Prime Minister of South Korea

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Prime Minister of the
Republic of Korea
대한민국 국무총리
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Prime ministerial standard
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Prime ministerial emblem
South Korean Prime Minister Lee - 2017 (36235112603) (cropped).jpg
Lee Nak-yeon

since 31 May 2017
Style Prime Minister (총리님)
Member of State Council
National Security Council
Appointer President of South Korea
(Subject to the National Assembly's approval)
Term length No fixed term
At the President's pleasure
Constituting instrument South Korean constitution
Inaugural holder Lee Beom-seok
Formation31 July 1948;70 years ago (1948-07-31)
Website(in English)
(in Korean)
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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Korea
Flag of South Korea.svg South Koreaportal
Prime Minister of South Korea
Revised Romanization Gungmuchongni
McCune–Reischauer Kungmuch'ongni

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (Hangul : 국무총리; Hanja : 國務總理; RR : Gungmuchongni) is appointed by the President of South Korea, with the National Assembly's approval. The officeholder is not required to be a member of the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is not the head of government but rather serves in a role similar to that of a vice president.

Hangul Native alphabet of the Korean language

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great. It may also be written as Hangeul following the standard Romanization.

Hanja Korean language characters of Chinese origin

Hanja is the Korean name for Chinese characters. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation. Hanja-mal or Hanja-eo refers to words that can be written with Hanja, and hanmun refers to Classical Chinese writing, although "Hanja" is sometimes used loosely to encompass these other concepts. Because Hanja never underwent major reform, they are almost entirely identical to traditional Chinese and kyūjitai characters, though the stroke orders for some characters are slightly different. For example, the characters and are written as 敎 and 硏. Only a small number of Hanja characters are modified or unique to Korean. By contrast, many of the Chinese characters currently in use in Japan and Mainland China have been simplified, and contain fewer strokes than the corresponding Hanja characters.

Revised Romanization of Korean Korean language romanization system

The Revised Romanization of Korean is the official Korean language romanization system in South Korea proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to replace the older McCune–Reischauer system. The new system eliminates diacritics and apostrophes in favor of digraphs.



The Sino-Korean word gungmu (국무/國務) means "state affairs" and chongni (총리/總理) means "prime minister", "premier" or "chancellor", so the full title in Korean means literally "Prime Minister for State Affairs", but it is not used as official English title. The short title in Korean is just Chongni.

Sino-Koreanvocabulary or Hanja-eo refers to Korean words of Chinese origin. Sino-Korean vocabulary includes words borrowed directly from Chinese, new Korean words created from Chinese characters, and words borrowed from Sino-Japanese vocabulary. About 60 percent of Korean words are of Chinese origin.

Prime minister most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system

A prime minister is the head of a cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. A prime minister is not a head of state or chief executive officer of their respective nation, rather they are a head of government, serving typically under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms.

Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries, states and sub-national governments. A second in command to a premier is designated as a vice-premier or deputy premier.


The position was created on 31 July 1948, two weeks before the government of South Korea was founded, and was held by Lee Beom-seok until 1950. The title was Chief Cabinet Minister from 1961 until 1963.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2 (38,750 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.

On 27 April 2014, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won announced his desire to resign. [1] However, due to unsuccessful nominations, Chung remained in office until February 2015.

Chung Hong-won South Korean politician

Chung Hong-won is a former Prime Minister of South Korea. He served from 26 February 2013 to 16 February 2015.

On 23 January 2015, President Park Geun-hye named Saenuri's Floor Leader Lee Wan-koo as the new Prime Minister. Lee was confirmed by the National Assembly as Prime Minister on 16 February 2015. [2] However, on April 20 of the same year, he offered his resignation to the President in the midst of a bribery scandal. [3]

Lee Wan-koo is a South Korean politician. He was the 39th Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.


The Prime Minister is the principal executive assistant to the President, while the president is the actual head of government, but not the Prime Minister. [4] The Prime Minister holds the second position after the President in the State Council of South Korea, which is the nominal cabinet of South Korea. The Prime Minister assists the President by supervising ministries, making recommendations for ministers, and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the first in the order of succession to discharge the duties of the office of the President as the Acting President should the president be unable to discharge her or his office. The most recent person to have served as Acting President was Hwang Kyo-ahn, during the impeachment of Park Geun-hye in 2016.

A head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

State Council of South Korea

The State Council of the Republic of Korea is the chief executive body and national cabinet of the Republic of Korea involved in discussing "important policies that fall within the power of the Executive" as specified by the Constitution. The most influential part of the executive branch of the South Korean government are the ministries.

Hwang Kyo-ahn Former Acting President and Prime Minister of South Korea

Hwang Kyo-ahn is a South Korean politician. Hwang was the 40th Prime Minister of South Korea from 18 June 2015 to 11 May 2017, having previously served as Justice Minister.

A Prime Minister that has been appointed by the President but not yet confirmed by the National Assembly is informally called as the acting Prime Minister. The term may also be applied to a Prime Minister that has resigned but in the interim remains in office in a caretaker role.

The Prime Minister's Office is supported by two deputy prime ministers.The Prime Minister of South Korea often have some professional background. whereas the President is always a sole politician. [5]

Lists of Prime Ministers of South Korea

See also

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  1. "S. Korean PM resigns over government response to ferry disaster" AsiaOne. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  2. "Parliament endorses PM nominee" Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  3. The Associated Press (21 April 2015). "S. Korean PM to resign after 2 months amid bribe scandal". The Yomiuri Shimbun .
  4. "Government > Executive Branch" Office for Government Policy Coordination Prime Minister's Secretariat.
  5. "Government > Organization Chart" Office for Government Policy Coordination Prime Minister's Secretariat.