Lee Wan-koo

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Lee Wan-koo
39th Prime Minister of South Korea
In office
17 February 2015 – 27 April 2015
President Park Geun-hye
Preceded by Chung Hong-won
Succeeded by Choi Kyoung-hwan (Acting)
Chairman of the Saenuri Party
In office
15 May 2014 – 13 July 2014
Preceded by Hwang Woo-yea
Succeeded by Kim Moo-sung
Governor of South Chungcheong Province
In office
1 July 2006 – 4 December 2009
Preceded by Sim Dae-pyung
Succeeded by Ahn Hee-jung
Member of the National Assembly
In office
25 April 2013 – 29 May 2016
Preceded by Kim Geun-tae
Succeeded by Chung Jin-suk
Constituency BuyeoCheongyang
In office
30 May 1996 – 29 May 2004
Preceded by Cho Bu-young
Succeeded by Kim Hak-won
Constituency CheongyangBuyeo
Personal details
Born (1950-07-16) 16 July 1950 (age 68)
Cheongyang County, South Chungcheong Province, South Korea
Political party Saenuri
Alma mater Sungkyunkwan University
Michigan State University
Dankook University
Lee Wan-koo
Revised Romanization I Wangu
McCune–Reischauer I Wangu

Lee Wan-koo (Hangul이완구; born 16 July 1950) is a South Korean politician. He was the 39th Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.


Lee was born in Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do. After graduating from Sungkyunkwan University, Lee worked as a public officer in the Economic Planning Board (current Ministry of Strategy and Finance) and later moved to the National Police Agency. From 1982 to 1984, he studied at Michigan State University in the United States and received an M. A. in Criminal Justice. From 1986 to 1989, Lee served as consul at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles, United States.

In 1996, Lee entered into politics. He joined the New Korea Party(current Saenuri Party) and in the 1996 election, he was elected as a member of the National Assembly. In the 2006 election, he was elected as a governor of Chungcheongnam-do. He resigned as governor on 23 December 2009.

Lee was diagnosed with blood cancer. After recovering, he was re-elected as a member of the National Assembly at the 2013 by-election. In 2014, he served as Floor Leader of the Saenuri Party.

On 23 January 2015, President Park Geun-hye named Lee as Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. A three-term parliamentarian and former governor of South Chungcheong Province, Lee was confirmed by the National Assembly as Prime Minister on 16 February 2015.[1] The National Assembly voted with 148 Yes, 128 No, and 5 Abstain. 155 Saenuri, 124 NPAD and 2 Independents participated in the vote.

On 20 April 2015, Lee offered to resign as Prime Minister, amid allegations of bribery.[2][3] He formally stepped down on 27 April 2015, apologizing over a scandal in which he was accused of taking an illegal cash gift from a businessman.[4] President Park Geun-hye accepted Lee's resignation.[4]

In 2016 he was convicted of taking illegal funds.[5]


  1. ^ (LEAD) Parliament endorses PM nominee
  2. ^ South Korea Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo offers to resign - CNN.com
  3. ^ The Associated Press (21 April 2015). "S. Korean PM to resign after 2 months amid bribe scandal". The Yomiuri Shimbun.
  4. ^ a b Choe Sang-hun (27 April 2015). "South Korea’s Premier Resigns After Claims He Took an Illegal Cash Gift". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  5. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/30/world/asia/lee-wan-koo-south-korea-convicted.html
Political offices
Preceded by
Chung Hong-won
Prime Minister of South Korea
Succeeded by
Choi Kyoung-hwan
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