List of Presidents of South Korea

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Presidential Standard and Seal of the President of South Korea
To avoid confusion, all the names on this list follow the Eastern order convention (family name first, given name second) for consistency.

Since the South Korea's founding in 1948, eleven people have served eighteen terms as President of South Korea. Under the Constitution of South Korea, the president is the country's head of state as well as its head of government. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.

The presidential term has been set at five years since 1988. It was previously set at four years from 1948 to 1972, six years from 1972 to 1981, and seven years from 1981 to 1988. Since 1981, the president has been barred from reelection. The president must be a South Korean citizen, at least 40 years old, who has lived in South Korea for 5 years.

List of presidents[edit]

  Conservative (current: Saenuri Party)   Liberal (current: Minjoo Party of Korea)   Military   Independent

No Picture Name Term Tenure Presidential mandate Affiliation
President of the First Republic
1 Rhee Syng-Man in 1956.jpg Rhee Syng-man
I Seungman
이승만
李承晩

(1875–1965)
1 24 July
1948
14 August
1952
1948 — 91.8% NARRKI [ko] (1948–1951)
Liberal Party (1951–1960)
2 15 August
1952
14 August
1956
1952 — 74.6%
3 15 August
1956
27 April
1960
1956 — 70.0%
1960 — 97.0%
The only President of the First Republic of Korea. The Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Forced to resign in the April Revolution of 1960.
During this interval, Prime Minister Heo Jeong (허정 / 許政) was Acting President.
President of the Second Republic
2 Yun Bo-seon.jpg Yun Bo-seon
Yun Boseon
윤보선
尹潽善

(1897–1990)
4 12 August
1960
24 March
1962
1960 — 82.2% Democratic Party (1960–1962)
New Democratic Party (1962)
The only President of the Second Republic of Korea. Park Chung-hee took de facto control over the country through the May 16 coup in 1961.
Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
Park Chung-hee 1963's.png Park Chung-hee
Bak Jeonghui
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
24 March
1962
17 December
1963
Acting President Military
Park Chung-hee was de facto leader of the country after leading the May 16 coup in 1961, which effectively overthrew the Second Republic of Korea. Park also became Acting President after Yun Bo-seon's resignation in 1962.
President of the Third Republic
3 Park Chung-hee 1963's.png Park Chung-hee
Bak Jeonghui
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
5 17 December
1963
30 June
1967
1963 — 46.6% Democratic Republican Party
6 1 July
1967
30 June
1971
1967 — 51.4%
7 1 July
1971
26 December
1972
1971 — 53.2%
The only President of the Third Republic of Korea. Successfully industrialized South Korea and improved the economy significantly. He also proposed a range of significant policies, movements, and diplomatic pacts that contributed to constructing modern South Korea.
Presidents of the Fourth Republic
(3) Park Chung-hee 1963's.png Park Chung-hee
Bak Jeonghui
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
8 27 December
1972
26 December
1978
1972 — 99.9% Democratic Republican Party
9 27 December
1978
26 October
1979
1978 — 99.9%
The first President of the Fourth Republic of Korea. Assassinated by Kim Jae-kyu, the director of Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA).
During this interval, Prime Minister Choi Kyu-hah (최규하 / 崔圭夏), was Acting President.
4 Choi Kyu Hah.png Choi Kyu-hah
Choe Gyuha
최규하
崔圭夏

(1919–2006)
10 6 December
1979
16 August
1980
1979 — 96.7% Independent
The second President of the Fourth Republic of Korea. Chun Doo-hwan took de facto control over the country by leading Coup d'état of December Twelfth in 1979. Presided at the time of the Gwangju Democratization Movement in 1980.
During this interval, Prime Minister Pak Choong-hoon (박충훈 / 朴忠勋), was Acting President.
5 Chun Doo-hwan.png Chun Doo-hwan
Jeon Duhwan
전두환
全斗煥

(1931–)
11 1 September
1980
25 February
1981
1980 — 99.9% Democratic Justice Party
The third President of the Fourth Republic of Korea.
President of the Fifth Republic
(5) Chun Doo-hwan.png Chun Doo-hwan
Jeon Duhwan
전두환
全斗煥

(1931–)
12 25 February
1981
24 February
1988
1981 — 90.2% Democratic Justice Party
The only President of the Fifth Republic of Korea.
Presidents of the Sixth Republic
6 Roh Tae-woo - cropped, 1989-Mar-13.jpg Roh Tae-woo
No Taeu
노태우
盧泰愚

(1932–)
13 25 February
1988
24 February
1993
1987 — 36.6%
8,282,738
Democratic Justice Party
The first President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea and the first president after the introduction of direct free and fair elections. Roh remained committed to democratic reforms, and also hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Formerly served as a ROK Army general, an ally and friend of the previous President of the Fifth Republic Chun Doo-hwan.
7 Kim Young-sam.png Kim Young-sam
Gim Yeongsam
김영삼
金泳三

(1927–2015)
14 25 February
1993
24 February
1998
1992 — 42.0%
9,977,332
Democratic Liberal Party (1993–1995)
New Korea Party (1995–1997)
The second President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. The first democratic activist to be elected president. Kim further attempted to reform the government and economy. He had former President Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo arrested on charges of corruption and treason, winning convictions against both, but later pardoned them on the advice of then President-elect Kim Dae-jung. Kim Young-sam also granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, and removed the criminal convictions of pro-democracy protesters who had been arrested during the Gwangju massacre in the aftermath of the Coup d'état of December Twelfth. Led an anti-corruption campaign, requiring government and military officials to publish their financial records, precipitating the resignation of several high-ranking officers and cabinet members.
8 Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png Kim Dae-jung
Gim Daejung
김대중
金大中

(1925–2009)
15 25 February
1998
24 February
2003
1997 — 40.3%
10,326,275
National Congress for New Politics (1998–2000)
New Millennium Democratic Party (2000–2002)
The third President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. The first liberal/centrist President of the Sixth Republic. Kim formulated and implemented the Sunshine Policy of engagement with North Korea, and became the first South Korean president to visit North Korea in 2000, meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 2000 "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular."[1] Co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with the neighboring country of Japan.
9 Roh Moo-hyun - cropped headshot, 2004-Oct-26.jpg Roh Moo-hyun
No Muhyeon
노무현
盧武鉉

(1946–2009)
16 25 February
2003
12 March
2004
2002 — 48.91%
12,014,277
New Millennium Democratic Party (2003)
During this interval, Prime Minister Goh Kun (고건 / 高建) was Acting President.
14 May
2004
24 February
2008
Impeachment failed; reinstated Open Uri Party (Our Open Party) (2004–2007)
The fourth President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. The second liberal/centrist President of the Sixth Republic. Roh maintained the existing Sunshine Policy of engagement towards North Korea. The first President of the Sixth Republic to be tried for impeachment. Roh's planned to the create an administrative capital, but he was set back by the Supreme Court's ruling that the relocation of the capital was unconstitutional. Instead Roh opted for an administrative center. Served as Member of the National Assembly for Dong District, Busan (1988–1992).
10 Sebastián Piñera - Lee Myung-bak (cropped).jpg Lee Myung-bak
I Myeongbak
이명박
李明博

(1941–)
17 25 February
2008
24 February
2013
2007 — 48.7%
11,492,389
Grand National Party (2008–2012)
Saenuri Party (New Frontier Party) (2012–2013)
The fifth President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. Lee implemented a tougher policy with regard to North Korea, through the MB Doctrine. Reversed the U.S. beef import arrangement in 2008, triggering a series of anti–U.S. beef import protests. Attempted to scale down the development of Sejong into a hub of education, science and business rather than a national administrative center, with the support and backing of the former Prime Minister Chung Un-chan. Growing conflicts with North Korea resulted in the ROKS Cheonan sinking and bombardment of Yeonpyeong. Lee also became the first South Korean president to visit Dokdo, which further escalated tensions with Japan in 2012 before the end of his term. Served as Member of the National Assembly for Jongno District (1996–1998), Mayor of Seoul (2002–2006).
11 Park Geun-hye (cropped).jpg Park Geun-hye
Bak Geunhye
박근혜
朴槿惠

(1952–)
18 25 February
2013
Incumbent 2012 — 51.6%
15,773,128
Saenuri Party (New Frontier Party)
The sixth President of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. Park is a daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, and she is the first female President of South Korea. Served as Member of the National Assembly for Dalseong County (1998–2012), an as a party list member (2012).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 2000". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-20.