Publisher Lee Kyung-sik, Editor Kevin Lee
Rep. Park Jin of the People Power Party (PPP) was nominated as the first foreign minister of the Yoon Suk-yeol government.
Rep. Park, who passed the state-run foreign affairs examination, served as the secretary for political affairs and public affairs at the Presidential Office Cheong Wa Dae during former President Kim Young-sam’s administration, and held four terms as National Assemblyman after the 16th general elections. (See further personal details on Park toward the end of this report.)
Rep. Kwon Young-se of the People Power Party was appointed as the minister of unification.
It features the Yoon administration’s strategy to make a new breakthrough through a senior politician who served as an ambassador to China in a situation where inter-Korean relations are expected to face difficulties due to North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch provocation.
Rep. Kwon had refused the post of minister of unification until recently, but it is said that he accepted the post at the repeated request of President-elect Yoon.
Rep. Kwon was born in 1959, attended Seoul National University Law School and Harvard University Kennedy School, and passed the bar exam in 1983. He served as a prosecutor for the Seoul District Prosecutors' Office and the Seoul District Prosecutors' Office.
After that, he worked as a policy researcher in the Office of the Special Assistant to head of the Agency for National Security Planning.
During his four-term tenure as a member of the National Assembly, he served as a member of the Grand National Party and the National Assembly Intelligence Committee, and served as ambassador to China during the Park Geun-hye administration.
Following the head of the People Power Party Election Countermeasure Headquarters during the Presidential election, he is currently serving as the vice chairman of the Presidential Transition Committee.
President-elect Yoon announced the second appointment of the Cabinet, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Unification, at 2 p.m. on April 13.
President-elect Yoon appointed Kim Dae-gi, former policy chief, as the chief secretary for the President.
Kim served as the head of the Budget Office of the Ministry of Planning and Budget, the head of the National Statistical Office, and the second vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Biographical data of Foreign Minister-designate Park Jin:
The following personal details about Rep. Park Jin is based on information presented by the Winlson Center, of which Rep. Park is the chairman:
Park Jin is a Member of the 21st National Assembly of Republic of Korea, serving for his fourth term in the National Assembly (16th, 17th, 18th, 21st). After 8 years of academic life from 2012, Dr. Park Jin has returned to his political career, representing the Gangnam-2nd District. He is currently serving as a Senior Member of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.
During his private life, Dr. Park led the Asia Future Institute (AFI), an independent policy think-tank established in 2013 and designed to conduct research on economic, political and strategic issues in Asia and promote Korea's role in the Asia-Pacific region. He also served as the Chairman of Korea-America Association (KAA) which was created in 1963 to promote mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between Korea and the United States.
Dr. Park served as a Member of Parliament for 10 years in the 16th, 17th, and 18th Sessions of the National Assembly representing the central Jongno District in Seoul. While in politics, he served as the Chairman of Foreign Affairs, Trade and National Unification Committee of the National Assembly (2008-2010). In that capacity, he passed the KORUS FTA, Korea-EU FTA, North Korea Human Rights Act, ODA Law and PKO Law in his own committee.
During 20 years of his distinguished political career, he served as the Presidential Secretary for Press Affairs and later Political Affairs under the Kim Young-sam administration (1993-1998) and was elected parliamentary member in August 2002 in Seoul. During his three terms in the national assembly (one term lasts four years) he served as the member of the Science, Technology, Information and Communication Committee (2002-2004), a ranking member of the National Defense Committee (2004-2006), Intelligence Oversight Committee (2004-2006), Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee (2006-2010) and a ranking member of the Knowledge Economy Committee (2010-2012). He was also actively involved in parliamentary diplomacy with the U.S., the U.K., China, Japan, ASEAN, Central Asia, Israel and the Middle East.
He graduated from the College of law at Seoul National University (BA), Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (MPA), New York University Law School (LLM) and received a doctorate degree (D. Phil.) in politics from St. Antony's College, Oxford University.
He is a registered member of the New York State Bar since 2001 and a regular member of the Seoul Forum for International Affairs. He has served as a Global Fellow (2014-) of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. Dr. Park also taught as an endowed Chair Professor at the Graduate School of International and Area Studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Previously he led the Korea-Britain Society as the Executive President (2007-2017).
With great affection for the sea, he served in the Korean military as a Navy officer, Lieutenant JG (1980-1983) lecturing naval cadets in the Korean Naval Academy in Jinhae. His vision is to realize a unified Korea and a strong maritime nation. He was conferred a title of the Honorary Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen ElizabethⅡ. He is married to Yoon Hee Cho, a violinist, and has a son and a daughter.