Chung Mong-joon

This is a Korean name; the family name is Chung.
Chung Mong-joon

Chung in January 2008
Chairman of the Grand National Party
In office
7 September 2009  3 June 2010
Preceded by Park Hee-tae
Succeeded by Ahn Sang-soo
Member of the National Assembly
In office
30 May 2008  15 May 2014
Preceded by Lee Kye-ahn
Succeeded by Na Kyung-won
Constituency Dongjak 2nd (Seoul)
In office
30 May 1988  29 May 2008
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Ahn Hyo-dae
Constituency Dong (Ulsan)
Personal details
Born (1951-10-17)17 October 1951 (age 63)
Beomil-dong, Dong-gu, Pusan, Gyeongnam, South Korea
Nationality  Republic of Korea
Political party Saenuri
Spouse(s) Kim Young-Myeong
Alma mater Seoul National University (B.A.)
MIT Sloan School of Management (M.B.A.)
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Ph.D.)
Occupation Politician; Business Magnate; Vice President of FIFA
Religion Presbyterianism formerly Buddhism
Korean name
Hangul 정몽준
Hanja 鄭夢準
Revised Romanization Jeong Mongjun
McCune–Reischauer Chŏng Mongjun

Chung Mong-joon or Chung Mong Joon, (Korean: 정몽준, born October 17, 1951) is a South Korean businessman and politician. He is the sixth son of Chung Ju-yung, founder of Hyundai, the second-largest South Korean chaebol before its breakup in 2003. He remains the controlling shareholder of a Hyundai offshoot, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, parent of the world's largest shipbuilding company. He is also the chairman of the board of the University of Ulsan and Ulsan College in Ulsan, South Korea.[1] He is the founder and the honorary chairman of The Asan Institute for Policy Studies.[2] He was Honorary Vice-President of FIFA and president of the South Korean football association.[3]

Political career and personal life

Chung became a politician when he was elected as an assembly man in 1988 and served consecutive 7 terms in two different electoral districts. Initially he was elected in Dong District, Ulsan where predominant share of its population consisted of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group's employees, its affiliated companies' employees, and their families. Most of other population in Dong District run businesses related with serving those workers and their families. Chung served as a representative of this particular district for 20 years. He joined Grand National Party in 2007 shortly before 2007 South Korean presidential election, declaring his support to that party's presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak. As a member of Grand National Party, he switched his electoral district to Dongjak District, Seoul, and represented there as an assembly man for 2 terms until 2014 when he had to give up that seat to run for mayor of Seoul, but the election was lost to Park Won-soon leaving no political titles for Chung after. Grand National Party changed its name to Saenuri Party in 2012. Chung had announced his candidacy for FIFA president.[4] However he has been banned from all football activities for six years by FIFA Ethics Committee in October 2015.[5]

Presidential campaign of 2002

In 2002, he ran for the presidency, but later gave up his candidacy supporting Millennium Democratic Party's candidate Roh Moo-hyun. Their coalition was motivated to prevent Grand National Party from winning the presidential election. South Korean regionalism became much more serious and antagonistic under President Kim Dae-jung's term.[6][7] President Kim is the only South Korean president coming from Jeolla province, whereas all the other South Korean presidents since General Park Chung-hee's military coup in 1961 have been from Gyeongsang province. Those of Koreans who despised Jeolla province supported Grand National Party, and the party exploited such sentiments for its political gains of denouncing President Kim and his government. Throughout President Kim' term, Grand National Party was accused by civil rights groups and media for instigating anti Jeolla sentiments.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Chung and Roh Moo-hyun objected such self-destroying regionalism in South Korea, and advocated reconciliation between Jeolla and Gyeongsang provinces.[18][19] Their coalition was intended to defeat the party which was seen to exploit regionalism.

Chung participated in Roh's presidential campaign up to the last day before the election, Dec 19, 2002. On Dec 18 afternoon, before the crowd of his supporters in Myeong-dong, Seoul, Roh suggested Chung Dong-young and Choo Mi-ae as viable choices of candidates for the next presidential race in 2007. Roh suggested those Democratic Party's politicians when he saw some of the crowd having slogans "Chung Mong-joon for the next presidential candidate" Roh's suggestion was not intended to exclude Chung as a presidential candidate, but to encourage and to praise his party's politicians in return to their supports to his presidential campaign.[20] Several hours after this, Chung's spokeswoman officially announced Chung's withdrawal from supporting Roh.[21] Roh's presidential camp was stunned by this,[22] and Roh tried to allay Chung by visiting his home in person on the very last night before the presidential election,[23] but Chung kept his front door closed and refused to see Roh.[24] Nevertheless, Roh went on to win the election on the following day for the victory of all of those Koreans who wished to see regionalism end in South Korea.

Chung's joining of Grand National Party is an irony because his withdrawal from the presidential race in 2002 supporting Roh Moo-hyun was responsible for Grand National Party's failure in winning the presidential election. The party's candidate Lee Hoi-chang received absolute support from conservative or anti Jeolla voters. By the help of Chung's withdrawal, the election became bipolar between Roh and Lee, and Roh turned out to be a winner receiving exclusive support from reform minded Korean voters. Grand National Party had to wait another 5 years to produce a president from this defeat. Also his declaration to support Lee Myung-bak when he joined Grand National Party is an irony. When Chung's father Chung Ju-yung ran for the presidency in 1992, Lee Myung-bak supported Kim Young-sam instead of Chung Ju-yung despite the fact that Lee made fortune and fame when he worked at Hyundai.[25][26] Chung Ju-yung even bought him a luxurious house when Lee worked for Chung Ju-yung.[27] So Chung supported his father's ex subordinate who in fact hadn't supported his father in earlier presidential race.

Chung's brother Chung Mong-hun, then the president of Hyundai Asan who pioneered South and North joint Mount Kumgang tour business, committed suicide on Aug 4, 2003 when he was investigated by prosecutors for his alleged $400 millions cash remit to North Korea shortly before 2000 North-South summit. Initially this suspicion was raised from US when Congressional Research Service reported such allegation from CIA source on March 5, 2002.[28] Upon hearing of such report, Grand National Party made use of this suspicion to attack the legitimacy of President Kim Dae-jung's government, and demanded thorough investigation through hearings and independent special prosecutors.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35] Several weeks before leaving his office, President Kim gave an apology and advised no investigation for this matter for fear of aggravating North and South's relation,[36][37] and Chung Mong-hun also confessed much of the allegations to public in his final attempt to evade investigation.[38] But Grand National Party was resolute in its demand for formal investigation.[38] Shortly after Roh's inauguration, Grand National Party passed the law entitling special prosecutors to investigate this case, taking advantage of its majority seats in National Assembly.[39] Roh's regime wasn't able to refuse the demand of investigation,[40] and Chung Mong-hun committed suicide when he was investigated about the use of $15 millions worth of Korean won which was suspected to had been money laundered after its withdrawal from Hyundai's bank accounts.[41][42][43] In fact, the money wasn't part of $400 millions cash remittance to North Korea.[44] North Korea blamed Grand National Party immediately after Chung Mong-hun's suicide.[45] So Chung Mong-joon has joined the party which could be considered to be responsible for his brother's death, but Chung blames President Roh instead. In his autobiography which was published in 2011, Chung argues that President Roh didn't refuse Grand National Party's demand of investigation because he believes Roh actually wanted to investigate his brother to revenge on his withdrawal of supporting Roh in 2002 presidential election.[46]

There is another ironical point behind Chung's joining of Grand National Party. The party tried to dig and disclose Chung's private life information to defame him in 2002 presidential election[47] These included his alleged prior diagnosis of mental disorder in school years, his cheating incidence during final exam in college years, questionable identity of his real mother, discredit of his Johns Hopkins University doctoral degree, and etc.[47] Some of these rumors have turned out to be true. In conclusion Chung settled at the party which had been at odds with him before.

Chung was known to be suspended and repeat courses for cheating final exam when he was a freshman in Seoul National University.[48] He was caught by an exam monitor when he was peeping at some other classmate's exam over shoulder during final exam.[48] He was reported to disciplinary committee and got such punishment after the incidence. Chung gave an excuse for this, saying he cheated final exam trying to finish it early to go out with his friends.[48] Chung is the only known public figure in Korean history having such record.

Chung's real mother is unknown. When he ran for the South Korean presidency in 2002, Grand National Party explored on this point.[47] They pondered various speculations about the identity of Chung's real mother. They speculated that his real mother could be a house maid, a geisha, or a particular traditional musician whom Chung Ju-yung had an affair with.[47] In fact in his interview with news reporters in 2002, Chung indicated that his real mother is someone else, saying he would say truth someday.[49] It was reported that he was crying sorrow when he was questioned about his real mother.[49] Chung explained about his real mother in his autobiography in 2011. Chung says that when he studied in US in 1978, he received a letter from someone in Korea who claimed to be his real mother. He hurried to return to Korea, and met her at her place, according to his autobiography. Chung says this was the first and last for him to see that woman.[46]

Presidential campaign of 2012

Shortly after he published his autobiography in 2011, some South Korean media reported an allegation that his shipbuilding company bought a large sum of his autobiography in order to make it known as a best seller.[50] The media gathered that information after interviewing inside personnel, and found that Hyundai Heavy Industries Group distributed gift certificates to thousands of their employees to purchase Chung's autobiography.[50] It was reported that they required employees to return the books along with receipts to the company after purchase, and added a special instruction not to purchase large volumes at once for fear of getting suspicions from public.[50]

On top of publishing autobiography, Chung also donated huge money and set up a charity foundation in 2011, a year before 2012 presidential election.[51] He contributed $200 millions worth of Korean won from selling approximately 5% of his assets and established Asan Sharing Foundation which offers educational opportunities and financial assistance to young people from low income families. He said he funded it to commemorate his late father Chung Ju-yung, but many couldn't dismiss reasonable suspicion that his motivation was to impress public before presidential election.[52][53] In fact Chung didn't deny such suspicion, arguing that donation is supposed to good regardless of purpose.[54][55]

Chung didn't think of Park Geun-hye as accomplished as himself before 2012 presidential election. When he decided to compete with Park, he said he was a better choice as a presidential candidate because of his educational background and work experience.[56][57] When he pointed out Park's disadvantage, he argued that expertise of politics and economy is not something to be achieved in a short time.[58] When Park Geun-hye wrote an article about North Korean issue in Foreign Affairs, Chung discredited it claiming someone else had written it under her name.[59] Therefore, it was clear that he wouldn't miss 2012 presidential election. In 2012, he ran for the presidency, but only briefly. He was the first politician who submitted application for registration as a preliminary presidential candidate on May 1, 2012,[60] but dropped out of the race in a couple of months.[61] He wanted rule change for primary election so that general population choose party's presidential candidate, but he wasn't able to make this demand sound serious to Grand National Party, since Park Geun-hye's followers dominated and controlled the party.[62] He gave up his candidacy and supported Park after. When he advertised Park at streets, he was saying to crowd that Park was prepared, and she was the one to take good care of economy and diplomacy.[63][64]

Chung is losing popular support in South Korean politics now. When he ran for assembly man in 2008, he received 54.41% of votes in Dongjak District, but for the following election in 2012, he just received 50.80% barely surviving to lose to the opposition candidate. When he ran for mayor of Seoul in 2014, he received 43.03% votes from Seoul residents losing to then incumbent mayor of Seoul and previous civil rights activist Park Won-soon who received 55% of total votes. It turned out that Chung's electoral district, Dongjak voted only 41.80% for Chung whereas it gave 57.45% for Park's favor.[65]



  1. Ulsan College
  2. "About the Asan Institute". The Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
  3. "FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter re-elected for a fourth term". 1 June 2011. Finally, outgoing FIFA Vice-President Dr Chung Mong-Joon was made Honorary Vice-President of FIFA by the Congress
  4. Chung Mong-Joon announces bid to run for FIFA president - Associated Press Aug. 17, 2015
  5. "Independent Ethics Committee bans several football officials". 8 October 2015. The former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined CHF 100,000. During this time, the above individuals are banned from all football activities on a national and international level.
  6. 초점 영남권에 근거없는 유언비어 확산, 연합뉴스 01-21-1999
  7. 경남권 "노무현 고향은 전라도" 소문 파다<주간조선> "10대조부터 김해 거주" 보도, 오마이뉴스 12-13-2002
  8. 마산 집회 `지역감정 조장,한나라당 각성촉구'-시민단체, 연합뉴스 01-25-1999
  9. 한나라당 장외집회, 포항 시민단체 거부감, 연합뉴스 01-26-1999
  10. 부산 시민단체, 삼성차 정치적 악용 경고, 연합뉴스 07-13-1999
  11. <기자수첩> 야당의 `지역감정' 부추기기, 연합뉴스 07-22-1999
  12. 야, 반여정서.지역감정 자극, 연합뉴스 11-09-1999
  13. <동아광장>민병욱/호남 딜레마, 동아일보 07-17-2000
  14. 場外 한나라 지역감정 부채질… DJ정권·노무현후보 난타, 국민일보 05-09-2002
  15. 한나라 서청원 대표 지역감정 자극 발언 '파문', 한국경제 10-16-2002
  16. 한나라당의 지역분열주의 책동을 규탄한다, 오마이뉴스 12-09-2002
  17. 한나라 `지역 감정` 자극, 문화일보 12-13-2002
  18. 鄭 "지역감정타파 정치개혁", 문화일보 10-16-2002
  19. 노무현 후보 대구경선 연설 전문, 오마이뉴스 04-05-2002
  20. 與盧 파기발단 문제발언 해명, 연합뉴스 12-19-2002
  21. 정몽준씨,盧지지 철회…차차기 大選후보 선출문제 반발, 국민일보 12-19-2002
  22. <鄭,노후보 ‘지지철회’> 민주 ‘망연자실’ , 국민일보 12-19 -2002
  23. 노무현, 정몽준 만나러 자택으로 "가능성 남아 있다", 오마이뉴스 12-19-2002
  24. 정몽준 대표 자택에서 물러나는 노무현후보, 연합뉴스 12-19-2002
  25. 이명박, 샐러리맨 성공신화, MBC TV 08-21-2007
  26. 이명박-현대家, 앙금 풀어지나?, 이투데이 12-20-2007
  27. 李 대통령 "시민으로 돌아간다"…논현동 자택 복귀, 뉴시스 02-24-2013
  28. Korea: U.S.-South Korean Relations — Issues for Congress , CRS Issue Brief for Congress, Larry Nikch, March 5, 2002
  29. 한나라 `北 지원설' 공세강화, 연합뉴스 09-27-2002
  30. 한나라, '4000억 대북지원' 국정조사-특검제 추진, 동아일보 10-06-2002
  31. `北송금설' 국조.특검 촉구, 연합뉴스 01-30-2003
  32. <北송금 공방 가열>-한나라, 연합뉴스 02-03-2003
  33. 한나라 `北송금` 연일 총공세, 문화일보 02-07-2003
  34. <北송금 해법 대치>-한나라, 연합뉴스 02-16-2003
  35. 한나라 ‘여론은 우리편’ 특검 강공, 경향신문 02-16-2003
  36. 김대통령 "전모공개 도움안돼", 연합뉴스 02-05-2003
  37. "대북송금과 정상회담은 무관" - 김 대통령, 대북송금 사과후 정치적해결 부탁, 프레시안 02-14-2003
  38. 1 2 정몽헌 기자회견후 여야갈등 심화 - 3억달러 조성경위 등 핵심의혹 침묵, 프레시안 02-17-2003
  39. 국회 北송금 특검법 처리, 연합뉴스 02-26-2003
  40. 대북송금 특검법 공포-노 대통령, 이데일리 03-14-2003
  41. 현대 비자금 150억원 `네뭉치' 돈세탁, 연합뉴스 06-20-2003
  42. 정몽헌 회장, 왜 자살했나.."비자금수사 연관설", 이데일리 08-04-2003
  43. 법조계에서 본 투신자살 배경, 연합뉴스 08-04-2003
  44. 특검, 출처 불명 '뭉칫 돈' 추적중, SBS TV 05-26-2003
  45. 북 아태평화위 등 정회장 유가족 등에 조전, 연합뉴스 08-05-2003
  46. 1 2 나의도전 나의열정 (정몽준의 인생과 세상 이야기), 정몽준 저, 김영사 2011
  47. 1 2 3 4 정몽준 '사생활'을 캐라!한나라, 'MJ 흑색선전' 문건 논란, 오마이뉴스 11-25-2002
  48. 1 2 3 Who Is ? 정몽준 전 새누리당 의원, 비즈니스포스트 05-15-2014
  49. 1 2 >대선 출마 선언하며 자신의 출생 비밀 솔직하게 털어놓은 정몽준의원, 여성동아 10-01-2002
  50. 1 2 3 “정몽준 자서전 현대중 직원 동원 ‘사재기’”, 한겨레 10-02-2011
  51. Is Chung gearing up for a presidential bid?, The Korea Times 2011.08.16
  52. 정몽준 '통 큰 기부'? 워렌 버핏 '부자 증세' 한마디에, 프레시안 2011.08.17
  53. Corporate philanthropy, The Korea Times 2011-08-17
  54. (Editorial) New charity foundation, The Korea Herald 2011-08-17
  55. 정몽준, 수전노에서 자린고비로 승격, 노컷뉴스 2011.08.17
  56. 정몽준 "박근혜, 당 대표냐 특정계파 책임자냐", 연합뉴스 2011.06.29
  57. KBS라디오 열린토론 6/29(한나라당 정몽준 의원)
  58. 정몽준 "박근혜는 여성, 나는 씩씩한 남성", 프레시안 2011.08.23
  59. (Editorial) Park Geun-hye’s essay, The Korea Herald 2011-09-05
  60. "정몽준 전대표 대선 예비후보 등록", 연합뉴스 2012.05.01
  61. 정몽준·이재오 “불참”…새누리 경선 ‘1강4약’ 뻔한 싸움으로, 한겨레신문 2012-07-09
  62. Ruling party launches primary committee despite protests from minor candidates, The Korea Herald 2012-06-11
  63. 박근혜 대통령 후보, 울산 롯데백화점 광장 유세 주요내용(보도자료), 새누리당 2012.12.12
  64. (대선 D-9) 박근혜 후보, TV토론 준비…지원단 유세 활발, MBN 2012.12.10
  65. 서울시장 박원순 당선인, 22개구 승리… 정몽준 지역구 동작서도 앞서, 경인일보 06-05-2014
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chung Mong-joon.
National Assembly of South Korea
New constituency Member of the Assembly for Ulsan Dong-gu
Succeeded by
Ahn Hyo-dae
Preceded by
Lee Kye-an
Member of the Assembly for Dongjak-eul
Succeeded by
Na Kyung-won
Party political offices
Preceded by
Park Hee-tae
Chairman of the Grand National Party
Succeeded by
Ahn Sang-soo
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