Third Republic of Korea

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Republic of Korea
Capital Seoul
Languages Korean
Government Republic under a military dictatorship
 •  1962–1979 Park Chung-hee
Prime Minister
 •  1963–1964 Choi Tu-son
 •  1964–1970 Chung Il-kwon
 •  1970–1971 Baek Du-jin
 •  1971–1972 Kim Jong-pil
Legislature National Assembly
Historical era Cold War
 •  Established 1963
 •  October Restoration 1972
Currency South Korean won
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
Fourth Republic of South Korea
Today part of  South Korea
Part of a series on the
History of South Korea
A Taegeuk
Prelude to Division 1919–48
Korean Provisional Government 1919–48
USAMGIK 1945–48
First Republic 1948–60
Korean War 1950–53
Syngman Rhee administration 1948–60
April Revolution 1960
Heo Jeong Caretaker Government 1960
Second Republic 1960–61
Jang Myeon Cabinet 1960–61
May 16 coup 1961
Constitutional Vacuum 1961–63
Yoon Bo-seon administration 1961–62
First Junta 1961–63
Third Republic 1963–72
Park Chung-hee administration 1963–72
October Restoration 1972
Fourth Republic 1972–81
Assassination of Park Chung-hee 1979
December 12 coup 1979
May 17 coup 1980
Gwangju Uprising 1980
Fifth Republic 1981–88
Chun Doo-hwan administration 1981–87
June Democratic Uprising 1987
Sixth Republic 1988–present
Roh Tae-woo administration 1988–93
Kim Young-sam administration 1993–98
National Moratorium 1997–2001
Kim Dae-jung administration 1998–2003
Roh Moo-hyun administration 2003–2008
Lee Myung-bak administration 2008–2013
Park Geun-hye administration 2013–2017
Moon Jae-in administration 2017–2022
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea portal

The Third Republic of South Korea was the government of South Korea from 1963 to 1972. It was presented as a return to civilian rule after a period of rule by the military junta known as the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction which in 1961 had overthrown the Second Republic of South Korea. However, throughout this period the presidency was held by Park Chung-hee, who is the father of Park Geun-hye (who was president of South Korea between February 2013 and March 2017), who had also been an influential member of the junta. He left his military post in order to run as a civilian in the presidential election.

Park ran again in the election of 1967, taking 51.4% of the vote.[1] At the time, the presidency was constitutionally limited to two terms, but a constitutional amendment was forced through the National Assembly in 1969 to allow him to seek a third term.[2] He was re-elected in the 1971 presidential election. The leading opposition candidate was Kim Dae-jung, who lost by a narrow margin.[3]

On December 6, 1971, Park declared a state of national emergency. On July 4, 1972, he announced plans for Korean reunification in a joint communique with North Korea. Park declared martial law on October 17, 1972, dissolving the National Assembly. He also announced plans to eliminate the popular election of the president.

The Third Republic of South Korea was replaced in 1972 by the Fourth Republic of South Korea under the Third Republic of South Korea's president Park Chung-hee.


The South Korean economy grew rapidly during the Third Republic. The South Korean government used the influx of foreign aid from Japan and the United States to provide loans to export businesses with no interest. It also provided financial support for industrial projects, such as the construction of the POSCO steel mill, which came online early in the Fourth Republic.


The government introduced several reforms to the educational system. In 1968, the middle-school entrance examinations were abolished, placing all middle schools on an equal footing.[4]

Also in 1968, a Charter of National Education was adopted,[5] emphasizing nationalism and anti-communism in education. The charter outlined four goals for education: national revitalization, creating self-reliant individuals, promulgating a new cooperative image of the nation, and supporting anti-communism. [6]

Likewise, the government sought to reduce political activism among college students by increasing academic competition. The government allowed universities and colleges to recruit up to 130% of their graduation quotas, so that students would be forced to compete against one another in order to graduate. However, student activism continued at a reduced level despite these measures.

International relations[edit]

The Third Republic of South Korea began to take an increasingly prominent role in international relations. Relations with Japan were normalized in an agreement ratified on August 14, 1965.[7] The government continued its close ties with the United States, and continued to receive large amounts of foreign aid. A status of forces agreement was concluded in 1965, clarifying the legal situation of the U.S. forces stationed there.[8] Soon thereafter, South Korea entered the Vietnam War, eventually sending a total of 300,000 soldiers to fight alongside the United States and South Vietnam.[9]


  1. ^ Yonhap (2004, p. 271).
  2. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 423); Yonhap, loc. cit.
  3. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 424)
  4. ^ KOIS (2003, p. 336)
  5. ^ KOIS (2003, p. 336); Yang (1999, p. 757)
  6. ^ Yang (loc. cit.)
  7. ^ Cumings (1997, p. 320).
  8. [10] Cumings (1997, p. 321).
  9. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 425).

See also[edit]


  • Cumings, Bruce (1997). Korea's place in the sun. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-31681-5. 
  • Lee, Ki-baek, tr. by E.W. Wagner & E.J. Shultz (1984). A new history of Korea (rev. ed.). Seoul: Ilchogak. ISBN 89-337-0204-0. 
  • Nahm, Andrew C. (1996). Korea: A history of the Korean people (2nd ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-070-2. 
  • Yang, Sung Chul (1999). The North and South Korean political systems: A comparative analysis (rev. ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-105-9. 
  • Yonhap News Agency (2004). Korea Annual 2004. Seoul: Author. ISBN 89-7433-070-9. 

Coordinates: 37°35′N 127°0′E / 37.583°N 127.000°E / 37.583; 127.000