SOUTH KOREA UNDER PARK CHUNG HEE, 1961-79
The junta under Park Chung Hee quickly consolidated its
power, removed those it considered corrupt and unqualified from
government and army positions, and laid plans for the future. The
thirty-two-member Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
(SCNR) became all-powerful.
The Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) was created in
June 1961 to prevent a countercoup and to suppress all potential
enemies. It was to have not only investigative power, but also
the power to arrest and detain anyone suspected of wrongdoing or
harboring antijunta sentiments. The KCIA extended its power to
economic and foreign affairs under its first director, Colonel
(retired) Kim Chong-p'il, a relative of Park, and one of the
original planners of the coup against Chang.
In May 1961, the junta pledged to make an all-out effort to
build a self-reliant economy and to carry out a "great human
revolution" by wiping out all corruption and evil practices in
the government and by introducing a "fresh and clean morality."
The National Assembly was dissolved and high-level civilian
officials were replaced by military officers. By 1963 the junta's
economic policies had not produced any favorable results.
The KCIA under Kim Chong-p'il was involved in a number of
scandals that considerably tarnished the junta's image. The
military leaders had worked actively to establish a political
party, later known as the Democratic Republican Party (DRP),
which existed from 1963 to 1980, preparation for the return of
politics to the civilians--but former politicians were prohibited
from engaging in organizational activities. Park announced in
February 1963 that he would not participate in civilian politics.
The following month, however, he announced a popular referendum
to decide whether the junta should extend its rule for another
four years. Facing stiff opposition from both the South Korean
public and the United States, the plan for a referendum was
Data as of June 1990