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[Newsmaker] Ex-president Chun Doo-hwan's grandson slams his family

Junior Chun claims his family is spending 'black money,' accuses acquaintances of crimes

By Kim So-hyun

Published : March 15, 2023 - 10:56

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Chun Woo-won's Instagram Chun Woo-won's Instagram

A grandson of the late former President Chun Doo-hwan alleged that his family was living on illicit funds, has committed crimes and called his grandfather a “slaughterer,” in a shocking Instagram disclosure Tuesday.

Chun Woo-won, the second son of the ex-president’s son, Jae-yong, uploaded video clips and posts on his Instagram account, in which he introduced himself as such and confessed the purported wrongdoings of his family. The posts included photos of his family, the interior of his late grandfather’s house and profiles of acquaintances.

The father, Chun Jae-yong, dismissed his son's posting spree, saying in an interview with a local media outlet that Woo-won was ill and that it was his fault that he did not take care of his son.

Former President Chun, who served from 1980 to 1988 and died in late 2021, was a military dictator who was sentenced to death for his role in the 1980 Gwangju Massacre that resulted in the deaths of at least hundreds.

The court ordered him to pay 220.5 billion won ($169 million) upon his bribery conviction, but he left 95.6 billion won unpaid. He was criticized for saying he only had 290,000 won, even as he was seen playing golf with his aides frequently.

On Instagram, Woo-won said he wants to help bring to light the crimes his family was committing.

“I think my grandfather was a slaughterer. He is not a hero that defended his country, but merely a criminal,” he said.

“My father and stepmother are spending black money, the sources of which are unknown, to lead their lives.”

He added that his father, Jae-yong, was allegedly “fabricating papers to conceal his crimes in South Korea to gain US citizenship, fraudulently saying that he is a Christian preacher.”

“Please help so that he cannot come to the US to use secret funds hidden somewhere and pretend to be good and commit devilish acts. I beg of you. I’m also a sinner, and I will pay for my sins.”

Woo-won also claimed that his uncle, the ex-president’s third son Chun Jae-man, was running a winery in Napa Valley.

“A winery is a business area one cannot enter without astronomical amounts of money. It smells like black money,” he said.

To prove his identity, Woo-won uploaded his driving license, Korean resident registration papers and photos from his childhood with his grandfather.

He also disclosed documents that showed Chun’s children and grandchildren gave up their inheritance, and records of his medical treatment that showed that he is fit to work, adding that his family was likely to claim that he is mentally ill. He said he was working in the strategic consulting department of consulting firm EY in New York.

Woo-won also uploaded a clip of a woman playing screen golf, which he said had taken place within the ex-president’s house in Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, and claimed that the woman was his grandmother, Lee Soon-ja.

Woo-won said he had tried to take his own life to “get out of his sins and pain.”

He said he was diagnosed with depression and ADHD in January last year, received treatment, and was hospitalized for a long time until he was told he was OK, and has been working for the past few months.

Woo-won went on to disclose the names, photos and profiles of the Instagram accounts of his acquaintances, alleging that they did drugs or committed sex crimes. Some of the acquaintances' posts were then deleted.

Chun Jae-yong said his son had suffered greatly from depression, and was fine until last week. Woo-won had “changed abruptly from Monday” and started calling him a “devil,” Jae-yong said.

Jae-yong also apologized to his son's acquaintances who were mentioned on Instagram.