Prime Minister of South Korea

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

since 31 May 2017
Executive branch of the Government of South Korea
Prime Ministerial Secretariat (South Korea)
Style Prime Minister (총리님)
Status 2nd highest in executive branch
Abbreviation PMOTROK, PMOSK
Member of State Council
National Security Council
Residence Chongri Gonggwan
Seat Seoul, South Korea
Nominator Political Parties
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
Formation 31 July 1948; 71 years ago (1948-07-31)
Succession First
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea
Salary 191,000,000
Website (in English)
(in Korean)
Prime Minister of South Korea
Revised Romanization Gungmuchongni
McCune–Reischauer Kungmuch'ongni

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (Korean국무총리; Hanja國務總理; RRGungmuchongni) (informally referred to as PMOSK or PMOTROK) 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.


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.


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.

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.

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]


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 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 sometimes holds some professional or technological knowledge whereas the President is always a sole politician.[5]

Lists of Prime Ministers of South Korea

See also


  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.

External links