SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Former President Chun Doo-hwan will apologize, give most of his wealth to the government and leave Seoul in an effort to quiet complaints about his alleged involvement in corruption, aides said Friday.
A four-day parliamentary hearing opened into Chun's role in the bloody suppression of an uprising in the southern city of Kwangju in 1980.One aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the former president would announce his decision at a news conference next week. "He will make a public apology, give up most of his wealth and live in seclusion somewhere in the countryside," the aide said.
Another said Chun would live in an isolated, rented house in central South Korea instead of going to his hometown in the south, where he is no longer welcome. Living in rural seclusion is a traditional way of repentance for disgraced Korean leaders.
The mass-circulation paper Hankook Ilbo, quoting a government source it did not identify, said President Roh Tae-woo is expected to pardon him if Chun carries out the plan.
Widespread protests have occurred in the past two months to demand the former president's arrest and punishment for alleged corruption and human rights violations.
Gen. Chun seized power in 1980 and left office in February. Roh, an associate in the coup and his chosen successor, was elected to replace Chun.
Nine members of Chun's family, including two brothers, have been arrested on corruption charges. Chun is accused of amassing a fortune and sending some of it for investment in the United States and Australia.
The extent of his wealth is not known, but one estimate has put it at $6 million, including a $1.4 million home in Seoul.
In the National Assembly investigation, opposition leader Kim Dae-jung testified that Kwangju revolt was a decoy plotted by Chun and his military associates to seize power in the chaotic days that followed the assassination of President Park Chung-hee in late 1979.
Kim also accused the United States "of taking a bystander's role" in the uprising.