Choi Kyu-hah

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Choi Kyu-hah
Choi Kyu-hah.jpg
President of South Korea
In office
October 26, 1979 August 16, 1980
Acting: October 26, 1979 – December 6, 1979
Prime MinisterShin Hyun-hwak
Preceded by Park Chung-hee
Succeeded byPak Choong-hoon (Acting)
Chun Doo-hwan
10th Prime Minister of South Korea
In office
December 18, 1975 October 26, 1979
President Park Chung-hee
Preceded by Kim Jong-pil
Succeeded byPark Chung-hoon
Personal details
Born(1919-07-16)July 16, 1919
Wonju-myeon, Wonju County, Gangwon, Japanese Korea
DiedOctober 22, 2006(2006-10-22) (aged 87)
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Resting place Daejeon National Cemetery
Nationality South Korean
Political party Independent
Hong Gi(m. 1935)
Alma mater University of Tsukuba
Signature Choi Kyu-Hah signature (Sugyeol).svg
Korean name
Revised Romanization Choe Gyu-ha
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Kyuha
Pen name
Revised Romanization Hyeonseok
McCune–Reischauer Hyŏnsŏk
Courtesy name
Revised Romanization Seook
McCune–Reischauer Sŏok

Choi Kyu-hah (Korean pronunciation:  [tɕʰø.ɡju.ɦa] or [tɕʰø] [kju.ɦa] ; July 16, 1919 October 22, 2006), also spelled Choi Kyu-ha or Choi Gyu-ha, was President of South Korea between 1979 and 1980.

President of South Korea Head of state and of government of the Republic of Korea

The President of the Republic of Korea is according to the South Korean Constitution, the Head of State, the Head of Government, the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the Chairperson of the Cabinet, and the Chief Executive of the Government of South Korea. The Constitution and the amended Presidential Election Act of 1987 provide for election of the president by direct, secret ballot, ending sixteen years of indirect presidential elections under the preceding two governments. The president is directly elected to a five-year term, with no possibility of re-election. If a presidential vacancy should occur, a successor must be elected within sixty days, during which time presidential duties are to be performed by the prime minister or other senior cabinet members in the order of priority as determined by law. While in office, the chief executive lives in Cheong Wa Dae, and is exempt from criminal liability.


Early life

Choi was born in Wonju, Gangwon Province when Korea was a part of the Empire of Japan. This area today is in South Korea.

Wonju Municipal City in Gwandong, South Korea

Wonju is the most populous city in Gangwon province, South Korea.

Gangwon Province (historical) province of the kingdom of Great Joseon

Gangwon Province or Gangwon-do was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed in 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneung and the provincial capital Wonju.

Korea region in East Asia

Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948 it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by Russia to the northeast, China to the northwest, and neighbours Japan to the east via the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan.

Political career

Choi served as Ambassador to Malaysia from 1964 to 1967, foreign minister from 1967 to 1971; and as prime minister from 1975 to 1979.

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

A foreign minister or minister of foreign affairs is generally a cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations.

After the assassination of Park Chung-hee in 1979, Choi became acting president; the prime minister stood next in line for the presidency under Article 48 of the Yushin Constitution. Due to the unrest resulting from Park's authoritarian rule, Choi promised democratic elections, as under Park elections had been widely seen as rigged. Choi also promised a new constitution to replace the highly authoritarian Yushin Constitution. Choi won an election in December that year to become the country's fourth president.

Park Chung-hee South Korean army general and the leader of South Korea from 1961 to 1979

Park Chung-hee was a South Korean politician and general who served as the President of South Korea from 1963 until his assassination in 1979, assuming that office after first ruling the country as head of a military dictatorship installed by the May 16 military coup d'état in 1961. Before his presidency, he was the chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction from 1961 to 1963 after a career as a military leader in the South Korean army.

Elections in South Korea

Elections in South Korea are held on national level to select the President and the National Assembly. Local elections are held every four years to elect governors, metropolitan mayors, municipal mayors, and provincial and municipal legislatures.

1979 South Korean presidential election A presidential election held in South Korea

Presidential elections were held in South Korea on 6 December 1979 following the assassination of Park Chung Hee on 26 October. The deputies of the National Council for Reunification, who among other things, were responsible for election of president, selected Prime Minister Choi Kyu-hah as the President of the Republic of Korea unopposed; Choi had been acting President since Park's death.

Coup d'etat and forced resignation

In December 1979, Major General Chun Doo-hwan and close allies within the military staged a coup d'état against Choi's government. They quickly removed the army chief of staff and virtually controlled the government by early 1980.

Chun Doo-hwan Korean politician and army general

Chun Doo-hwan is a South Korean politician and former South Korean army general who served as the President of South Korea from 1980 to 1988, ruling as an unelected coup leader from December 1979 to September 1980 and as elected president from 1980 to 1988. Chun was sentenced to death in 1996 for his role in the Gwangju Massacre but was later pardoned by President Kim Young-sam, with the advice of then President-elect Kim Dae-jung, whom Chun's administration had sentenced to death some 20 years earlier.

The Coup d'état of December Twelfth or the "12.12 Military Insurrection" was a military coup d'état which took place on December 12, 1979, in South Korea.

In April 1980, due to increasing pressure from Chun and other politicians, Choi appointed Chun head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. In May, Chun declared martial law and dropped all pretense of civilian government, becoming the de facto ruler of the country. By then, student protests were escalating in Seoul and Gwangju. The protests in Gwangju resulted in the Gwangju uprising in which about 987 civilians were killed within a five-day period by Chun's military.

Martial law temporary state of government typically involving curfews; the suspension of civil law, civil rights, and habeas corpus; and the application of military law to civilians

Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory.

The Coup d'état of May Seventeenth was a military coup d'état carried out in South Korea by general Chun Doo-hwan and Hanahoe that followed the Coup d'état of December Twelfth.

In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law. Unofficial customs that are widely accepted are sometimes called de facto standards.

Choi was forced to resign soon after the uprising. Prime Minister Park Chung-hoon became acting president, until Chun's election as President on September 1, 1980.

Later life

After his resignation, Choi lived quietly out of the public eye and died on October 22, 2006. Choi was buried in Daejeon National Cemetery on October 26, 2006. [1]

See also

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Events from the year 1979 in South Korea.

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  1. "Daejeon National Cemetery Timeline". Daejeon National Cemetery. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Park Chung-hee
President of South Korea
October 26, 1979August 16, 1980
Succeeded by
Chun Doo-hwan
Preceded by
Kim Jong-pil
Prime Minister of South Korea
December 18, 1975October 26, 1979
Succeeded by
Shin Hyun-hwak