Lee Nak-yeon

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Lee Nak-yeon
South Korean Prime Minister Lee - 2017 (36235112603) (cropped).jpg
41st Prime Minister of South Korea
Assumed office
31 May 2017
President Moon Jae-in
Deputy Kim Dong-yeon
Kim Sang-gon
Yoo Eun-hae
Hong Nam-ki
Preceded by Yoo Il-ho (Acting)
Governor of South Jeolla Province
In office
1 July 2014 – 10 May 2017
Preceded by Park Jun-young
Succeeded by Kim Yung-rok
Member of the National Assembly
In office
30 May 2000 – 15 May 2014
Preceded by Kim In-gon
Succeeded by Lee Gae-ho
Constituency Damyang, Hampyeong, Yeonggwang and Jangseong
Personal details
Born (1951-12-20) 20 December 1951 (age 67)
Yeonggwang, South Korea
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kim Suk-hee
Children 1
Education Seoul National University (LLB)
Lee Nak-yeon
Revised Romanization I Nak-yeon
McCune–Reischauer Yi Nag-yŏn

Lee Nak-yeon (Korean이낙연; Hanja李洛淵; born 20 December 1951),[1][2][3] also known as Lee Nak-yon, is a South Korean politician who is the 41st and current Prime Minister of South Korea.[4][5] He previously served as the governor of Jeollanam-do province.[4] Before serving as governor, he worked as a journalist for the Dong-a Ilbo and served as a member of the National Assembly for four terms.

Early life and education

Lee was born on December 20, 1951 in Yeonggwang County in South Jeolla Province. After graduating from Seoul National University with a degree in law, he worked as a journalist for the daily Dong-a Ilbo newspaper until 2000.[6]

Early political career

He entered politics in 2000 "based on his ties with former President Kim Dae-jung he formed while covering politics."[7] Following his departure from the Dong-a Ilbo he was elected as a member of the National Assembly in 2000 and served for four terms.[5] He also served as a spokesman for former President Roh Moo-hyun when he was the president-elect in 2002.[8]

He left office in the middle of his fourth term in 2014 to successfully run for governor of South Jeolla Province.

Prime Minister

On May 10, 2017, he was nominated by President Moon Jae-in to be the next Prime Minister of South Korea, succeeding Hwang Kyo-ahn. He left office as governor of the South Jeolla Province on the same day. He is seen as having close ties with key Japanese politicians, having served many years as a senior officer in the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union. Lee speaks fluent Japanese.[9] On June 25, Prime Minister Lee urged North Korea to release their prisoners. On July 27, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, who is known to be knowledgeable about Japan, criticized the accord regarding ‘comfort women’.[10] On August 16, Lee reacted negatively to calls for South Korea to possess nuclear weapons, saying the move would undermine Seoul's calls for North Korea to denuclearize, trigger a nuclear arms race and put the country under international sanctions. Reflecting such calls, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party adopted a demand for the redeployment of US tactical nuclear arms as its official party line during a general meeting of its lawmakers.[11] On November 29, Lee raised concerns that cryptocurrencies were corrupting the youth of South Korea, remarking “There are cases in which young Koreans including students are jumping in to make quick money and virtual currencies are used in illegal activities like drug dealing or multi-level marketing for frauds”.[citation needed]

Electoral history

Election Year Province Party Affiliation Votes Percentage of votes Results
16th National Assembly General Election 2000 Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yonggwang Counties) Democratic Party (2000) 37,863 60.20% Won
17th National Assembly General Election 2004 Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yonggwang Counties) Democratic Party (2000) 30,123 55.28% Won
18th National Assembly General Election 2008 Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yougggwang, Jangseong Counties) Democratic Party (2008) 42,950 67.93% Won
19th National Assembly General Election 2012 Jeonnam (Damyang, Hampyong, Yonggwang, Jangseong Counties) Democratic United Party 63,887 77.32% Won
Provincial Gubernatorial Election 2014 South Jeolla New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) 755,036 77.96% Won

Personal life

Lee is married. Lee Nak-yon's bongwan belongs to the Jeonju Yi clan, which makes him part of the royal Yi family. He is also the 22nd-generation descendant of Grand Prince Wanpung who was the elder half-brother of King Taejo of Joseon, the founder of Joseon Kingdom. He is a member of the South Korean Presbyterian Church.


  1. ^ "국무총리 이낙연 프로필". 15 May 2017.
  2. ^ "전남도지사 이낙연은 국인에당인가??".
  3. ^ 크리스천투데이 (10 May 2017). "문재인 대통령 당선 후 문재인 정부 이낙연 전남지사 총리 내정 성향은?".
  4. ^ a b "文대통령, 국무총리 이낙연·국정원장 서훈·비서실장 임종석·경호실장 주영훈 지명" (in Korean). Mbn.mk.co.kr. 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  5. ^ a b "Korea's new president announces key Cabinet picks". Arirang. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "Moon Taps South Jeolla Province Governor as New PM". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  7. ^ "(LEAD) (profile) Moon's premier pick is based in liberal stronghold, has broad political ties". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  8. ^ "S. Jeolla governor tapped as PM nominee", Korea Times, May 10, 2017 .
  9. ^ "South Korean prime minister pick seen as point man on Japan", Nikkei Asian Review, May 11, 2017 .
  10. ^ "Japan wary of S. Korea's growing opposition to 'comfort women' accord". 27 July 2017 – via Mainichi Daily News.
  11. ^ "PM negative about calls for Korea's nuclear armament". 16 August 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Yoo Il-ho
Prime Minister of South Korea
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