1979 coup that brought them to power, and a bloody military crackdown several months later that killed 240 pro-democracy protesters. Their trial on mutiny and treason charges is the most striking development in current President Kim Young-sam’s efforts to come to terms with South Korea’s recent history of corruption, successive coups and harsh, authoritarian rule. Chun, president from 1980 to 1988, seized power in a coup following the assassination of his and Roh’s mentor, President Park Chung-hee, by Park’s intelligence chief in late 1979. Roh succeeded Chun as president from 1988 to 1993. Prosecutors say Chun’s taking of power was a mutiny because his junta arrested the then martial law commander at gunpoint before forcing President Choi to approve the arrest. Chun has denied the charges, saying that his group, leading the military’s investigation of Park’s assassination, found the martial law commander involved in corruption and that Choi was not under duress when he approved the arrest. You can license this story through AP Archive:… Find out more about AP Archive:

Published on Mar 13, 2017

두 번째 청와대 퇴거…38년 만의 비극 되풀이 This is not the first time Park Geun-hye had to leave the Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae. Thirty-eight years ago,… she left following the assassination of her father Park Chung-hee a highly controversial leader. Kim Min-ji zooms in on the dejavu. Park Geun-hye arrived at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae for the first time back in 1963,… when her father Park Chung-hee was elected the fifth president of South Korea. Sixteen years later, on October 26th, 1979,… the elder Park was assassinated,… and Park Geun-hye was forced to leave the presidential compound along with her sister and brother. Together, the three siblings moved to their private residence in Sindang-dong near central Seoul. “The two daughters have left the top office, escorted by Cheong Wa Dae officials.” Later, Park moved to her current home in Samseong-dong, where she lived in seclusion for 18 years before stepping into politics in 1998. Fifteen years after that, due in part to the political experience she’d gained serving as first lady after her mother was assassinated,… Park returned to the top office in 2013 after her election as the 18th president of South Korea. “I am here with the determination to open a new generation of hope.” And now, with 11 months left in her term, Park has been forced to leave the top office once again… as the first president to be impeached… after one of the biggest political scandals in Korea’s modern history. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Visit ‘Arirang News’ Official Pages Facebook(NEWS):



Related stories will follow after a coffee break –


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