Chung Il-kwon

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Chung.
Chung Il-kwon
File:PM Chung.jpg
General Chung Il-kwon
Born (1917-11-21)November 21, 1917
Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai, Russia
Died January 17, 1994(1994-01-17) (aged 76)
Hawaii, United States
Allegiance  Manchukuo
 South Korea
Service/branch 22x20px Manchukuo Imperial Army (1941–1945)
 Republic of Korea Army
Years of service 1941-1957
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
Korean War
Other work politician, cabinet minister, South Korean prime minister
Chung Il-kwon
Hangul 정일권
Revised Romanization Jeong Il-gwon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Il-gwŏn
Pen name
Hangul 청사
Revised Romanization Chungsa
McCune–Reischauer Chungsa
Courtesy name
Hangul 일진
Revised Romanization Il-jin
McCune–Reischauer IlChin
Japanese name:
Nakashima Ikken (?)

Chung Il-kwon (Korean: 정일권; Hanja: 丁一權, November 21, 1917 – January 17, 1994) was a South Korean politician, diplomat and soldier. A general in the Republic of Korea Army, he served as Foreign Minister of Korea 1963 to 1964, and Prime Minister of South Korea from 1964 to 1970. He was one of allies of President Park Chung-hee.

His penname was Chungsa (Korean: 청사)

Early life and education

Chung was born in Ussuriysk in Primorsky Krai, Russia, where his father worked as an interpreter for the Imperial Russian Army. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, his father moved the family to Kyongwon County, North Hamgyong province in Korea. However, in 1930, the family relocated to what is now Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Manchuria, where Chung grew up in extreme poverty. Because he was raised in Korea when it was still occupied by the Japanese, he was given the name of Ikken Nakashima.[1]


Due to his excellent grades in school, Chung won a place at the Manchukuo Imperial Army academy in Mukden, from which he graduated in September 1937. Again, his performance was regarded as excellent, and he was sent on to attend the 55th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Tokyo, where he specialized in cavalry operations. He also assumed the Japanese name Nakajima Ikken (中島一權). During the Pacific War, he served in the Manchukuo Imperial Army as a military police captain. Following the Soviet invasion of Manchuria at the end of World War II, he was briefly captured by Soviet forces and interrogated by the KGB.

Chung graduated from the first class of the Korea Military Academy in 1946 and was commissioned into the South Korean army. He was in Hawaii undergoing military training at the start of the Korean War. He arrived in Korea on June 30, and was immediately promoted to major general and replaced General Chae Byeong Deok as commander of the Republic of Korea Army. Serving as a tactical commander and then major general in the Korean War, Chun Il Kwon, organized the South Korean soldiers at Inchon.[2] His initial responsibilities included regrouping the routed Korean military forces and coordinating their efforts with the United Nations command. He was the commander of all ROK forces in Pusan from July–August, which would place him at the attack of Inchon.[3] This was known for incapacitated the North Korean Army and leaving him a well-known war hero.[3] He returned to the United States for additional training in July 1951 following the National Defense Corps Incident and the Geochang massacre. However, on his return in July 1952 he was demoted by President Syngman Rhee to a divisional command and sent to a front-line combat unit. Three months later, he was promoted to deputy commander of the IX Corps (United States) commanding front line UN forces in numerous offensives and counteroffensives. Three months after this, he was again promoted to command the Korean II Corps, which he held until the end of the war.[4]

After retiring in 1957, he served as South Korea's ambassador to Turkey. In 1960, he was appointed ambassador to France, and then served as ambassador to the United States from 1960-1961 and 1962-1963. From 1963-1964 Chung served as Foreign Minister of South Korea and was Prime minister of South Korea from 1964 to 1970. During his time as an ambassador, he also took the time to study political science and international relations at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Harvard.[2]

From 1971, Chung served as a member of the National Assembly from the Democratic Republican Party for three consecutive terms. He also served as chairman in the ninth National Assembly of 1973-1979.

In March 1991, Chung received treatment for lymph cancer in Hawaii. Although he continued political activities in 1992 for the Democratic Republican Party in 1993, particularly in support of Kim Young-sam during the 1992 Korean presidential election, he was re-hospitalized in Hawaii in January 1994 due to cancer, and died there. He received a state funeral and was buried at the Seoul National Cemetery. Survived by his four children and his wife, Park Hye-Soo, after his death in Hawaii.[2]


  • War and Ceasefire (전쟁과 휴전)
  • Chung Il-kwon's Memoir (정일권 회고록, 丁一權 回顧綠)

See also


  1. "Chung Il-kwon". WW2DB. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lyons, Richard D. (1994-01-19). "Chung Il Kwon, Korean General And Premier, 76". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Chung Il Kwon | biography - Korean army officer and politician". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  4. Varhola, Michael J (2000). Fire and Ice: The Korean War, 1950-1953. Da Capo Press. ISBN 1882810449.  page 205

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Choi Du-sun
Prime Minister of South Korea
1964 - 1970
Succeeded by
Baik Duzin
Preceded by
Yang Yu-chan
Republic of Korea Ambassador to USA
1960 - 1961
Succeeded by
Chang Li-wook
Preceded by
Chang Li-wook
Republic of Korea Ambassador to USA
1962 - 1963
Succeeded by
Kim Jeong-ryul
Preceded by
Kim Yong-sik
Foreign minister of South Korea
1963 - 1964
Succeeded by
Lee Dong-won
Preceded by
Lee Dong-won
Foreign minister of South Korea
1966 - 1967
Succeeded by
Choi Kyu-hah