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  • The Fifth Republic of South Korea was the government of South Korea from 1979 to 1987, replacing the Fourth Republic of South Korea. Throughout this period, the government was controlled by Chun Doo-hwan, a military colleague of the assassinated president Park Chung-hee. This period saw extensive efforts at reform. It laid the foundations for the relatively stable democratic system of the subsequent Sixth Republic in 1987. After the assassination of Park by Kim Jae-kyu in 1979, a vocal civil society emerged that led to strong protests against authoritarian rule. Composed primarily of university students and labor unions, protests reached a climax after Major General Chun Doo-hwan's 1979 Coup d'état of December Twelfth and declaration of martial law on May 17. The expanded martial law closed universities, banned political activities and further curtailed the press. The event of May 17 means the beginning of another military dictatorship. On May 18, 1980, a confrontation broke out in the city of Gwangju between civilians and armed forces, with the military forces winning out nine days later on May 27. Immediate estimates of the civilian death toll ranged from a few dozen to 2000, with a later full investigation by the civilian government finding 606 deaths. Wikipedia

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