The Republic of Korea has a dual executive arrangement similar to that found in France, where a strong president and a weaker prime minister share executive power. In Korea's case, virtually all of the power is in the hands of the president. Since the early 90's, presidential power has slowly been devolving to the National Assembly, but the strong president remains a trademark of Korean politics, and will probably retain that status until well after the conflict with Pyongyang has ended.


  1. Syngman Rhee, Liberal Party
    Inaugurated May 31, 1948

  2. Ho Chong, Liberal Party
    Inaugurated May 3, 1960

  3. Kwak Sang Hoon
    Inaugurated June 15, 1960

  4. Ho Chong, Liberal Party
    Re-inaugurated June 26, 1960

  5. Yun Bo Seon, New Democratic Party
    Inaugurated August 13, 1960
    Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction (military rule), May 16, 1961

  6. Park Chung Hee, Democratic Republican Party
    Chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, March 24, 1962
    Inaugurated president December 17, 1963
    Assassinated October 26, 1979

  7. Choi Kyu Hah, Democratic Republican Party
    Officially inaugurated December 6, 1979

  8. Park Choong Hoon
    Assumed power in coup, August 16, 1980

  9. Chun Doo Hwan, Democratic Justice Party
    Assumed power in another coup, September 1, 1980
    Inaugurated President under civil rule, February 25, 1981
    Sentenced to death, August 22, 1996 (later commuted to life imprisonment)

  10. Roh Tae Woo, Democratic Justice Party (Democratic Liberal Party)
    Inaugurated February 25, 1988
    Sentenced to 22 years in prison, August 22, 1996

  11. Kim Young Sam, Democratic Liberal Party (New Korea Party)
    Inaugurated February 25, 1993

  12. Kim Dae Jung, National Congress for New Politics (Millennium Democratic Party)
    Inaugurated February 25, 1998

  13. Roh Moo Hyun, Millennium Democratic Party
    Elected December 20, 2002, inaugurated February 25, 2003

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