Second Republic of Korea

The Second Republic of South Korea was the government of South Korea for eight months in 1960 and 1961. It succeeded the First Republic, and was followed by a military government under the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction. It was the only government under a parliamentary system in the history of Korea.

Republic of Korea

Seal of South Korea
Anthem: 애국가
South Korea in green
South Korea in green
Common languagesKorean
GovernmentParliamentary republic
Prime Minister 
• 1960
Heo Jeong
• 1960–1961
Chang Myon
LegislatureNational Assembly
Historical eraCold War
• Established
19 April 1960
16 May 1961
CurrencyHwan (1953–1962)
ISO 3166 codeKR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
First Republic of Korea
Supreme Council for National Reconstruction
Today part of South Korea


South Korea Second Republic
Proclamation of the Second Republic of Korea. From right: Chang Myon (Prime Minister), Yun Bo-seon (President), Paik Nak-jun (President of the House of Councillors) and Kwak Sang-hoon (President of the Chamber of Deputies).

The First Republic was overthrown by widespread protests known as the "April Revolution" in April 1960. After its fall, power was briefly held by an interim administration under Heo Jeong.[1] A new parliamentary election was held on 29 July 1960. The Democratic Party, which had been in the opposition during the First Republic, easily gained power and the Second Republic was established.

The Second Republic operated under a parliamentary system. This was the first and the only instance South Korea turned to a cabinet system instead of a presidential system. The legislature was bicameral, with the National Assembly as the lower house and the House of Councilors as the upper house. The president was elected by both houses of the legislature and served as head of state. Due to the numerous abuses of power by South Korea's first president, Syngman Rhee, the president's role was greatly reduced by the new constitution, to a point almost entirely ceremonial. Real power rested with the prime minister and cabinet, who were elected by the National Assembly. Yun Po Sun was elected as the President on 13 August 1960. The prime minister and head of government was Chang Myon.


The Second Republic saw the end of the severe curbs on political expression that had been in place under the Rhee regime. As a result, freedom returned, and with it came an increase in political activity. Much of this activity was from leftist and student groups, which had been instrumental in the overthrow of the First Republic. Union membership and activity grew rapidly during the later months of 1960.[2] Around 2,000 demonstrations were held during the eight months of the Second Republic.[3]

Under pressure from the left, the Chang government carried out a series of purges of military and police officials who had been involved in anti-democratic activities or corruption. A Special Law to this effect was passed on 31 October 1960. [4] 40,000 people were placed under investigation; of these, more than 2,200 government officials and 4,000 police officers were purged. [5] In addition, the government considered reducing the size of the army by 100,000, although this plan was shelved.[6]


In economic terms as well, the government was faced with mounting instability. The government formulated a five-year economic plan, although it was unable to act on it prior to being overthrown.[7] The Second Republic saw the won lose half of its value against the dollar between fall 1960 and spring 1961.[8] Unemployment and wholesale prices also rose during this period.


  1. ^ Yonhap (2004, p. 270).
  2. ^ Yang (1999, p. 196); Nam (1996, pp. 410–412); Yonhap (2004, p. 270).
  3. ^ Yang (1999, p. 196). Nam (1996, p. 412) gives "2,000."
  4. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 411).
  5. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 411).
  6. ^ Nahm, loc. cit.
  7. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 412); Yonhap (2004, pp. 270–271).
  8. ^ Nahm (1996, p. 412).


  • Cumings, Bruce (1997). Korea's place in the sun. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-31681-5.
  • Lee, Ki-baek, tr. by E.W. Wagner & E.J. Shultz (1984). A new history of Korea (rev. ed.). Seoul: Ilchogak. ISBN 89-337-0204-0.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Nahm, Andrew C. (1996). Korea: A history of the Korean people (2nd ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-070-2.
  • Yang, Sung Chul (1999). The North and South Korean political systems: A comparative analysis (rev. ed.). Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-105-9.
  • Yonhap News Agency (2004). Korea Annual 2004. Seoul: Author. ISBN 89-7433-070-9.

Coordinates: 37°35′N 127°0′E / 37.583°N 127.000°E

25th Infantry Division (United States)

The 25th Infantry Division (nicknamed "Tropic Lightning") is a United States Army division based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. The division, which was activated on 1 October 1941 in Hawaii, conducts military operations primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. Its present deployment is composed of Stryker, light infantry, airborne, and aviation units.

The division was originally activated from Hawaii garrison units during World War II, slightly more than a month before the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor began the Pacific War. After spending almost a year training, it fought in the Allied counteroffensive during the Guadalcanal Campaign from December 1942, helping to end organized Japanese resistance on that island by early February 1943. The 25th spent a period garrisoning the island, then moved on to fight in the New Georgia Campaign in July. After the Japanese defeat in the latter it was sent to New Zealand later that year for rest and training, before moving to New Caledonia for further training. The division returned to combat in the January 1945 Invasion of Luzon, reducing Japanese resistance on the island until late June, after which it was pulled out of the line for training. The division then served in the Occupation of Japan after the surrender of the latter from September 1945.

When the Korean War began in June 1950, the division was deployed to Korea, where it fought in the defense of and the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter in mid-1950, with elements advancing as far as the Yalu River in November. After being thrown back by the Chinese Communist intervention in the war, the division eventually took up positions south of Osan. It participated in a series of United Nations counteroffensives in early 1951, then fought in a stalemate close to the 38th parallel from the middle of the year. The division defended Seoul against Chinese Communist attack from May 1953 to the July armistice, returning to Hawaii in late 1954.

After undergoing major reorganizations in 1957 and 1963 to adapt to changing tactics, the division deployed to South Vietnam to fight in the Vietnam War between late 1965 and early 1966. The 25th served in Vietnam until its withdrawal back to Hawaii in 1970–1971, participating in Operation Attleboro, Operation Cedar Falls, Operation Junction City, the Battle of Saigon during the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive, and the Cambodian Incursion. It was reorganized as a light infantry division in 1985, and elements have participated in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.

35th Infantry Regiment (United States)

The 35th Infantry Regiment ("Cacti") was created on 1 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona from elements of the 11th, 18th and 22nd Infantry Regiments. The 35th served on the Mexico–US border during the First World War and was stationed at Nogales, Arizona in 1918. It fought a border skirmish on 27 August 1918 during the Battle of Ambos Nogales.

In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam it served as part of the 25th Infantry (Tropic Lightning) Division.

As of 2012, the only active element of the regiment is the 2d Battalion, which is assigned to the 3d Brigade Combat Team (Infantry), 25th Infantry Division.

Chang Myon

Chang Myon (hangul: 장면; hanja: 張勉; August 28, 1899 – June 4, 1966) was a South Korean statesman, educator, diplomat, journalist and social activist as well as a Roman Catholic youth activist. He was the last Vice President of South Korea and the Prime Minister of the Second Republic. His styled name (ho) was Unseok (운석, 雲石). His English name was John Chang Myon (baptismal name, surname, given name).

Under the Japanese rule, Chang worked as a teacher. From 1919–21, he taught at Yongsan Youth Catholic Theology School and from 1931–36 at Dongsung Commerce High School. From 1937–44, he was principal of Hyehwa Kindergarten of the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church. From 1936–45, he was principal of Dongsung Commerce High School.

In 1948, he led the delegation of the Republic of Korea to the UN General Assembly. In 1949, he became the first ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States. In 1950, he successfully appealed to the United States and the UN to send troops to assist in the Korean War. On November 23, 1950, he was appointed the second prime minister of the First Republic of Korea. From 1956 to 1960, he served as the fourth vice president of the First Republic of Korea.

When Syngman Rhee's government was ousted by the student-led pro-democracy uprising of April 19 Movement, he was elected the Prime Minister of the Second Republic in 1960. After the country adopted a parliamentary system in response to Rhee's abuse of presidential power, Chang became the head of government. Chang Myon's government ended when Park Chung-hee led a successful military coup on May 16, 1961, which marked the end of the Second Republic and the nation's brief experimentation with the cabinet form of government.

First Republic of Korea

The First Republic of Korea (Hangul: 제1공화국; RR: Jeil Gonghwaguk; lit. "first republic") was South Korea's first independent government, ruling the country from 1948 to 1960. It succeeded USAMGIK, the United States military government, which ruled the area from 1945 to 1948. The Philippines recognized South Korea on 15 August 1948. The First Republic was established on August 15, 1948, with Syngman Rhee as the first president. Like subsequent governments, it claimed sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula, although it only had power over the area south of the 38th parallel. The investiture of the Rhee government followed the general election of May 10, 1948. The country's first constitution had been promulgated by the first National Assembly on July 17. It established a system with a strong president, who was elected indirectly by the National Assembly. The April Revolution in 1960 led to the resignation of Syngman Rhee and the transition to the Second Republic of South Korea.

House of Commons (South Korea)

The House of Commons (Korean hangul: 민의원, hanja: 民議院) was the lower house of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea during its Second Republic. The House of Commons was established by the Constitution of the Second Republic of Korea, which established a bicameral legislature.

List of Presidents of South Korea

To avoid confusion, all the names on this list follow the Eastern order convention (family name first, given name second) for consistency.

Since the establishment of the Government of the Republic of Korea which is commonly known as South Korea in 1948, twelve people have served nineteen terms as President of South Korea. Under the Constitution of South Korea, the president is the country's head of state as well as its head of government. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.

Prior to the establishment of the First Republic in 1948, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea established in Shanghai in September 1919 as the continuation of several governments proclaimed in the aftermath of March 1st Movement earlier that year coordinated Korean people's resistance against Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The legitimacy of the Provisional Government has been recognised and succeeded by South Korea in the latter's original Constitution of 1948 and the current Constitution of 1988. Nine people have served twenty-four terms as Heads of State (with varying titles) of the Provisional Government between September 1919 and August 1948.

The presidential term has been set at five years since 1988. It was previously set at four years from 1948 to 1972, six years from 1972 to 1981, and seven years from 1981 to 1988. Since 1981, the president has been barred from reelection. The president must be a South Korean citizen, at least 40 years old, who has lived in South Korea for 5 years.

National Intelligence Service (South Korea)

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) (대한민국국가정보원, 국정원) is the chief intelligence agency of South Korea. The agency was officially established in 1961 as the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) (중앙정보부), during the rule of President Park Chung-hee's military Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, which displaced the Second Republic of Korea. The original duties of the KCIA were to supervise and coordinate both international and domestic intelligence activities and criminal investigation by all government intelligence agencies, including that of the military. The agency's broad powers allowed it to actively intervene in politics.

The agency took on the name Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP) (국가안전기획부) in 1981, as part of a series of reforms instituted by the Fifth Republic of Korea under President Chun Doo-hwan. The ANSP is colloquially known as 안기부 "Angibu" in South Korea. Besides trying to acquire intelligence on North Korea and suppress South Korean activists, the ANSP, like its predecessor, was heavily involved in activities outside its sphere, including domestic politics and even promoting the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

In 1999, the agency assumed its current name. The advent of democracy in the Sixth Republic of Korea has seen many of the duties and powers of the NIS curtailed, in response to public criticisms about past abuses.

Republic of Korea Army

The Republic of Korea Army (ROKA; Korean: 대한민국 육군; Hanja: 大韓民國 陸軍; Revised Romanization: Daehanminguk Yuk-gun), also known as the ROK Army, is the army of South Korea, responsible for ground-based warfare. It is the largest of the military branches of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces with 464,000 members as of 2018. This size is maintained through conscription; South Korean men must complete 21 months of military service between the age of 18 and 35.

Senate (South Korea)

The Senate (Korean hangul: 참의원, hanja: 參議院) was the upper house of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea during its Second Republic. The Senate was established by the Constitution of the Second Republic of Korea, which established a bicameral legislature.


Sroka or SROKA can mean any of the following:

Sroka (surname)

Second Republic of Korea Army

SZD-15 Sroka, a single-seat glider designed and built in Poland in 1956

Supreme Council for National Reconstruction

The Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, initially named the Military Revolutionary Committee, was a military junta that oversaw the government of South Korea from May 16, 1961 until the inauguration of the Third Republic of South Korea in 1963. It was composed largely of military officers who were involved in or supportive of the May 16 coup which overthrew the Second Republic of South Korea. The council was chaired initially by Chang Do-yong, and subsequently by Park Chung-hee. The president of the Second Republic, Yun Po-sun, stayed in office as a figurehead.

Syngman Rhee

Syngman Rhee (Korean: 이승만, pronounced [i.sɯŋ.man]; 26 March 1875 – 19 July 1965) was a South Korean politician who served as the first President of South Korea from 1948 to 1960.

Rhee was the first and the last President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea from 1919 to 1925 and 1947 to 1948, and was elected President of South Korea in the 1948 presidential election. Rhee oversaw the transfer of power from the United States Army Military Government in Korea to the Government of South Korea and the establishment of the First Republic of Korea. Rhee adopted a strongly anti-communist and pro-American stance, and led South Korea through the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.

Rhee was widely regarded as an authoritarian dictator and his three-term presidency was characterized by corruption and political repression, including the National Defense Corps incident and reported ordering the extrajudicial killings of over 14,000 suspected communists in South Korea. Rhee's popularity declined after the Korean War, and he resigned in April 1960 during the April Revolution following popular protests against the disputed March 1960 presidential election. Rhee's resignation resulted in the transition to the Second Republic of Korea, and he died in exile in Hawaii in 1965.

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