3rd Republic of Korea President, Military Leader. He first trained as a teacher at the Daegu Teacher's Gymnasium and after graduation, went on to teach in Mungyeong. He then entered the Manchukuo Imperial (Japanese) Army Academy in April 1940, and in 1942 he was selected for officer training at the Army Staff College in Japan. He would go on to serve in both the Japanese and the newly formed South Korean army, but was expelled in 1948 after it was discovered that he had participated in a communist cell. After South Korea became independent following World War II, he rejoined the army during the Korean War. Part of his training was with the United States Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Park rose through the officer ranks to become a general. When Korean President Syngman Rhee was removed from office in 1960 and the political instability that followed, Park led a successful military coup, and he became Acting President. Initially, he led as part of a Supreme Council for National Reconstruction, but pressure from the Kennedy Administration forced national elections, which were held in 1963. He won the election and was reelected in 1967, 1971, 1972, and 1978. As president, he was a major factor in the development of South Korea's industrial economy, which led to a economic boom and his popularity grew. At the same time, his administration repressed personal freedoms and the strong support (including troops) he gave to the United States in the Vietnam War diminished his popularity. There were two assassination attempts on him, both times by North Korean assailants. The first was in 1968 by a commando raid on the Korean Blue House. In the second attempt, his wife was killed during a 1974 Korean Liberation Day ceremony at the Seoul National Theater. Eventually he was assassinated by his director of Central Intelligence, Kim Jae-gyu, who believed he was an obstacle to democracy.
Bio by: S. Rich
Young Soo Yuk Park