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College student becomes presidential secretary for youth-related matters

College student becomes presidential secretary for youth-related matters

Posted June. 22, 2021 07:28,   

Updated June. 22, 2021 07:28


South Korean President Moon Jae-in chose Park Seong-min, a 25-year-old undergraduate who served as Democratic Party of Korea’s Supreme Council member, as secretary for youth-related matters and Kim Han-gyu, 47-year-old former legal counsel for the ruling party with no political career at the National Assembly, as secretary for political affairs. With the rise of People Power Party’s 36-year-old leader Lee Jun-seok who has never been part of the National Assembly, the waves of political innovation sweeping across the political spectrum have led South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae to make such surprise staffing decisions.

Joining the ruling party as a spokesperson to youth in 2019, Park became a top member of the party under the leadership of Lee Nak-yeon. Born in 1996, she is currently studying Korean Language and Literature at Korea University. She earned the title as the first college student serving as a Cheong Wa Dae secretary and as the youngest one ever. Park plans to take time off from school while working at Cheong Wa Dae. The Moon Jae-in administration decided to allow the senior secretary to the president for political affairs to lead the secretary for youth-related matters in order to help make adjustments to youth policies.

Majoring in political science at Seoul National University, Kim Han-gyu passed the judicial examination (41st) and is currently a lawyer at Kim & Chang. He started his political career last year by running for the general elections in the Gangnam area. After losing the election, he served as a legal counsel to the ruling party. As the secretary for political affairs is in charge of communicating with lawmakers and political leaders on both sides, the position has been taken primarily by former members of the National Assembly. By contrast, Kim has no political backgrounds at the legislative body.

Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com