List of presidents of South Korea

Since the establishment of the Government of the Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, in 1948, twelve people have served nineteen 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.

Presidential Standard and Seal of the President of South Korea

Prior to the establishment of the First Republic in 1948, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea established in Shanghai in September 1919 as the continuation of several governments proclaimed in the aftermath of March 1st Movement earlier that year coordinated Korean people's resistance against Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The legitimacy of the Provisional Government has been recognised and succeeded by South Korea in the latter's original Constitution of 1948 and the current Constitution of 1988. Nine people have served twenty-four terms as Heads of State (with varying titles) of the Provisional Government between September 1919 and August 1948.

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 presidentsEdit

Political parties
Status
  Denotes acting president

Presidents of the First RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
1   Rhee Syng-man
이승만
李承晩

(1875–1965)
24 July 1948 27 April 1960 11 years, 279 days NARRKI
Liberal
1 (1948)
2 (1952)
3 (1956)
4 (Mar. 1960)[n 1]
  Heo Jeong
허정
許政

(1896–1988)
(acting)
[n 2]
27 April 1960 15 June 1960 50 days Independent Acting

Presidents of the Second RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
  Gwak Sang-hun [ko]
곽상훈
郭尙勳

(1896–1980)
(acting)
[n 3]
16 June 1960 23 June 1960 8 days Democratic Acting
  Heo Jeong
허정
許政

(1896–1988)
(acting)
[n 4]
23 June 1960 7 August 1960 46 days Independent Acting
  Paik Nak-chun
백낙준
白樂濬

(1895–1985)
(acting)
[n 5]
8 August 1960 12 August 1960 5 days Democratic Acting
2   Yun Po-sun
윤보선
尹潽善

(1897–1990)
12 August 1960 24 March 1962 1 year, 225 days Democratic
New Democratic
4 (Aug. 1960)
  General
Park Chung-hee
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
(acting)
[n 6]
24 March 1962 16 December 1963 1 year, 268 days Military Acting

President of the Third RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
3   Park Chung-hee
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
17 December 1963 26 December 1972 9 years, 10 days Democratic Republican 5 (1963)
6 (1967)
7 (1971)

Presidents of the Fourth RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
(3)   Park Chung-hee
박정희
朴正熙

(1917–1979)
27 December 1972 26 October 1979[n 7] 6 years, 304 days Democratic Republican 8 (1972)
9 (1978)
  Choi Kyu-hah
최규하
崔圭夏

(1919–2006)
26 October 1979 6 December 1979 42 days Independent Acting[n 4]
4 6 December 1979 16 August 1980[n 8] 255 days 10 (1979)
  Park Choong-hoon [ko]
박충훈
朴忠勳

(1919–2001)
(acting)
[n 9]
16 August 1980 31 August 1980 16 days Independent Acting
5   Chun Doo-hwan
전두환
全斗煥

(born 1931)
1 September 1980 24 February 1981 177 days Democratic Justice 11 (1980)

President of the Fifth RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
(5)   Chun Doo-hwan
전두환
全斗煥

(born 1931)
25 February 1981 24 February 1988 7 years Democratic Justice 12 (1981)

Presidents of the Sixth RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Term
(Election)
Took office Left office Time in office
6   Roh Tae-woo
노태우
盧泰愚

(born 1932)
25 February 1988 24 February 1993 5 years Democratic Justice
Democratic Liberal
Independent
13 (1987)
7   Kim Young-sam
김영삼
金泳三

(1927–2015)
25 February 1993 24 February 1998 5 years Democratic Liberal
New Korea
Independent
14 (1992)
8   Kim Dae-jung
김대중
金大中

(1924–2009)
25 February 1998 24 February 2003 5 years National Congress
Millennium Democratic
Independent
15 (1997)
9   Roh Moo-hyun
노무현
盧武鉉

(1946–2009)
25 February 2003[n 10] 24 February 2008 5 years Millennium Democratic
Independent
Uri
Independent
16 (2002)
10   Lee Myung-bak
이명박
李明博

(born 1941)
25 February 2008 24 February 2013 5 years Grand National
Saenuri
17 (2007)
11   Park Geun-hye
박근혜
朴槿惠

(born 1952)
25 February 2013 10 March 2017[n 11] 4 years, 14 days Saenuri
Liberty Korea
18 (2012)
  Hwang Kyo-ahn
황교안
黃敎安

(born 1957)
(acting)
[n 4]
10 March 2017 10 May 2017 62 days Independent Acting
12   Moon Jae-in
문재인
文在寅

(born 1953)
10 May 2017 Incumbent 3 years, 297 days Democratic 19 (2017)

TimelineEdit

Moon Jae-inPark Geun-hyeLee Myung-bakRoh Moo-hyunKim Dae-jungKim Young-samRoh Tae-wooChun Doo-hwanChoi Kyu-hahPark Chung-heeYun PosunSyngman Rhee

Living former presidentsEdit

As of March 2021, four former presidents are alive:

The most recent President to die was Kim Young-sam, who died on 22 November 2015 (at the age of 87 years, 337 days).

Number of presidents alive at each moment in South Korea history
Starting and ending events Number living | names Timespan
From: Jul 24, 1948 · Inauguration of Rhee Syng-man
To: Aug 12, 1960 · Inauguration of Yun Bo-seon
1  Rhee Syng-man  12 years, 19 days
From: Aug 12, 1960 · Inauguration of Yun Bo-seon
To: Dec 17, 1963 · Inauguration of Park Chung-hee
2  Yun Bo-seon   Rhee Syng-man  3 years, 127 days
From: Dec 17, 1963 · Inauguration of Park Chung-hee
To: Jul 19, 1965 · Death of Rhee Syng-man
3  Park Chung-hee   Yun Bo-seon   Rhee Syng-man  1 year, 214 days
From: Jul 19, 1965 · Death of Rhee Syng-man
To: Oct 26, 1979 · Assassination of Park Chung-hee
2  Park Chung-hee   Yun Bo-seon  14 years, 99 days
From: Oct 26, 1979 · Assassination of Park Chung-hee
To: Dec 6, 1979 · Inauguration of Choi Kyu-hah
1  Yun Bo-seon  41 days
From: Dec 6, 1979 · Inauguration of Choi Kyu-hah
To: Aug 27, 1980 · Inauguration of Chun Doo-hwan
2  Choi Kyu-hah   Yun Bo-seon  265 days
From: Aug 27, 1980 · Inauguration of Chun Doo-hwan
To: Feb 25, 1988 · Inauguration of Roh Tae-woo
3  Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah   Yun Bo-seon  7 years, 182 days
From: Feb 25, 1988 · Inauguration of Roh Tae-woo
To: Jul 18, 1990 · Death of Yun Bo-seon
4  Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah   Yun Bo-seon  2 years, 143 days
From: Jul 18, 1990 · Death of Yun Bo-seon
To: Feb 25, 1993 · Inauguration of Kim Young-sam
3  Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah  2 years, 222 days
From: Feb 25, 1993 · Inauguration of Kim Young-sam
To: Feb 25, 1998 · Inauguration of Kim Dae-jung
4  Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah  5 years, 0 days
From: Feb 25, 1998 · Inauguration of Kim Dae-jung
To: Feb 25, 2003 · Inauguration of Roh Moo-hyun
5  Kim Dae-jung   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah  5 years, 0 days
From: Feb 25, 2003 · Inauguration of Roh Moo-hyun
To: Oct 22, 2006 · Death of Choi Kyu-hah
6  Roh Moo-hyun   Kim Dae-jung   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan   Choi Kyu-hah  3 years, 239 days
From: Oct 22, 2006 · Death of Choi Kyu-hah
To: Feb 25, 2008 · Inauguration of Lee Myung-bak
5  Roh Moo-hyun   Kim Dae-jung   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  1 year, 126 days
From: Feb 25, 2008 · Inauguration of Lee Myung-bak
To: May 23, 2009 · Death of Roh Moo-hyun
6  Lee Myung-bak   Roh Moo-hyun   Kim Dae-jung   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  1 year, 87 days
From: May 23, 2009 · Death of Roh Moo-hyun
To: Aug 18, 2009 · Death of Kim Dae-jung
5  Lee Myung-bak   Kim Dae-jung   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  87 days
From: Aug 18, 2009 ·Death of Kim Dae-jung
To: Feb 25, 2013 · Inauguration of Park Geun-hye
4  Lee Myung-bak   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  3 years, 191 days
From: Feb 25, 2013 · Inauguration of Park Geun-hye
To: Nov 22, 2015 · Death of Kim Young-sam
5  Park Geun-hye   Lee Myung-bak   Kim Young-sam   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  2 years, 270 days
From: Nov 22, 2015 · Death of Kim Young-sam
To: May 10, 2017 · Inauguration of Moon Jae-in
4  Park Geun-hye   Lee Myung-bak   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  1 year, 169 days
From: May 10, 2017 · Inauguration of Moon Jae-in
To: (present)
5  Moon Jae-in   Park Geun-hye   Lee Myung-bak   Roh Tae-woo   Chun Doo-hwan  3 years, 296 days
Starting and ending events Number living | names Timespan
Sources:[1]

by ageEdit

# President Born Age at
start of presidency
Age at
end of presidency
Post-presidency
timespan
Lifespan
Died Age
01 Rhee Syng-man Mar 26, 1875 73 years, 120 days
Jul 24, 1948
85 years, 31 days
Apr 26, 1960
5 years, 84 days Jul 19, 1965 90 years, 115 days
02 Yun Bo-seon Aug 26, 1897 62 years, 352 days
Aug 12, 1960
64 years, 210 days
Mar 24, 1962
28 years, 116 days Jul 18, 1990 92 years, 326 days
03 Park Chung-hee Nov 14, 1917 46 years, 33 days
Dec 17, 1963
61 years, 346 days
Oct 26, 1979
N/A
Died in office
Oct 26, 1979 61 years, 346 days
04 Choi Kyu-hah Jul 16, 1919 60 years, 143 days
Dec 6, 1979
61 years, 31 days
Aug 16, 1980
26 years, 67 days Oct 22, 2006 87 years, 98 days
05 Chun Doo-hwan Jan 18, 1931 49 years, 222 days
Aug 27, 1980
57 years, 37 days
Feb 24, 1988
33 years, 6 days 2021-03-2(living) 90 years, 43 days
06 Roh Tae-woo Dec 4, 1932 55 years, 83 days
Feb 25, 1988
60 years, 82 days
Feb 24, 1993
28 years, 6 days 2021-03-2(living) 88 years, 88 days
07 Kim Young-sam Dec 20, 1927 65 years, 67 days
Feb 25, 1993
70 years, 66 days
Feb 24, 1998
17 years, 271 days Nov 22, 2015 87 years, 337 days
08 Kim Dae-jung Jan 6, 1924 74 years, 50 days
Feb 25, 1998
79 years, 49 days
Feb 24, 2003
6 years, 175 days Aug 18, 2009 85 years, 224 days
09 Roh Moo-hyun Sep 1, 1946 56 years, 177 days
Feb 25, 2003
61 years, 176 days
Feb 24, 2008
1 year, 88 days May 23, 2009 62 years, 264 days
10 Lee Myung-bak Dec 19, 1941 66 years, 68 days
Feb 25, 2008
71 years, 67 days
Feb 24, 2013
8 years, 6 days 2021-03-2(living) 79 years, 73 days
11 Park Geun-hye Feb 2, 1952 61 years, 23 days
Feb 25, 2013
65 years, 36 days
Mar 10, 2017
3 years, 357 days 2021-03-2(living) 69 years, 28 days
12 Moon Jae-in Jan 24, 1953 64 years, 106 days
May 10, 2017
68 years, 37 days(incumbent) (incumbent) 2021-03-2(living) 68 years, 37 days
# President Born Age at
start of presidency
Age at
end of presidency
Post-presidency
timespan
Died Age
Lifespan

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The election was nullified.
  2. ^ as Minister of Foreign Affairs
  3. ^ as Speaker of the House of Commons
  4. ^ a b c as Prime Minister
  5. ^ as President of the Senate
  6. ^ as Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
  7. ^ Died in office.
  8. ^ Removed by coup d'état.
  9. ^ as acting Prime Minister
  10. ^ From 12 March to 14 May 2004, Prime Minister Goh Kun served as an acting president. It was because of the National Assembly's motion to impeach him. He later returned to his post after the Constitutional Court refused to impeach him.
  11. ^ Impeached and removed.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "대통령기록관 기록갤러리". www.pa.go.kr (in Korean). National Archives of Korea - Presidential Archive. Retrieved January 20, 2021.