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Ex-President Chun diagnosed with blood cancer: sources

Former President Chun Doo-hwan (C) leaves an appellate court in Gwangju, southwestern South Korea, in the Aug. 9, 2021, file photo, 25 minutes after the hearing began citing health issues. (Yonhap)
Former President Chun Doo-hwan (C) leaves an appellate court in Gwangju, southwestern South Korea, in the Aug. 9, 2021, file photo, 25 minutes after the hearing began citing health issues. (Yonhap)
Former President Chun Doo-hwan has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The 90-year-old former military strongman has been hospitalized in Yonsei Severance Hospital in western Seoul since he returned from a 660-kilometer round trip to the southwestern city of Gwangju to attend an appellate court hearing on a defamation case.

The gaunt-looking Chun appeared at the Gwangju District Court's appellate division on Aug. 9 and left the courtroom only 25 minutes after the hearing began citing breathing difficulties. He answered some of the judge's questions with the help of his wife and was seen dozing off.

"(Chun) has been in bad health for a while," his close aide told Yonhap News by phone. "He is expected to be hospitalized for a while."

The former Army general seized power in a 1979 military coup and served as president from 1980 to 1988. He was convicted on treason and bribery charges, as well as other civil lawsuits, after his presidency. (Yonhap)

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