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Ex-Lawmaker Kim Sung-Kon to Lead Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF)
Kim Sung-Kon () Becomes New OKF President
By Park Soung-Jin
Staff Reporter & Editor
Kim Sung-Kon (), president of Overseas Koreans Foundation (ӥ)
Former lawmaker Kim Sung-Kon () was inaugurated on Nov. 4 (Wednesday), 2020 as the new president of Overseas Koreans Foundation (ӥ), an umbrella organization of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a ceremony held at Overseas Koreans Foundation headquarters in the southernmost island of Jeju on the day, the four-term former lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea was officially inaugurated as the 10th president of the Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF).

It was learned that the 68-year-old former representative was appointed by the incumbent President Moon Jae-In as the new president of the Overseas Koreans Foundation earlier because of his contributions to the election of Moon Jae-In as South Korean president in 2017.

Kim will lead the foundation for the full three years as its chief, taking care of the overseas Koreans and its related activities. The three-year term can be renewed one more time.

Prior to his appointment as new OKF president Kim was serving as the chairman of a private think tank "Peace," dedicated to his older brother Robert Kim, who was incarcerated in the US prison for his patriotic behavior.

The Korean-born American citizen Robert Kim, now 80, spent nine years in the US prison for alleged spying for his native South Korea while serving as a US navy intelligence analyst.

Established in October of 1997 the Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF) to support the Koreans abroad. The number of Korean diaspora is estimated a little over 7.4 million including the early emigrants from the Korean Peninsula and their descendants.

The foundation was aimed at improving the rights and status of the overseas communities of the ethnic Koreans. It also aims at maintaining its ethnic culture and identities.

Specifically the foundation bolsters Korean language classes, activates ethnic educations in the regions of China and former CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) areas, and supports other ethic Korean in the estranged areas.

Kim Sung-Kon () was born in 1952 in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, South Korea.

He graduated from the elite Gyeonggi High School before he continued his education in history at the prestigious Korea University.

For his graduate study overseas Kim went to America, earning his PhD in history from Temple University in Philadelphia.

He was first elected in 1996 as a lawmaker of now the ruling party in his native Yeosu city. Kim was elected as lawmaker three more times on the ticket of the same now ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK).

At National Assembly Kim served as chairman of the ad-hoc committee for overseas Koreans business between 2009 and 2010.

Prior to the 19th presidential election in 2017 Kim was appointed by the Democratic Party of Korea as the chairman of committee for overseas Korean voters. His role was to make overseas Koreans to vote in favor of the Democratic Party of Korea.

The four-term lawmaker had long been deemed by many as the most suitable candidate for the post of Overseas Koreans Foundation's presidency.

In early 2018 Kim was elected as secretary general of National Assembly Secretariat in a landslide vote.




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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