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South Korean dictator’s grandson offers apology for 1980 massacre

April 01, 2023

SEOUL: The grandson of former South Korean military dictator Chun Doo-hwan apologised on Friday for a massacre committed in the 1980s, a move hailed by victims and analysts as symbolic and significant.

Chun Woo-won, 27, became the first member of his family to visit the Gwangju cemetery and say sorry for the 1980 crackdown on a democracy uprising, which killed at least about 200 people, according to official estimates.

New York-based Chun has attracted widespread media coverage in South Korea for accusing his relatives of corruption in his Youtube and Instagram livestreams. During one social media broadcast, he claimed to have taken illegal narcotics and was arrested when he landed in Seoul Tuesday, but released the next day.

On Friday, Chun was seen in televised footage consoling massacre victims´ relatives. “I give my sincere apologies. I am sorry,” he said in South Korea´s Gwangju, looking visibly emotional.