Coup of 1549

From Themys Project
Coup of 1549
2.13 군사정변
Part of Third Republic

A view of Daedo's older city quarters after coup forces assume control over Daedo, four hours after the beginning of the coup.
DateFebruary 13, 1549 AC
Location
Result

Coup d'etat successful

Belligerents
Zhenia Front of National Salvation
Zhenia Third Zhenian Republic
Zhenia Second Zhenian Republic
Commanders and leaders
Zhenia Kim Shimin Zhenia Choi Yoondeok
Units involved
12th Division
606th Specialized Operations Unit
Veterans of the former Republic of Zhenia Army
Various unconfirmed units
Zhenia Various guards of governmental buildings
Various unconfirmed units
Strength
156 vehicles
6,000+ personnel
71 vehicles
1,300 personnel
Casualties and losses
12 dead, 130 wounded 77 dead, 239 wounded, hundreds captured as POW

The Coup of 1549, often referred to some as the Revolution of 1549 or the February 13 Coup d'etat (Zhenian: 2.13 군사정변), was a successful coup d'etat by a set of paramilitary organizations in Zhenia, organized and carried out by numerous Zhenian military leaders including Kim Shimin, who, after disbanding the Front of National Salvation following the success of the coup, later formed the National Reconstruction Council and eventually the Third Republic. The coup successfully removed then-Chancellor Choi Yoondeok out of power and the eventual end of the Second Republic, with the government to be temporarily replaced by the National Reconstruction Council. The coup is directly continuous with the Second Zhenian Civil War, a short military conflict involving the Coup forces and remaining Second Republic factions within Zhenia.

Provoked by the dissent of former Zhenian military commanders after the Zhenian defeat of the Second Great War, the coup drew support from a vast majority of the then-resurrected Republic of Zhenia Armed Police Forces, while the remaining portion of military leaders that resisted the coup were executed or dishonorably discharged as per the National Security Act. The success of the coup resulted in the dominance of a developmentalist elite in Zhenian politics, as well as the foundations for an era of Zhenian economic resurrection known as the Miracle of the Danbon River. Although Kim Shimin is regarded as overall positive among Zhenians, the nature of the coup as a revolution remains to be contested.

Background

Planning and Organization

Course of events

On 1:00 AM, Kim Shimin arrived at the base of the 606th Special Operations Unit in Seoan-gu district and assumed control over the unit as previously planned. The unit, comprising largely of Army and Marine Corps veterans that had been under Kim's command during the Second Great War, welcomed the change in commands. Using the units, he rapidly took control over the Armed Police Headquarters in Seoan-gu by 3:00 AM, following a brief skirmish against Armed Police guards around the complex. After hearing word of the skirmish from his residence in Shinsa-gu district, Cheon Minkyu, then-Chief of the Armed Police Forces, reported the events to then-Chancellor Choi Yoondeok, who had eschewed the event and called on to report to him directly the next morning. It is said that Cheon had contacted other key figures, including then-Premier Heo Changdeuk, then-Minister of Defense Kim Wangyu, both of which were not reachable via phone. This was possible due to the preemptive seizure of the city's central communication network at the hands of unconfirmed units and former Army veterans affiliated with the National Telecommunications Corporation around four hours before the beginning of the coup.

Around 4:04 AM in Daedo, the 606th Special Operations Unit, after Kim Shimin had assumed control over it, departed from Seoan-gu and made their way northeast towards Sudo-gu district. Although a more direct path from their base to Sudo-gu were to take around 20 minutes, the unit decided otherwise and instead took a route that detoured through Haseo-gu and Habuk-gu districts, effectively bypassing the Allied base in modern-day Hanam-gu district. As the first invasion forces of the coup set to reach Sudo-gu district, they crossed into the district on 4:43 AM, receiving almost no armed resistance until Sudo-gu district amid the dark. Much of the unit was in charge of preemptively seizing key government buildings alongside the 12th Division, including the National Parliament Hall, while they surrounded the Daeseong Palace by 5:02 AM. On 5:04 AM, four searchlights were installed in each direction surrounding the Arch of Zhenian Unification and were lit up, symbolizing the effective capture of Daedo's Sudo-gu district.

Meanwhile, by 4:15 AM, the 12th Division of the Armed Police Forces, stationed in southeastern Daedo across the Danbon River from Daeseong Palace, had already started mobilizing around Sudo-gu district and surrounding areas. By 5:00 AM, they closed the bridges that crossed the Danbon River and surrounding bodies of water into other districts, while also preemptively assuming control over tunnels and Daedo Metro lines that went through the district, thus effectively closing Sudo-gu from the rest of Daedo. While much of the 12th Division surrounded and closed Sudo-gu from the rest of the city, some units were diverted to areas of significance around the city, including Embassy Quarter and the Financial District in Shinsa-gu. Although most of the action was centered around Daedo, similar events occurred in many major Zhenian cities, spearheaded by former RZDF veterans and Armed Police Units loyal to the Front of National Salvation.

By 5:05 AM, Choi Yoondeok, who had been in the Daeseong Palace at the time, woke to the sound of gunfire around the Daeseong Palace, a reminder of the skirmish between the coup forces and the Palace Guards.

On 5:52 AM, Kim Shimin, after assuming control of Sudo district and most facilities of government in Sudo-gu, arrived at the headquarters of the state-owned Zhenia Broadcasting System, while additional forces and veterans involved in the coup began to assemble around various points in the city. Seizing the building with former Army and Marine Corps veterans, he issued a proclamation announcing the seizure of power by the Front of National Salvation, as well as policy objectives of the coup and ask of cooperation from the people:

Through the dawn of this day, the Armed Police Forces and veterans of the former Republic of Zhenia Defense Forces have decreed that they can no longer restrain themselves against the maladministration and the chaos the current regime has given upon the Republic of Zhenia, and thus they have led a concerted operation around the capital city to seize full control over the three branches of Government. The Armed Police Forces and veterans of the former [Republic of Zhenia] Defense Forces will create the National Reconstruction Council to utterly replace the functions of the Government, as the fate of Zhenia and the Zhenian people cannot be entrusted to the incompetent Second Republic and its politicians.

In addition to the announcement of the coup itself, the broadcast went on to lay out the key policy objectives of the coup, notably the restoration of the liberal democratic system that had been in place during the First Republic, the reconstruction of a post-war Zhenia both economically and politically, the removal of political corruption, poverty and "backward policies" in place since the Second Republic. The broadcast also declared martial law around Zhenia, which was expanded onto a nationwide martial law two hours later. By broadcasting the announcement nationwide via the state-owned broadcaster, Kim Shimin had effectively marked his name to the Zhenian public and allowed for a majority of the Zhenian public to support the coup.

By 7:20 AM, coup forces have captured several key points around most of Daedo, including ports, airfields, major railway stations and key checkpoints throughout the city.

On 8:00 AM, it is said that military police units throughout many of the nation's major cities began to mobilize towards broadcasting stations, power stations, oil depots and major ports of entry, indicating that the coup had been a well-concerted and coordinated effort throughout the nation as a whole. It was later clarified that the mobilization of military police throughout major cities aside from Daedo had been a preemptive measure to minimize resistance to the coup outside of Daedo.

Aftermath

Consolidation and power struggle

While coup-affiliated forces had successfully captured most of Daedo

Allied response to the coup

Establishment of the Third Republic

Legacy and evaluation, and legitimacy

The Coup of 1549 is today regarded as the key event that marked the end of the Second Republic and the beginning of the Third Republic.

Prior to official discourse before the November Revolution and during the Third Republic, the coup was officially referred to as the "February 13 Revolution" (Zhenian: 2월 13일 혁명) or the "Second Revolution" in relation to the December Revolution that preceded it 50 years ago. This was at an attempt to provide further legitimacy to the Third Republic and ultimately Kim Shimin himself, having equalized the coup to an event that is almost consecrated in modern Zhenian history. Thus, the Third Republic commemorated the coup as a key turning point in the nation's modern history, claiming the coup itself was the 'first shots of Zhenian resurgence' that followed throughout the Third Republic.

Following the November Revolution, official discourse regarding the intention, process and outcomes of the coup as well as the Second Zhenian Civil War began, with some extreme tracts concluding that the coup itself was an "illegitimate disposal of an otherwise legitimate and internationally approved government of Zhenia".

See Also