‘Frog Emperor’ Chun Doo-hwan dies aged 90

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Chun Doo-hwan and his wife, Kon Eun-taek, in 2014

South Korea’s “Frog Emperor” has died at the age of 90.

Chun Doo-hwan led South Korea in 1962 during the country’s “transition from dictatorship to democracy”.

He ruled the country until 1997, when he stepped down after widespread protests demanding an end to his rule.

He was the subject of protests throughout his rule in order to call for human rights and democracy in the country.

Chun was also ousted from office at a summit with US President Bill Clinton in 1997 in which the nations agreed on a package of economic, security and political cooperation.

The package included plans for improved relations between the US and South Korea, laying the ground for the North-South nuclear crisis, which began in 2003.

We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Chun Doo-hwan. — UN & KORUS (@UN_KORUS) October 8, 2017

Chun’s death is expected to have a major impact on South Korea’s presidential race.

Moon Jae-in, who was imprisoned under Chun’s rule, is a front-runner, backed by the ruling party. But there are signs that rivals believe that a strong emphasis on Chun is crucial for electoral success in the presidential election on 9 May.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is also likely to make a reference to Chun, who took power in a military coup in 1961.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Kim Jong-un (right) appears to be criticising Chun on Twitter

The dictator began his military career after his father Kim Il-sung died, serving in the special forces of North Korea’s military before taking power.

But the dictator’s rule was steeped in corruption, with a body of reports and other documents published by the press claiming that more than two million people had died in police torture, killings and massacres.

Kim started his rule in 1963 with the country under martial law and the government decapded into seven special units, set up by the dictator’s allies and allies.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Kim Jong-un is pictured making a speech about the relationship between South Korea and North Korea in 2012

The dictator was in charge of the units where most of the deaths took place.

Even after his ousting in 1997, his party maintained the rakyat clak – a supportive reference to “the people” – as a slogan for their candidates and campaign posters depicting him and the late leader.

Image copyright AP Image caption Tens of thousands of people protested against Chun Doo-hwan in South Korea in 1997

Although his death on Sunday evening is likely to have no impact on South Korea’s political crisis, his image and approval ratings have been plummeting in recent weeks.

Kim Jong-un earlier this month tweeted a message of support in which he appeared to criticise the South Korean leader’s administration.

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