Third Republic of Korea

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Republic of Korea

Anthem: 애국가
Location of South Korea
Common languagesKorean
GovernmentRepublic under a military dictatorship
• 1962–1972
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
LegislatureNational Assembly
Historical eraCold War
• Established
CurrencySouth Korean won
ISO 3166 codeKR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
Fourth Republic of 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
Rhee Syng-man Government 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 government 1961–62
SCNR 1961–63
Third Republic 1963–72
Park Jeong-hui government 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
Jeon Doo-hwan government 1981–87
June Struggle 1987
Sixth Republic 1988–present
Roh Tae-woo government 1988–93
Kim Young-sam government 1993–98
National Moratorium 1997–2001
Kim Dae-jung government 1998–2003
Roh Moo-hyun government 2003–2008
Lee Myung-bak government 2008–2013
Park Geun-hye government 2013–2017
Impeachment of Park 2017
Moon Jae-in government 2017–present
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 was replaced in 1972 by the Fourth Republic of Korea under the Third Republic's president Park Chung-hee after the adaption of the Yusin Constitution in October 1972.


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]

See also[edit]


  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).


  • 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