Awards And Decorations Act


Published: 2012-03-21

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 Article 1 (Purpose)   print
The purpose of this Act is to prescribe matters relating to the conferment of awards and decorations on nationals of the Republic of Korea or foreigners who have rendered distinguished services to the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 2 (Principles of Decoration)   print
Orders and medals of the Republic of Korea shall be conferred on nationals of the Republic of Korea or allies who have rendered distinguished services to the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 3 (Standards for Decoration)   print
Standards for decoration shall be established in consideration of the merits of persons to be decorated with orders, the scope of effects of such merits on the State and communities, the status of persons to be decorated with orders, etc.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 4 (Prohibition against Double Decoration)   print
No order or medal shall be conferred double for one and the same merit.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 5 (Recommendations for Decoration)   print
(1) Recommendations for decoration shall be made by the head of a central administrative agency (including the heads of agencies under direct jurisdiction of the President and the Prime Minister), the Secretary General of the National Assembly, the Minister of the National Court Administration, the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court and the Secretary General of the National Election Commission.
(2) Recommendations for decoration which do not belong to the jurisdiction of persons entitled to make recommendations under paragraph (1) shall be made by the Minister of Public Administration and Security.
(3) Recommendations for decoration shall be made based on the examination of merits, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 6 Deleted.<by Act No. 5713, Jan. 29, 1999>   print
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 Article 7 (Determination of Decoration)   print
Persons to be decorated with orders shall be determined by the President upon deliberation by the State Council.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 8 (Revocation, etc. of Decoration)   print
(1) If a person decorated with an order or a medal falls under any of the following subparagraphs, the relevant decoration shall be revoked and thus his/her order or medal and other related articles and money granted as a supplementary prize shall be recovered; and if his/her order or medal is conferred by a foreign country, he/she shall be banned from wearing it:
1. Where the relevant merits are found to be false;
2. Where he/she is convicted of a crime against the national security or flees to a hostile country after having committed such crime;
3. Where he/she is sentenced to death or to imprisonment with or without prison labor for life or for not less than three years for committing a crime provided in the Criminal Act (excluding Articles 115, 117, 171 and 268 thereof), the Customs Act or the Punishment of Tax Evaders Act.
(2) The revocation of decoration, the recovery of an order, medal, etc. and the ban on wearing an order or a medal conferred by a foreign country under paragraph (1) shall be subject to deliberation by the State Council.
(3) If a person decorated with an order or a medal falls under any ground referred to in any subparagraph of paragraph (1), the Minister of Public Administration and Security shall refer the case to the State Council to determine whether to revoke the decoration. In those cases, the head of the central administrative agency, etc. under Article 5 who recommended the decoration may request the Minister of Public Administration and Security to refer the case for revocation of the decoration to the State Council.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 8-2 (Publication of Decoration)   print
Where a decoration is determined or revoked pursuant to Article 7 or Article 8, the relevant person and any ground for such determination or revocation shall be published on an Official Gazette within 60 days from the date such decoration is determined or revoked: Provided, That matters prescribed in any subparagraph of Article 9 (1) of the Official Information Disclosure Act may be excluded.
[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 9 (Classification of Orders)   print
The kinds of orders shall be as follows:
1. The Grand Order of Mugunghwa;
2. The Order of Merit for National Foundation;
3. The Order of Civil Merit;
4. The Order of Military Merit;
5. The Order of Service Merit;
6. The Order of National Security Merit;
7. The Order of Diplomatic Service Merit;
8. The Order of Industrial Service Merit;
9. The Order of Saemaeul Service Merit;
10. The Order of Cultural Merit;
11. The Order of Sports Merit;
12. The Order of Science and Technology Merit.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 10 (Grand Order of Mugunghwa)   print
The Grand Order of Mugunghwa, which is the highest order of the Republic of Korea, shall be awarded to the President of the Republic of Korea, and may also be awarded to the spouse of the President, the head of an ally or his/her spouse, or the former head of an ally or his/her spouse who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 11 (Order of Merit for National Foundation)   print
The Order of Merit for National Foundation, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of founding or laying a foundation for the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 12 (Order of Civil Merit)   print
The Order of Civil Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the area of politics, economy, society, education, art or science in the interest of improving citizens' welfare and promoting national development.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 13 (Order of Military Merit)   print
The Order of Military Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding military services by participating in an action in time of war or in quasi-state of war or by performing his/her duty equivalent to combat, such as responding to the attack of an enemy in a contact area.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 14 (Order of Service Merit)   print
The Order of Service Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a public official (excluding a serviceperson and a civilian employee; hereinafter the same shall apply), a private school teacher (including a teacher of a lifelong educational establishment, the educational attainment of which is recognized, to which the regulations on teachers of national and private schools apply mutatis mutandis under Article 31 (3) of the Lifelong Education Act; hereinafter the same shall apply), or an employee of a special post office under Article 2 of the Special Post Offices Act who has rendered outstanding meritorious services by applying himself/herself to his/her duties.<Amended by Act No. 11393, Mar. 21, 2012>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 15 (Order of National Security Merit)   print
The Order of National Security Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of national security.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 16 (Order of Diplomatic Service Merit)   print
(1) The Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of enhancing national prestige and promoting amity with allies.
(2) Newly appointed diplomatic officials, government representatives, special missions and their suites recognized as necessary by the Government, who proceed to their posts, shall wear the Orders of Diplomatic Service Merit in diplomatic events as formal decorations to maintain their dignity.
(3) Standards for classification of the orders worn as formal decorations in accordance with paragraph (2) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 17 (Order of Industrial Service Merit)   print
The Order of Industrial Service Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing the national industries.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 17-2 (Order of Saemaeul Service Merit)   print
The Order of Saemaeul Service Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing the nation and society through the Saemaeul Movement.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 17-3 (Order of Cultural Merit)   print
The Order of Cultural Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the fields of culture and art in the interest of promoting the national culture and national development.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 17-4 (Order of Sports Merit)   print
The Order of Sports Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the field of sports in the interest of improving national sports and promoting national development.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 17-5 (Order of Science and Technology Merit)   print
The Order of Science and Technology Merit, which consists of five grades, shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing science and technology.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 18 (Denominations of Orders by Grades)   print
The denominations of orders by grades under Articles 11 through 17 and Articles 17-2 through 17-5 shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 19 (Classification of Medals)   print
The kinds of medals, which are subordinate in grade to orders, shall be as follows:
1. National Foundation Medal;
2. Civil Merit Medal;
3. Military Merit Medal;
4. Service Merit Medal;
5. National Security Medal;
6. Reserve Forces Medal;
7. Diplomatic Service Medal;
8. Industrial Service Medal;
9. Saemaeul Service Medal;
10. Cultural Merit Medal;
11. Sports Merit Medal;
12. Science and Technology Merit Medal.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 20 (National Foundation Medal)   print
The National Foundation Medal shall be awarded to a person who has devotedly rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of founding or laying a foundation for the Republic of Korea.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 21 (Civil Merit Medal)   print
The Civil Merit Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing politics, economy, society, education, art or science, or who has donated a big fortune to or managed a public facility, or otherwise rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of promotingcitizens' welfare while engaged in public service.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 22 (Military Merit Medal)   print
The Military Merit Medal shall be awarded to a person who has devotedly rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of the national defense.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 23 (Service Merit Medal)   print
The Service Merit Medal shall be awarded to a public official, private school teacher, or an employee of a special post office under Article 2 of the Special Post Offices Act, or an employee of a State-run or public enterprise, a public organization or a social organization who has rendered outstanding meritorious services by applying himself/herself to his/her duties in the interest of promoting national interests and citizens' welfare.<Amended by Act No. 11393, Mar. 21, 2012>
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 24 (National Security Medal and Reserve Forces Medal)   print
(1) The National Security Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of guaranteeing national security and maintaining the public peace and order or risked his/her own life to rescue another's life and property.
(2) The Reserve Forces Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of fostering and developing the reserve forces or applied himself/herself to his/her duties while serving in the reserves.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 25 (Diplomatic Service Medal)   print
The Diplomatic Service Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of expanding national prestige and promoting amity with allies or contributed greatly to enhancing national prestige.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 26 (Industrial Service Medal)   print
The Industrial Service Medal shall be awarded to a person who has contributed to industrial development and growth, or rendered outstanding meritorious services by applying himself/herself to his/her business, or to an employee working in a factory, place of business or other place of employment who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of national development by applying himself/herself to his/her duties.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 26-2 (Saemaeul Service Medal)   print
The Saemaeul Service Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing communities and promoting the welfare of residents by embodying Saemaeul spirits through the Saemaeul Movement.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 26-3 (Cultural Merit Medal)   print
The Cultural Merit Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing culture, or enhancing national prestige, through cultural and artistic activities.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 26-4 (Sports Merit Medal)   print
The Sports Merit Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing national sports, or enhancingnational prestige, through sports activities.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 26-5 (Science and Technology Merit Medal)   print
The Science and Technology Merit Medal shall be awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of developing science and technology, or enhancing national prestige, through research and development activities, etc. in science and technology.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 27 (Types and Standards)   print
(1) The Grand Order of Mugunghwa shall consist of an insignia worn around the neck, a badge affixed to sash worn over the shoulder and a star, with a ribbon and a lapel badge as necessary.
(2) The first grade order shall be made to be affixed to sash worn over the shoulder.
(3) The second and third grade orders shall be made to be affixed to sash worn around the neck: Provided, That the second grade Order of Merit for National Foundation and Order of Diplomatic Service Merit shall be made to be affixed to sash worn over the shoulder.
(4) The fourth and fifth grade orders shall be made to be affixed to sash worn on the breast.
(5) The orders referred to in paragraphs (2) through (4) shall consist of badges, stars, ribbons, and lapel badges: Provided, That the third (excluding the Order of Merit for National Foundation), fourth and fifth grade orders shall not be accompanied by stars.
(6) The medals, which consist of badges, ribbons and lapel badges, shall be made to be affixed to sash worn on the breast.
(7) Matters regarding the types, dimensions and colors of and materials for badges, stars, ribbons, lapel badges, insignia worn around the neck, and sashes under paragraphs (1) through (6) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(8) The types and standards of the Orders of Science and Technology Merit and the Science and Technology Merit Medals may be prescribed separately by Presidential Decree, notwithstanding paragraphs (2) through (7).
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 28 Deleted.<by Act No. 5713, Jan. 29, 1999>   print
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 Article 29 (Conferment of Orders and Medals)   print
In principle, orders and medals shall be bestowed by the President himself/herself, but if there exists any special reason not to do so, they may be delivered in a different manner, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 30 (Conferment by Proxy)   print
(1) The Minister of National Defense may bestow the second grade or lower Order of Military Merit on behalf of the President if it is inevitable in time of war or in quasi-state of war: Provided, That this shall not apply to the second grade Order of Military Merit except in time of war.
(2) If the Minister of National Defense is unable to bestow the Order on behalf of the President pursuant to paragraph (1), he/she may delegate the bestowal thereof to the Chief of the General Staff of the army, navy or air forces, the commander of the marine corps, the commander of an army, the commander of an army corps or a division commander.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 31 (Post Approval for Conferment by Proxy)   print
When the Minister of National Defense has bestowed the Order of Military Merit by proxy under Article 30, he/she shall prepare a detailed statement of the relevant merits without delay, and obtain approval therefor from the President after deliberation by the State Council.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 32 (Supplementary Prizes)   print
A supplementary prize may be awarded to a recipient of an order.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 33 (Receipt by Survivor or Proxy)   print
If a person entitled to receive an order is deceased or cannot receive such order in person due to any accident, his/her survivor or proxy may receive it in place of such person.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 34 (Wearing)   print
(1) An order may only be worn by a person awarded such order in his/her lifetime and, after his/her death, it shall be kept by his/her survivors, who may not wear such order.
(2) Matters necessary for the wearing of orders shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 35 Deleted.<by Act No. 5713, Jan. 29, 1999>   print
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 Article 36 (Reissuance of Orders and Medals)   print
(1) If a recipient of an order or a medal loses or damages it, he/she may have it reissued at his/her own expense, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(2) Matters necessary for the reissuance of orders or medals shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 37 (Issuance of Orders and Medals for Display)   print
Orders and medals to be used for education or exhibition in a museum, library or educational institution may be separately manufactured and issued by the Government.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 38 Deleted.<by Act No. 5713, Jan. 29, 1999>   print
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 Article 39 (Penal Provisions)   print
If any person (including his/her survivors) who is not awarded an order or a medal wears such order or medal, he/she shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine not exceeding five million won.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 40 (Penal Provisions)   print
Any person who manufactures or sells an order or a medal without entering into a contract therefor with the Government shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding ten million won.
[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011]
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 Article 41 Deleted.<by Act No. 6342, Jan. 8, 2001>   print
ADDENDA
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Transitional Measures) The first class Order of Merit for National Foundation shall be regarded as the first grade Order of Merit for National Foundation, the second class Order of Merit for National Foundation as the second grade Order of Merit for National Foundation, the third class Order of Merit for National Foundation as the third grade Order of Merit for National Foundation, the Republic of Korea Order of Cultural Merit as the first grade Order of Civil Merit, the Presidential Order of Cultural Merit as the second grade Order of Civil Merit, the National Order of Cultural Merit as the third grade Order of Civil Merit, the Taegeuk Order of Military Merit as the first grade Order of Military Merit, the Eulji Order of Military Merit as the second grade Order of Military Merit, the Chungmu Order of Military Merit as the third grade Order of Military Merit, the Hwarang Order of Military Merit as the fourth grade Order of Military Merit, the Inheon Order of Military Merit as the fifth grade Order of Military Merit, the Blue Stripes Order of Service Merit as the first grade Order of Service Merit, the Yellow Stripes Order of Service Merit as the second grade Order of Service Merit, the Red Stripes Order of Service Merit as the third grade Order of Service Merit, the Green Stripes Order of Service Merit as the fourth grade Order of Service Merit, the Aquamarine Stripes Order of Service Merit as the fifth grade Order of Service Merit, the first class Distinguished Service Order as the first grade Order of National Security Merit, the second class Distinguished Service Order as the second grade Order of National Security Merit, the third class Distinguished Service Order as the third grade Order of National Security Merit, the fourth class Distinguished Service Order as the fourth grade Order of National Security Merit, the fifth class Distinguished Service Order as the fifth grade Order of National Security Merit, the first class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit as the first grade Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, the second class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit as the second grade Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, the third class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit as the third grade Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, the fourth class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit as the fourth grade Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, the fifth class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit as the fifth grade Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, the Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit as the first grade Order of Industrial Service Merit, the Silver Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit as the second grade Order of Industrial Service Merit, and the Bronze Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit as the third grade Order of Industrial Service Merit, each of which is conferred before this Act enters into force.
(3) (Transitional Measures) The National Foundation Medal shall be regarded as the National Foundation Medal, the Defense Merit Medal which is awarded to a person who has rendered distinguished military services in battle as the Military Merit Medal, the Defense Merit Medal which is awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding meritorious services in the interest of guaranteeing national security and maintaining the public peace and order as the National Security Medal, the Cultural Merit Medal and Public Service Medal as the Civil Merit Medal, the Endeavor Medal as the Service Merit Medal, and the Increase of Productions Medal and the Labor Medal as the Industrial Service Medals, each of which is conferred before this Act enters into force.
(4) (Transitional Measures) Any person who was determined to be decorated with an order before this Act enters into force but failed to receive the relevant order as at the time this Act enters into force shall be awarded the order pursuant to this Act.
(5) (Transitional Measures) Any order which is made before this Act enters into force, but cannot be bestowed due to the change in the type of orders shall be kept in the Ministry of Government Administration for purposes of research into the decoration system.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 2282, Jan. 14, 1971>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 2447, Jan. 25, 1973>
The enforcement date of this Act shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4017, Aug. 5, 1988>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on September 1, 1988. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 8 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 4222, Jan. 13, 1990>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Transitional Measures) The National Foundation Medal or the Presidential Citation for the merits of independence which is conferred before this Act enters into force may, through reexamination, be substituted by the fourth or fifth grade Order of Merit for National Foundation under the amended provisions of Article 11 or by the National Foundation Medal.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 5454, Dec. 13, 1997>
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 1998. (Proviso Omitted.)
ADDENDA<Act No. 5681, Jan. 21, 1999>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Articles 2 through 4 Omitted.
ADDENDA<Act No. 5713, Jan. 29, 1999>
(1) (Enforcement Date) This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
(2) (Transitional Measures) Recommendations for a decoration made by the Chairperson of the National Election Commission under the previous provisions as at the time this Act enters into force shall be deemed made by the Secretary General of the National Election Commission under this Act.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 6342, Jan. 8, 2001>
This Act shall enter into force on April 1, 2001.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 7657, Aug. 4, 2005>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDA<Act No. 8852, Feb. 29, 2008>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 10985, Aug. 4, 2011>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM<Act No. 11393, Mar. 21, 2012>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.