Steve Carrol, one of the Great Old Ones of the IKK, sent me a reminder that today is the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Park Chung-hee.
Here is a contemporary account from Time Magazine:
At around 6 p.m., Park went to dine with some close associates at a small house connected with the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, inside the Blue House compound.
The host was KCIA Director Kim Jae Kyu, 53. He is a former general and, as one diplomat who knew both men well put it, "a close, long-term chum and adviser in whom Park had a lot of confidence." The other guests were Park's chief security officer, Cha Chi Chul, an even closer adviser, and Park's staff secretary-general, Kim Kae Won.
Park's bodyguards ushered the President to the dining room, then prepared to cool their heels outside. The dining room was small, only 12 by 10½ ft. The four companions arranged themselves around the large, round central table; Park sat at the head, across from Kim Kae Won. The host was on Park's left, with his back to the door, directly across the table from Cha. Scotch whisky flowed freely.
According to the official account, a fierce argument erupted between the intelligence chief and Cha. Kim, a relative moderate, made a last-minute plea to Park to ease his harsh treatment of unruly dissidents. Cha chided Kim for his softness. At about 6:50 p.m., said a high government investigator, Kim left the dining room to meet two co-conspirators and told them, "I will finish them off tonight, so when you hear the gunshots inside, finish off the presidential bodyguard outside.''
Next Kim climbed the stairs to his own office, stuck a pistol in his waistband and returned to the dining room. He listened silently while Cha lambasted him.
He left the room again and spoke with his aides yet another time. Five minutes later, he returned to the table, pulled the .38 revolver and, according to the government investigator, ''cursed, fired the first shot at Cha and then fired at Park.''
Park was hit three times; one bullet struck him in the chest, penetrating to the spine, at least one other in the head. Cha was mortally wounded. Hearing the first shot, five KCIA agents armed with pistols and an M-16 automatic rifle rushed in and gunned down three of Park's bodyguards waiting in the kitchen and two others in another room. They killed four and wounded the fifth.
Kim was later executed.
The assassination was also the subject of a recent movie.