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Chun not eligible for burial at national cemetery: veterans ministry

All News 14:20 November 23, 2021

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- Late former President Chun Doo-hwan is not eligible for burial at a state cemetery reserved for national heroes due to his past treason conviction despite a special pardon given to him, the veterans affairs ministry said Tuesday.

Chun, a general-turned-strongman who ruthlessly suppressed a pro-democracy civil uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju in 1980, died at his home in western Seoul earlier in the day after battling chronic ailments.

"As former President Chun was given a prison term for treason, he is subject to exclusion from the list of those to be buried at a national cemetery," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

In 1996, Chun was convicted of treason and sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life imprisonment.

Though Chun was granted a pardon in 1997, the justice ministry believes that the pardon does not enable him to be laid to rest at a national cemetery.

His successor, Roh Tae-woo, who died at 88 last month, was also deprived of such a privilege on the same grounds.

The ministry, meanwhile, said there are three more areas reserved for late presidents at the national cemetery in the central city of Daejeon, while the cemetery in Seoul has no vacancies.

There are currently two living former presidents: Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.

In this file photo dated Aug. 9, 2021, former President Chun Doo-hwan (C), escorted by security guards, leaves a district court in the southwestern city of Gwangju after attending an appellate trial on the charge of libel. Chun, a general-turned-strongman who seized power through a 1979 military coup and ruthlessly quelled a pro-democracy civil uprising in the city the following year, died on Nov. 23, 2021, aides said. He was 90. (Yonhap)


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