Hwang Kyo-ahn

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Hwang.
Hwang Kyo-ahn
Hwang Kyo-ahn December 2016.jpg
President of South Korea
Assumed office
10 March 2017
Acting with powers and duties for Park Geun-hye:
9 December 2016 – 10 March 2017
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Park Geun-hye
44th Prime Minister of South Korea
Assumed office
18 June 2015
President Park Geun-hye
Himself (Acting)
Preceded by Choi Kyoung-hwan (Acting)
Minister of Justice
In office
11 March 2013 – 18 June 2015
Preceded by Gwon Jae-jin
Succeeded by Kim Ju-hyeon (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1957-04-15) 15 April 1957 (age 59)
Seoul, South Korea
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Choi Ji-young
Children 2
Alma mater Sungkyunkwan University
Religion Baptist[1]

Hwang Kyo-ahn (Korean: 황교안, Hanja: 黃敎安, RR: Hwang Gyo-an; born 15 April 1957) is a South Korean lawyer and is the Acting President of South Korea, having continued in that role following the impeachment and removal of President Park Geun-hye by the Constitutional Court of Korea on 10 March 2017. He had already taken over Park's presidential powers and duties on 9 December 2016 when impeachment proceedings were launched against her by the National Assembly and she was suspended from the powers and duties of the office.[2] Hwang Kyo-ahn has also been the Prime Minister of South Korea since June 2015, having previously served as Justice Minister.

Early life and education

Hwang was born on April 15, 1957.[3] He graduated from Kyunggi High School in 1976.[3] He received his LL.B in 1981 from the College of Law at Sungkyunkwan University, and passed the 23rd National Bar Exam the same year.[3]

Hwang earned his LL.M. in 2006 from the Graduate School of Law at Sungkyunkwan University.[3]

Career as a prosecutor

Hwang was a career prosecutor.[3][4] He spent 30 years as a prosecutor, specializing "in enforcing public safety and national security laws, gaining particular expertise in legislation targeting groups linked to North Korea"—activities that prompted criticism from the South Korean opposition.[5]

Political career

Justice Minister and Prime Minister

Hwang joined the Cabinet of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in 2013 as minister of justice.[5] In that role, Hwang played a key role in the Constitutional Court case against the left-wing Unified Progressive Party (which was accused of holding pro-North Korean views); the case culminated in a controversial December 2014 order banning the party, a decision that some saw as a blow to freedom of speech in South Korea.[5][6]

On 21 May 2015, Park named Hwang as Prime Minister of South Korea, following the resignation of Lee Wan-koo due to allegations of bribery.[5][2][4]

In July 2016, Hwang was heckled and pelted with eggs and water bottles by crowds in the rural town of Seongju, who were opposed to deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (a U.S. missile defense system) in the area.[7] The deployment plans angered local residents, who raised health and environmental concerns.[6][7]

Hwang "was regarded as the staunchest loyalist in Park's cabinet."[6] Nevertheless, on 2 November 2016, one month before her impeachment, Park fired Hwang as Prime Minister amid the 2016 South Korean political scandal as Park tried to rebuild confidence in her administration.[8][9] However, after "a dispute with opposition leaders over choosing a replacement," Hwang was kept in office as prime minister.[9]

Afterwards, Hwang attended the APEC meeting, which was held in Peru, on behalf of Park.

Acting President (2016–present)

Hwang meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in February 2017
Hwang meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 17, 2017

On December 9, 2016, upon National Assembly's vote to impeach President Park following a political scandal, Hwang assumed Park's presidential powers and duties as Acting President.[10] On March 10, 2017, South Korea's Constitution Court upheld the decision to impeach President Park Geun-hye, meaning Hwang will continue as Acting President of South Korea until the inauguration of the next elected President.[11] On assuming the powers of the presidency, Hwang said he felt "deep responsibility".[10] The exact extent of Hwang's powers as acting president are unclear under South Korean law.[6]

His first field tour as acting president was to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in central Seoul, where he emphasized national security and stated "We are facing a grave security status, as we cannot entirely rule out the possibility of North Korean provocations near the Northern Limit Line (NLL)."[12]

President Hwang Kyo-Ahn decided against contesting the South Korean 2017 presidential election, declaring it would be inappropriate to run, opting instead to focus on his position as Acting President. [13][14] He was previously seen as the leading candidate for conservatives within the country, leaving them searching for a viable candidate other than Hwang to challenge leading contender Moon Jae-in for the presidency.[15]


  1. ^ "황교안 후보자 17년 간 장학금 기부… 젊은 검사시절부터 이웃돕기 (Hope candidates donate scholarships for 17 years)" (in Korean). KMIB. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Park names Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as new PM". Yonhap. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Minister's Profile, MOJ, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea (accessed December 11, 2016).
  4. ^ a b "South Korea's Park names new PM after scandal strikes again". Reuters. 21 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Koichi Kato, Meet South Korea's new leader, Hwang Kyo-ahn: Conservative prosecutor has history of friction with opposition, The Nikkei (December 10, 2016).
  6. ^ a b c d S. Korea's interim leader was Park defender; powers unclear, Associated Press (December 9, 2016).
  7. ^ a b South Korean prime minister pelted with eggs by protesters, Agence France-Presse (July 15, 2016).
  8. ^ Griffiths, James; Seo, Yoonjung (2 November 2016). "South Korea's prime minister sacked amid ongoing political crisis". CNN. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Jonathan Cheng, South Korea President Park Geun-hye Impeached: Decision on removal will come from Constitutional Court, Wall Street Journal (December 9, 2016).
  10. ^ a b The latest: S. Korea PM officially becomes acting president, Associated Press (December 9, 2016).
  11. ^ Hancocks, Paula; Hunt, Katie; McKirdy, Euan (2017-03-09). "South Korea: Constitutional court upholds President Park Geun-hye's impeachment". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Hwang visits JCS in first field tour as acting president, Yonhap News Agency (December 11, 2016).
  13. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/world/asia/south-korea-election-park-geun-hye.html?_r=0
  14. ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/03/356_225762.html
  15. ^ http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/south-koreas-acting-leader-hwang-kyo-ahn-rules-himself-out-presidential-race-1611657

External links

  • President Trump and Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn of the Republic of Korea (ROK), January 29, 2017
Political offices
Preceded by
Choi Kyoung-hwan
Prime Minister of South Korea
Preceded by
Park Geun-hye
President of South Korea

Acting while Park Geun-hye
was suspended from powers and duties:
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