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Ex-Prime Minister Passes Away

Posted April. 27, 2007 07:30,   


On April 26, former prime minister Shin Hyun-hwak, who had a diverse career in political and financial circles, died at Seoul National University Hospital. He was 87 years old.

Shin was born in Chilgok-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, in 1920 and graduated from Daegu High (currently Gyeongbuk High). He began his career as a public official when he passed the Japanese High Civil Servant Exam in 1943 as a law student at Gyeongseong Imperial University (currently Seoul National University).

After Korea became independent, he started over as a department chief in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1951. He was appointed Minister of Economic Promotion in 1959 and put in prison for two years and seven months after the April Revolution.

After moving to financial circles, Shin became president of Donghae Electric Power and of Ssangyong Cement Industrial and then vice-chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry. After returning to politics, he served as a lawmaker, minister of Health and Society, and deputy prime minister of economy in the 1970s. After President Park’s assassination on October 26, 1979, he was appointed prime minister in December.

Shin had been in hospital recovering from a backbone fracture since February of 2006.

He is survived by one son and three daughters, Cheol-sik (deputy-chief in the Office for Government Policy Coordination), Bong-ae (Yonsei University Music School vice-dean), Mi-ae, and Jeong-ae; by sons-in-law, Seoul National University (SNU) Medical School professor Shim Yeong-soo, SNU Hospital director Seong Sang-cheol, and KCTC vice-president Park Jeong-seok.

A public funeral will be held at Seoul National University for five days. Shin will be laid to rest in the National Daejeon Memorial Board. The funeral procession will start at 10:00 a.m. on April 30. For any inquiries, call 02-2072-2091.