Chung Il-kwon

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Chung.
Chung Il-kwon
PM Chung.jpg
General Chung Il-kwon
Born (1917-11-21)November 21, 1917
Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai, Russia
Died January 17, 1994(1994-01-17) (aged 76)
Hawaii, United States
Allegiance  Empire of Japan
 South Korea
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Army
 Republic of Korea Army
Years of service 1937-1957
Rank General
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
Korean War
Other work politician, cabinet minister, South Korean prime minister
Chung Il-kwon
Hangul 정일권
Revised Romanization Jeong Il-gwon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Il-gwŏn
Pen name
Hangul 청사
Revised Romanization Chungsa
McCune–Reischauer Chungsa
Courtesy name
Hangul 일진
Revised Romanization Il-jin
McCune–Reischauer IlChin
Japanese name:
Nakashima Ikken (?)

Chung Il-kwon (Korean: 정일권; Hanja: 丁一權, November 21, 1917 – January 17, 1994) was a South Korean politician, diplomat and soldier. A general in the Republic of Korea Army, he served as Foreign Minister of Korea 1963 to 1964, and Prime Minister of South Korea from 1964 to 1970. He was one of allies of President Park Chung-hee.

His penname was Chungsa (Korean: 청사).

Early life and education[edit]

Chung was born in Ussuriysk in Primorsky Krai, Russia, where his father worked as an interpreter for the Imperial Russian Army. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, his father moved the family to Kyongwon County, North Hamgyong province in Korea. However, in 1930, the family relocated to what is now Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Manchuria, where Chung grew up in extreme poverty.


However, due to his excellent grades in school, Chung won a place at the Manchukuo Imperial Army academy in Mukden, from which he graduated in September 1937. Again, his performance was regarded as excellent, and he was sent on to attend the 55th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Tokyo, where he specialized in cavalry operations. He subsequently graduated from the Army Staff College. During the Pacific War, he served in the Imperial Japanese Army as a captain in the Kempeitai in Manchukuo. Following the Soviet invasion of Manchuria at the end of World War II, he was briefly captured by Soviet forces.

Chung was in Hawaii undergoing military training at the start of the Korean War. He arrived in Korea on June 30, and was immediately promoted to major general and replaced General Chae Byeong Deok as commander of the Republic of Korea Army. His initial responsibilities included regrouping the routed Korean military forces and coordinating their efforts with the United Nations command. He returned to the United States for additional training in July 1951 following the National Defense Corps Incident and the Geochang massacre. However, on his return in July 1952 he was demoted by President Syngman Rhee to a divisional command and sent to a front-line combat unit. Three months later, he was promoted to deputy commander of the IX Corps (United States) commanding front line UN forces in numerous offensives and counteroffensives. Three months after this, he was again promoted to command the Korean II Corps, which he held until the end of the war.[1]

After retiring in 1957, he served as South Korea's ambassador to Turkey. In 1960, he was appointed ambassador to France, and then served as ambassador to the United States from 1960-1961 and 1962-1963. From 1963-1964 Chung served as Foreign Minister of South Korea and was Prime minister of South Korea from 1964 to 1970.

From 1971, Chung served as a member of the Natinal Assembly from the Democratic Republican Party for three consecutive terms. He also served as chairman in the ninth National Assembly of 1973-1979.

In March 1991, Chung received treatment for lymph cancer in Hawaii. Although he continued political activities in 1992 for the Democratic Republican Party in 1993, particularly in support of Kim Young-sam during the 1992 Korean presidential election, he was re-hospitalized in Hawaii in January 1994 due to cancer, and died there. He received a state funeral and was buried at the National Cemetery in Seoul.


  • War and Ceasefire (전쟁과 휴전)
  • Chung Il-kwon's Memoir (정일권 회고록, 丁一權 回顧綠)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Varhola, Michael J (2000). Fire and Ice: The Korean War, 1950-1953. Da Capo Press. ISBN 1882810449.  page 205

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Choi Du-sun
Prime Minister of South Korea
1964 - 1970
Succeeded by
Baik Duzin
Preceded by
Yang Yu-chan
Republic of Korea Ambassador to USA
1960 - 1961
Succeeded by
Chang Li-wook
Preceded by
Chang Li-wook
Republic of Korea Ambassador to USA
1962 - 1963
Succeeded by
Kim Jeong-ryul
Preceded by
Kim Yong-sik
Foreign minister of South Korea
1963 - 1964
Succeeded by
Lee Dong-won
Preceded by
Lee Dong-won
Foreign minister of South Korea
1966 - 1967
Succeeded by
Choi Kyu-hah