Yun Posun

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Yun Bosun
Yun Bo-seon.jpg
2nd President of South Korea
In office
August 13, 1960 – March 22, 1962
Prime Minister Ho Chong
Chang Myon
Song Yo-chan
Preceded by Syngman Rhee
Succeeded by Park Chung-hee
Personal details
Born (1897-08-26)August 26, 1897
Sinhang-ri, Dunpo-myeon, Asan County, South Chungcheong, Korea
Died July 18, 1990(1990-07-18) (aged 92)
Anguk-dong, Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea
Resting place Yun Family Cemetery
Political party Democratic (1955)
New Democratic (1967)
(Liberalism in South Korea)
Spouse(s) Lady Min (1915?–1937), Gong Deok-gwi (1948–1990)
Children 4
Alma mater University of Edinburgh (B.A., M.A.)
Religion Presbyterianism
Korean name
Revised Romanization Yun Boseon
McCune–Reischauer Yun Posŏn
Pen name
Revised Romanization Haewi
McCune–Reischauer Haewi
Courtesy name
Revised Romanization Gyeongcheon
McCune–Reischauer Kyŏngch'ŏn

Yun Posun (Hangul윤보선; Hanja尹潽善; Korean pronunciation: [ʌn] or [jun] [po.sʌn]; August 26, 1897 – July 18, 1990) was a Korean independence activist and politician, who served as President of South Korea from 1960 to 1962 before being replaced by the long-serving Park Chung-hee as a result of the May 16 coup in 1961.

Having entered politics after World War II, Yun served as Secretary to Korea's Chief of Staff in 1947; and was Mayor of Seoul in 1948. He served as Commerce Minister for the newly liberated Korea from 1949–1950. In 1955 Yun helped establish the South Korean Democratic Party.

Early life[edit]

Yun Posun was born in Dunpo-myeon, Asan, South Chungcheong Province in 1897. He was a son of Yun Chiso (윤치소, 1871–1944) and Lady Yi Beomsuk (이범숙, 1876–1969). Yun studied in the United Kingdom, graduating with a Master of Arts from the University of Edinburgh in 1930. He returned to Korea in 1932.

Political career[edit]

Yun entered politics in 1945 following Gwangbokjeol (Liberation Day). The first Doctor of Philosophy from Princeton University in Korea, as well as first President of South Korea, Dr. Syngman Rhee, was his mentor. By 1947, Yun was serving as Secretary to the Korean Chief of Staff. In 1948, Rhee appointed Yun to the position of mayor of Seoul. A year later, he was made Minister of Commerce and Industry. However, Yun soon began to disagree with Rhee's authoritarian policies.

While serving as president of the Red Cross Society, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1954. A year later, he co-founded the opposition South Korean Democratic Party. In 1959, he became a representative to the Supreme Council of the Democratic Party.

Short term presidency[edit]

Rhee's government was ousted by a student-led, pro-democracy uprising in 1960; and Yun was elected president on August 13, and appointed Chang Myon as First Minister. In response to the authoritarian excesses of Rhee's regime, South Korea had switched to a parliamentary system; so in fact Yun served merely as a figurehead.

Following Park Chung Hee's coup in 1961, Yun stayed in his post in order to provide some legitimacy to the new regime, but resigned on March 22, 1962. In the following years, Yun received suspended sentences several times for anti-government activities. He opposed Park's authoritarian rule[1] and ran for president twice, in 1963 and 1967, losing each time.

Yun retired from active politics in 1980 and focused his life on cultural activities until his death on July 18, 1990.[2]


See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • "Road of Thorns; The National Salvation"; autobiography; (구국의 가시밭길)》 (1967)
  • "Select the Days of Lonely"; (외로운 선택의 나날들)》 (1991)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Heo Jeong
President of South Korea
13 August 1960–22 March 1962
Succeeded by
Park Chung-hee
Preceded by
Kim Hyung-min
Mayor of Seoul City
Succeeded by
Lee Ki-poong
Preceded by
Lim Young-sin
Commerce Minister of South Korea
Succeeded by
Kim Hoon