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  National
New Premier Kim Boo-Kyum to Rap Up
Lame Duck President Moon Jae-In's Reforms

Ex-Activist Becomes S. Korea's 47th Prime Minister
By Park Soung-Jin
Staff Reporter & Editor
South Korea's New Prime Minister Kim Boo-Kyum delivering a speach at a diplomatic event previously held in Seoul

Kim Boo-Kyum (ݣ), recently approved as the new premier of South Korea by the National Assembly, is expected to put the finishing touches on a series of reforms initiated by its President Moon Jae-In, whose presidency will expire less than a year from now, local political analysts say.

They say that the ex-four-term lawmaker will successfully rap up the remainder of Moon's presidency, which will end on May 10, 2022.

In particular, Kim will take care of problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic by using two years of his hands-on experience as the minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS).

Unlike his predecessors Kim is considered as the mild-mannered politician with compromising ability, according to the political pundits.

Kim has been serving as the prime minister of South Korea since May 14, 2021. On that day he was appointed to be the 47th premier by President Moon Jae-In. Kim was the third prime minister under Moon's regime after Lee Nak-Yeon and Chung Sye-Kyun.

South Korea's New Prime Minister Kim Boo-Kyum in Seoul
On May 13 (Thursday), 2021 Moon's appointment of Kim as premier was approved by the National Assembly.

The 63-year-old politician was the former minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS) for two years between 2017 and 2019.

However, the four-term lawmaker spent the better part of his earlier political life as a pro-democracy leader. In the late 70s and early 80s he was incarcerated into prison by the dictatorial regimes of Park Chung-Hee and Chun Doo-Hwan, both of whom ruled the nation with an iron fist. While at Seoul National University he was very well known as a student activist, often on the run for his pro-democracy activism.

The official birth records say that Kim was born on Jan. 21, 1958 in Sangju City, North Gyeongsang Province. But he was born two years earlier in actuality. His father was a professional Air Force soldier.

He grew up in Daegu, graduating from primary, middle school, and high school in the city.

Kim moved to Seoul, entering the prestigious Seoul National University (SNU) in 1976. He majored in political science. The pro-democracy student activist was praised on campus by fellow students as a great orator.

He also graduated from Yonsei University, receiving an MA degree in public administration.

South Korea's New Premier Kim Boo-Kyum (right) poses with then-Costa Rican Ambassador to Seoul Rodolfo Solano Quiros (center), and with then-Costa Rica's Honorary Consul Kwon Soon-Han (left) at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018. Kim was invited to make a congratulatory speech in the capacity of minister of South Korea's the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. Kwon is the chairman of Soyee Product Inc. in Seoul.

He was elected as a lawmaker at the 16th General Election in 2000 in the Gunpo area of Gyeonggi Province on the ticket of the then conservative Grand National Party. At both the 17th and 18th elections he was reelected as a lawmaker in the same district of the liberal Democratic Party. At the 20th election in 2016 he was again elected as the lawmaker in Daegue area.

He was already active as a pro-democracy leader when on campus. It took him nearly 12 years before he graduated from SNU, due mainly to his student activism. For much of the time he was on the run or was put in jail by the dictatorial regimes.

The four-term lawmaker officially started his political career in 1988, the year of the Summer Olympics held in Seoul.

A year earlier in 1987 then-student Kim played a leading role in the pan-national pro-democracy movement called the June Democratic Uprising (׿).

In early 2020 Kim celebrated the publication of his political book "Politics, Let's Work (ġ, )."

Held at the Grand Hotel in Daegu the event drew a host of top politicians and other leaders.

The above article has been copyedited by Mr. Robert Frauenthal, senior editor of The Seoul Times.



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Park Soung-Jin serves as a staff reporter & editor of The Seoul Times. Park studied Chinese language at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He was a graduate of 43rd class ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps). He finished his military service as the 1st lieutenant in the ROK Army.

 

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