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Ruling party concentrates fire on opposition candidate’s wife

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Dec. 20, 2021 - 14:59

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Kim Keon-hee leaves her home in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap) Kim Keon-hee leaves her home in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea is concentrating fire on Kim Keon-hee -- People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s wife -- raising one allegation after another related to her career history.

Adding on to the allegedly inaccurate information on Kim’s resume that she sent to universities while applying for teaching positions, the Democratic Party is raising suspicions on Kim’s claims to have studied at New York University.

The ruling party claims that while Kim had visited New York University as part of her six-month Global Leadership Association program at Seoul National University, she portrayed as if she completed a regular program at the New York institution.

“Yoon and the presidential election committee of the People Power Party have lost the golden time for an apology,” Park Chan-dae, spokesperson for the election committee at the Democratic Party, said Monday.

“A faded photo of Kim sitting at a lecture in New York is not enough of an explanation for her false resume,” Park said, referring to a photo of Kim released by a news outlet here. The photo showed Kim listening to a lecture in a college classroom.

The issue has drawn fire from former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae, who had been locked in a feud with Yoon while he was the prosecutor general.

“Kim’s habitual lies are not a problem of feminine or psychological weakness. Kim used her lies to seize power and opportunities between the prosecution and the wealthy,” Choo wrote on her social media account on Monday.

Political commentator Chin Jung-kwon -- a former supporter of the Moon Jae-in administration and now one of its fiercest critics -- has also called for Kim to admit to her lies and apologize.

“The past cannot be changed. What we can change is the attitude of today,” Chin wrote via social media on Sunday. “(Kim) should admit to falsifying her career and apologize, explaining about false or exaggerated reports afterward.”

“(Yoon’s) only asset is fairness,” Chin wrote. “People are not perfect. What matters is how they respond to their wrongdoings.”

A few days ago, Yoon officially apologized for the fact that his wife has become the center of controversy over her allegedly inaccurate career history on resumes she sent to Suwon Women’s University in 2007 and Anyang University in 2013.

“I am sorry for causing concern to the public over the controversy related to my wife,” Yoon said Friday.

“Regardless of the reason, I make it clear that the fact that (she) caused controversy without accurately writing down her career does not fit the fairness and common sense I have emphasized.”

In the resumes, Kim claimed to have served as a director for the Korea Association of Game Industry before it had been established, and falsely wrote that she had won the top prize in the animation category of the 2004 Korea Content Awards.

While the People Power Party refuted the ruling party’s allegations as fake news, claiming that Kim did not exaggerate her experience at New York University on the resumes, Yoon has not responded to the latest accusations.

“With the Democratic Party and the press raising doubts on Kim last week, the People Power Party election committee and Yoon have been verifying the facts,” the People Power Party Chairman Lee Jun-seok said Monday.

“Though we have to approach (the claims) with a modest attitude, the ruling party should deal with its responsibility of muddling the election with negative campaigning,” Lee said.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)