President of South Korea

President of the
Republic of Korea
대한민국 대통령
Seal of the President of the Republic of Korea.svg
Presidential Seal
Presidential Standard of the Republic of Korea.svg
Presidential Standard
Moon Jae-in May 2017.jpg
Incumbent
Moon Jae-in

since 10 May 2017
Style Mr. President (대통령님)
(informal)
His Excellency (대통령 각하)
(in international correspondence)
Residence Blue House, Seoul, South Korea
Appointer Direct popular vote
Term length 5 years
Not renewable
Inaugural holder Syngman Rhee
11 September 1919 ( Provisional Government)
24 July 1948 ( First Republic)
Salary 192,553,000 ($172,000)
Website (in English) english.president.go.kr
(in Korean) president.go.kr
Emblem of South Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Korea
Constitution

The President of the Republic of Korea ( Hangul대한민국 대통령; Hanja大韓民國 大統領; RRDaehan Minguk Daetongryeong) is, according to the South Korean constitution, the chairperson of the cabinet, the chief executive of the government, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the head of state of South Korea. The Constitution and the amended Presidential Election Act of 1987 provide for election of the president by direct, secret ballot, ending sixteen years of indirect presidential elections under the preceding two governments. The president is directly elected to a five-year term, with no possibility of re-election. [1] If a presidential vacancy should occur, a successor must be elected within sixty days, during which time presidential duties are to be performed by the prime minister or other senior cabinet members in the order of priority as determined by law. While in office, the chief executive lives in Cheong Wa Dae (the "Blue House"), and is exempt from criminal liability (except for insurrection or treason).

Moon Jae-in, former human rights lawyer and chief of staff to then-President Roh Moo-hyun, [2] assumed post of President of South Korea on 10 May 2017 [3] immediately upon being elected with a plurality of 41.1%, in contrast to 24.0% and 21.4% won by his major opponents, conservative Hong Joon-pyo and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo, respectively. [4]

Powers and duties of the president

Chapter 3 of the South Korean constitution states the duties and the powers of the president. The president is required to:

Also, the president is given the powers:

If the National Assembly votes against a presidential decision, it will be declared void immediately.

The president may refer important policy matters to a national referendum, declare war, conclude peace and other treaties, appoint senior public officials, and grant amnesty (with the concurrence of the National Assembly). In times of serious internal or external turmoil or threat, or economic or financial crises, the president may assume emergency powers "for the maintenance of national security or public peace and order." Emergency measures may be taken only when the National Assembly is not in session and when there is no time for it to convene. The measures are limited to the "minimum necessary."

The 1987 Constitution removed the 1980 Constitution's explicit provisions that empowered the government to temporarily suspend the freedoms and rights of the people. However, the president is permitted to take other measures that could amend or abolish existing laws for the duration of a crisis. It is unclear whether such emergency measures could temporarily suspend portions of the Constitution itself. Emergency measures must be referred to the National Assembly for concurrence. If not endorsed by the assembly, the emergency measures can be revoked; any laws that had been overridden by presidential order regain their original effect. In this respect, the power of the legislature is more vigorously asserted than in cases of ratification of treaties or declarations of war, in which the Constitution simply states that the National Assembly "has the right to consent" to the president's actions. In a change from the 1980 Constitution, the 1987 Constitution stated that the president is not permitted to dissolve the National Assembly.

Other Languages
Bahasa Melayu: Presiden Korea Selatan
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Predsjednik Južne Koreje