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[Newsmaker] Yoon’s wife apologizes in public over false career allegation

Yoon’s wife: ‘I inflated my career to look good’

People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s spouse, Kim Keon-hee, apologizes in public Sunday for the controversy over her career allegations. (Yonhap)
People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s spouse, Kim Keon-hee, apologizes in public Sunday for the controversy over her career allegations. (Yonhap)

People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s spouse Kim Keon-hee apologized in public Sunday for causing controversy with the allegations that she had made false claims about her career history.

“There were my faults in the process of working and studying together,” Kim said with her head bowed as she read out a statement at a press conference in Seoul. “I inflated my career to look good and wrote it (resumes) wrong. I shouldn’t have done that, but looking back, it was a shame.”

Kim said she is aware that the allegations surrounding her scandal have put her husband in a difficult position and hopes voters will take that into account.

“Even if my husband becomes president, I will live faithfully as a wife,” she said, asking people not to withdraw their support for Yoon, who has “walked a difficult path.”

Kim said she would take the time to reflect during the rest of the election period “quietly.” Lee Yang-soo, a senior spokesman for the party, said she will still participate in the election campaign, but that she would refrain from taking on a more active role.

The public apology comes after she has been hit with various allegations related to her past career history. She allegedly exaggerated her career history on resumes she sent to two local universities -- Suwon Women’s University and Anyang University -- in 2007 and 2013, respectively, to apply for teaching positions.

The resume she sent to Suwon Women’s University in 2007 allegedly included false claims that she had served as a director for the Korea Association of Game Industry for three years starting in 2002, before it was officially established. On a resume sent to Anyang University in 2013, she allegedly padded her resume by saying that she had won the top prize in the animation category of the 2004 Korea Content Awards.

Earlier, while applying to be a part-time instructor at Seoil University, Kim claimed to have taught at four-year-course Hallym University. She had reportedly only given lectures at two-year-course Hallym Polytechnic University.

Earlier on Dec. 17, her husband Yoon bowed his head and apologized for the controversy surrounding Kim’s past career history.

At the time, Yoon told reporters that “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.”

“The consistent principles and standards that I had in the past should be applied equally to me and my family members,” Yoon said. When a reporter asked about a possible investigation related to his wife, he said the laws and principles do not make exceptions for anyone.

According to a two-day survey of 1,001 adult men and women nationwide between Dec. 20-21 by polling agency Gallup Korea requewsted by Money Today, approval ratings of candidates Yoon and his contender Lee Jae-myung recorded 35.2 percent and 32.9 percent, respectively. Both candidates saw their approval ratings fall due to various scandals and allegations surrounding their family members.

For more information regarding the survey results go to the National Election Survey Deliberation Commission homepage.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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