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Digital Archive International History Declassified


Kang Yeong-hun

Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare

Kang served as prime minister of ROK (1988-1990) and as the president of the National Red Cross (1991-1997).


KANG YEONG-HUN (1922-). Born in Changseong, North Pyeong-an Province, now in North Korea, Kang graduated from the Manzhouguo (Manchukuo) National University. Returning home at the end of the World War II, he joined the Korean army. Rising in rank during the Korean War, he served as a division commander in 1953. In 1958, he studied at the Army Command and General Staff College in the United States.

In 1959, he became a corps commander, becoming the commandant of the Korean Military Academy in 1960. He was critical of the Military Revolution of 16 May 1961, and retired from the army as a lieutenant general in 1961. He then went to the U.S. for graduate studies, receiving a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Southern California. He established the Research Institute on Korean Affairs in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1970.

Returning to Korea in 1976, Kang became dean of the graduate school of Hanguk University of Foreign Studies in 1977, and from 1978 to 1981 he served as director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs training institute, the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security. He then became ambassador to Great Britain (1981-1984) and to the Holy See (1984-1987), and, after leaving the Foreign Ministry, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1988 as a member of the ruling Democratic Justice Party. In December 1988, Kang was appointed prime minister, serving in that office until December 1990. He was subsequently president of the Korean National Red Cross from 1991-1997, during which period he was involved in negotiations between the Red Cross Societies of the two Koreas. Kang has also served as president or chairman of a number of academic and social organizations and societies.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea, by Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).