Largest community flea market kicks off Sunday

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Largest community flea market kicks off Sunday

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From left: President Lee Myung-bak’s Air Force jumpsuit, first lady Kim Yoon-ok’s cosmetics, Minister of Justice Kwon Jae-jin’s ceramic tea set and Archbishop Yeom Soo-Jung’s rosary beads and Bible. [JoongAng Ilbo]


Ahead of the JoongAng Media Network’s large-scale charity flea market this Sunday, high-ranking government officials, foreign diplomats and celebrities have donated their cherished items, including President Lee Myung-bak’s Air Force jumpsuit he wore at military events.

As the country’s largest community flea market, this year’s eighth annual event is held simultaneously at four different locations nationwide: at the World Cup Stadium in Sangam-dong, northwestern Seoul; Boramae Park, Daejeon; the North Jeolla Provincial Government Building, Jeonju; and Bexco, Busan.

With this year’s slogan of “Sharing makes a stronger economy, a healthier earth,” half of the market’s profits go to underprivileged children.

Individuals, families and companies can sell their items or products at cheap market prices. The markets are open between noon and 4:30 p.m.

“This jumpsuit embraces the spirit of the Korean Air Force’s power and courage to protect the Republic of Korea,” Lee said, cited by a Blue House official.

“Just like our Air Force won at the recent air show with a high-end performance and good teamwork, I donate this jumpsuit with the belief that people in the country will definitely survive the global economic crisis and move forward.”

Korea’s Air Force aerobic team Black Eagles was awarded the Boeing Trophy for best display at the 17th Waddington International Air Show held in England, giving a perfect performance with the supersonic advanced trainer jet T-50B.

The first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, also donated a cosmetics set, labeled Donginbi, which was made by the state-owned Korea Ginseng Corporation.

So far, Kim has presented the Korean cosmetics to wives of foreign presidents visiting the country. A single set of the cosmetics costs about 250,000 won ($224).

“These cosmetics are only offered to high-ranking visitors,” the Blue House official said.

Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, the Korean Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul, donated his two rosaries and a bible. On the first page of the bible, there are some handwritten comments of Yeom.

Kwon Jae-jin, minister of justice, offered a set of handmade ceramic tea cups by renowned artist and potter Shin Han-gyun.

“I’m very interested in tea ceremonies, so I purchased these cherished cups,” Kwon told the JoongAng Ilbo. “But I determined to donate them to the flea market after I heard the market supports underprivileged children.”

Sung Kim, U.S. ambassador to Seoul, also provided his two books, titled “The Most Scenic Drives in America” and “America at Home,” along with this two bookmarks.

National Police Agency Commissioner General Kim Ki-yong donated a set of books used to practice calligraphy.

The books are a combination of renowned poems and phrases taken from Chinese classics.

Shim Eun-kyung, the main actress of the recently released movie Gwanghae, donated the hanbok, or traditional Korean attire, she wore for the piece, with a stain caused by her acting.

This year, approximately 700 volunteers will take part in the charity event, including 500 individuals, and 200 company officials and NGO members.

By Kim Min-sang, Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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