Lee Nak-yeon (Korean: 이낙연; Hanja: 李洛淵; born 20 December 1951), also known as Lee Nak-yon, is a South Korean politician who is the 41st and current Prime Minister of South Korea. He previously served as the governor of Jeollanam-do province. Before serving as governor, he worked as a journalist for the Dong-a Ilbo and served as a member of the National Assembly for four terms.
Early life and education
Lee was born on December 20, 1951 in Yeonggwang County in South Jeolla Province. After graduating from Seoul National University with a degree in law, he worked as a journalist for the daily Dong-a Ilbo newspaper until 2000.
Early political career
He entered politics in 2000 "based on his ties with former President Kim Dae-jung he formed while covering politics." Following his departure from the Dong-a Ilbo he was elected as a member of the National Assembly in 2000 and served for four terms. He also served as a spokesman for former President Roh Moo-hyun when he was the president-elect in 2002.
He left office in the middle of his fourth term in 2014 to successfully run for governor of South Jeolla Province.
On May 10, 2017, he was nominated by President Moon Jae-in to be the next Prime Minister of South Korea, succeeding Hwang Kyo-ahn. He left office as governor of the South Jeolla Province on the same day. He is seen as having close ties with key Japanese politicians, having served many years as a senior officer in the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union. Lee speaks fluent Japanese. On June 25, Prime Minister Lee urged North Korea to release their prisoners. On July 27, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, who is known to be knowledgeable about Japan, criticized the accord regarding ‘comfort women’. On August 16, Lee reacted negatively to calls for South Korea to possess nuclear weapons, saying the move would undermine Seoul's calls for North Korea to denuclearize, trigger a nuclear arms race and put the country under international sanctions. Reflecting such calls, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party adopted a demand for the redeployment of US tactical nuclear arms as its official party line during a general meeting of its lawmakers. On November 29, Lee raised concerns that cryptocurrencies were corrupting the youth of South Korea, remarking “There are cases in which young Koreans including students are jumping in to make quick money and virtual currencies are used in illegal activities like drug dealing or multi-level marketing for frauds”. On December 13, Prime Minister Lee visited Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in February.
|Election||Year||Province||Party Affiliation||Votes||Percentage of votes||Results|
|16th National Assembly General Election||2000||Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yonggwang Counties)||Democratic Party (2000)||37,863||60.20%||Won|
|17th National Assembly General Election||2004||Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yonggwang Counties)||Democratic Party (2000)||30,123||55.28%||Won|
|18th National Assembly General Election||2008||Jeonnam (Hampyong, Yougggwang, Jangseong Counties)||Democratic Party (2008)||42,950||67.93%||Won|
|19th National Assembly General Election||2012||Jeonnam (Damyang, Hampyong, Yonggwang, Jangseong Counties)||Democratic United Party||63,887||77.32%||Won|
|Provincial Gubernatorial Election||2014||South Jeolla||New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD)||755,036||77.96%||Won|
Lee is married. Lee Nak-yeon's bongwan belongs to the Jeonju Yi clan, which makes him part of the royal Yi family. He is also the 22nd-generation descendant of Grand Prince Wanpung who was the elder half-brother of King Taejo of Joseon, the founder of Joseon Kingdom