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Lee Hun Jai (born April 17, 1944) is a South Korean politician who had served as the acting Prime Minister of South Korea twice, from May 19, 2000, to May 22, 2000, and from May 25, 2004, to June 30, 2004.[1] Both times others were nominated to officially take that position and were confirmed by Parliament, while Lee was meant only as a temporary placeholder. Lee does not belong to any political party.

Lee Hun-jai
Revised RomanizationI Heon-jae
McCune–ReischauerYi Hǒn-jae



Lee was born in Shanghai, China on April 17, 1944.[2] He graduated from Kyunggi High School in 1962, and Seoul National University with a bachelor's degree in Law in 1966. Lee also earned his master's degree in Economics from the College of Economics at Boston University in 1981 and MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982.[1]


After passing the 6th Examination for Higher Civil Service in 1968, Lee joined the Planning and Management of the Finance Ministry in 1969.[1] He soon distinguished himself, helping to avert a currency crisis in 1973 which resulted from an oil shortage. He left the finance ministry in 1981 and rejoined the government later. He served as chairman of the South Korean Securities and Exchange Commission from 1991 to 1996 and as chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission from 1998 to 2000. While in these positions he was known as a ruthless business and banking reformer. In January 2000 he became finance minister for the first time and served in that position until August 2000. In February 2004 he became deputy prime minister and also became finance minister again. On March 7, 2005, he announced his resignation from these positions after he was implicated in a real estate scandal. He left office a week later after his replacement was chosen.


  1. ^ a b c Hong, Seong-tae (홍성태) (2005-03-05). <안국동窓> 이헌재 부총리의 정체 (in Korean). Online News Gunchi.
  2. ^ "이헌재 (李憲宰 LEE HUN JAI)]" (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo.

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