South Korea’s next first lady offers modest social activities to help the less fortunate

[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL – The scandal-hit wife of president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol broke her intentional silence during her husband’s election campaign to post a humble message defining the duty of her role as first lady and proposing social activities to help those who are in the shadow of growth and the disadvantaged.

“I will help the president-elect to faithfully fulfill the call of the people, to the best of my poor ability at his side,” Kim Keon-hee said in a message released by Yoon’s camp. “I will work together to help the president-elect pay more attention to the shady places in society that the government cannot reach.”

It was Kim’s first public comment as the wife of South Korea’s next president. She had kept a low profile after being plagued by a barrage of attacks from political opponents. She was accused of manipulating stocks and lying on her CV when applying for jobs.

“I think the priority role as the president’s wife is to create an environment in which the president can focus on the affairs of the state,” Kim said. “If conditions allow, I will try together to solve the problems of the poorest who have not yet been taken care of by the government or those who are in the shadow of growth.”

Born in 1972, Kim majored in painting at Kyonggi University and went on to earn degrees in Art Education and Digital Content Design. She has worked as an art or design teacher in schools and universities. She is 12 years younger than her husband. Without children, the couple lives with dogs and cats.

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Joel C. Hicks