Why did Chun Doo-hwan implement the 3S policy? The story of the start of professional baseball and soccer in the 1980s


Chun Doo-hwan came to power after a coup and massacre
Although the 3S policy was implemented for the purpose of
Jaya National Literature, Film, Madang Drama

‘Gukpung 81’ was held at Yeouido Plaza in 1981. yunhap news

For Chun Doo-hwan, the massacre in May was a memory that must be erased. It is no coincidence that ‘National Pung 81’, which is known to have been planned by Heo Moon-do, then the Blue House press secretary, was held on May 28, the first anniversary of the Gwangju Democratization Movement. ‘Gukpung 81’ held events such as song festivals, theater festivals, academic festivals, traditional culture such as nongak, mask dance, and national archery, as well as food from each country. The best musicians such as Cho Yong-pil and Great Birth, Shin Shin-hyun and Music Power, Song Chang-sik, and Kim Chang-wan were sung. There is also a record that about 6,000 college students from 250 clubs in 197 universities across the country participated. It was a control event to divert the public’s attention away from politics and to record the greatest festival since the founding of the country. Rather than justifying the regime, Chun Doo-hwan, who started as a massacre, has ironically brought various changes in his ‘culture’. The intention was to deceive the public through the so-called S Sex, Screen, Sports policies, such as the start of professional sports, easing censorship in fields other than politics, and lifting the night curfew, but the results were somewhat different. The eased oppression did not deprive the masses of the masses, but went in the direction of promoting aspirations for democracy and a sense of freedom. The masses are not stupid enough to go unconditionally in the direction the government wants them to go, nor are they a wise group that always makes the right choices. They make history by making important choices sometimes. Although at times they retreat and self-destruct.

'Gukpung 81' was held at Yeouido Plaza in 1981.  yunhap news

‘Gukpung 81’ was held at Yeouido Plaza in 1981. yunhap news

It was the lifting of the night curfew in January 1982 that Chun Doo-hwan’s relaxed cultural policy became visible. The lifting of the curfew created a new space called midnight. Late-night theaters, late-night coffee shops, street food stalls, and late-night tours have emerged. And on March 27, professional baseball was launched. After that, the professional soccer super league, basketball club, and folk wrestling followed. Roh Tae-woo was appointed as the first sports minister, and preparations for the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympic Games were carried out relentlessly. Just as Hitler hosted the 1936 Berlin Olympics and attempted to promote fake national unity and a cunning dictatorship, professional baseball and basketball quickly established themselves as entertainment for all citizens through the revitalization of professional sports. It is also said that Chun Doo-hwan’s preference as a football fanatic led to the activation of sports. A certain degree of freedom was given to the film industry as well. The opening of small theaters was made possible, and censorship was relatively relaxed. During the Park Chung-hee regime, film studios were licensed. After the Yushin Constitution was passed, the film law amended in 1973 required a deposit to establish a film company. Only 12 studios that re-registered were permitted, ignoring the existing license. If they made three films, they were given the right to import one foreign currency. At that time, the film law was not a law for the promotion of films, but a means to thoroughly control film history. The censorship was so severe that not only political material but also anything that showed social problems or reality was banned.

Chun Doo-hwan throws the pitch.  Saved from the website of the Presidential Archives

Chun Doo-hwan throws the pitch. Saved from the website of the Presidential Archives

In that sense, Chun Doo-hwan was blatant and childish. While allowing sports and entertainment, they committed ruthless violence if they threatened political power. Worldwide, 3S is also a policy that matches the frivolous and flashy spirit of the 1980s. Compared to the Yushin regime, Chun Doo-hwan released sports and entertainment somewhat freely. Adult films have since shaken up the Korean film industry. 35 out of 56 Korean films in 1982 and over 60 out of 80 Korean films produced in 1985 were adult films. However, if you consider (1984), (1985), (1985), and (1985), great works appeared in adult films as well. When censorship is eased, the scope of imagination and thinking is bound to expand. The increase in adult films at that time is also related to the expansion of the video market. Adult series such as , , and swept the video market.

Poster for the movie

movie poster.

The Chun Doo-hwan administration tried a policy of giving a little breath to sports and popular culture and injecting a controlled national culture. Everything had to be contradictory. While giving freedom, they were not allowed to cross a certain line, and while insisting on national culture, they suppressed the ‘national culture’ of universities and colleges. It is a famous comedy to use three horses (้บป) because the use of horses is prohibited in the title of . Isn’t it more dangerous for a woman who loved hemp instead of horses? Even in the movement that calls for democratization, we aimed for a culture that reflects our reality and emphasizes national sentiment, such as national literature, national films, and madang plays. Even though they used the same words for freedom and nation, their intentions and territories were inevitably different. However, the cultural policy of the Chun Doo-hwan administration was primarily aimed at making people less vulnerable. This is because the purpose of diverting attention to politics to the other side is clearly indicated. There may be a reason why it was burdensome to maintain the regime in the same way because of public anger against the Yushin. He would have mobilized any means to maintain the regime established by coups and massacres. However, even if the 3S policy is basically maintained, the public does not necessarily follow their purpose. Finally, there was the June Uprising in 1987, and 10 years later, there was a change of government, and institutional democracy was also established. If so, shouldn’t it be said that policies and the world have also changed according to the change of consciousness and demands of the public? The reason why Korean culture is shaking the world right now must be at the root of the achievement of democracy. Kim Bong-seok, pop culture critic


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