Chun Doo-hwan vs. Kim Jong Un

What's the Difference?

Chun Doo-hwan and Kim Jong Un are both controversial political figures in East Asia. Chun Doo-hwan was a military dictator who ruled South Korea in the 1980s, while Kim Jong Un is the current leader of North Korea. Both leaders have been accused of human rights abuses and maintaining oppressive regimes. However, Kim Jong Un's regime is known for its extreme isolation and nuclear ambitions, while Chun Doo-hwan's rule was marked by economic growth and modernization in South Korea. Despite their differences, both leaders have faced international criticism for their authoritarian tactics and disregard for democratic principles.


AttributeChun Doo-hwanKim Jong Un
CountrySouth KoreaNorth Korea
PositionPresidentSupreme Leader
Years in Power1980-19882011-present
Political PartyDemocratic Justice PartyWorkers' Party of Korea
Birth Year19311983

Further Detail


Chun Doo-hwan was a South Korean military general and dictator who served as the President of South Korea from 1980 to 1988. He came to power through a military coup and ruled with an iron fist, cracking down on dissent and opposition. Kim Jong Un, on the other hand, is the current Supreme Leader of North Korea, succeeding his father Kim Jong Il in 2011. He is known for his repressive regime and nuclear ambitions.

Leadership Style

Chun Doo-hwan ruled South Korea with an authoritarian style, suppressing political opposition and dissent. He implemented martial law and cracked down on pro-democracy movements, leading to the Gwangju Uprising in 1980 where hundreds of civilians were killed. Kim Jong Un, similarly, rules North Korea with an iron fist, maintaining a cult of personality and punishing any form of dissent. He has been accused of human rights abuses and maintaining prison camps for political prisoners.

International Relations

Chun Doo-hwan's regime in South Korea faced criticism for its human rights abuses and lack of democracy. However, he also oversaw economic growth and improved relations with the United States. Kim Jong Un, on the other hand, has faced international condemnation for his nuclear weapons program and provocative actions, such as missile tests. He has met with world leaders like Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, but tensions with countries like the United States and South Korea remain high.

Economic Policies

Chun Doo-hwan's regime in South Korea implemented economic reforms that led to rapid industrialization and economic growth. However, this growth came at the expense of political freedoms and labor rights. Kim Jong Un, on the other hand, has focused on developing North Korea's nuclear capabilities at the expense of its economy. The country faces widespread poverty and food shortages, despite Kim Jong Un's efforts to modernize certain sectors of the economy.


Chun Doo-hwan's legacy in South Korea is a controversial one, with many remembering him for the Gwangju Uprising and his authoritarian rule. However, he also oversaw economic growth and paved the way for South Korea's transition to democracy in the late 1980s. Kim Jong Un's legacy in North Korea is still unfolding, but he is likely to be remembered for his nuclear ambitions and repressive regime. The future of North Korea under his leadership remains uncertain.

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