Airport bosses quit to run in general election

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Airport bosses quit to run in general election

The heads of two public airport companies handed in their resignation in order to take part in next year’s general election.

Incheon International Airport CEO Park Wan-soo and Korea Airports Corporation CEO Kim Seok-ki will resign from their positions early next year. Park held his retirement ceremony yesterday, and Kim will hold his today.

Park will run as a ruling Saenuri Party candidate in Uichang District in Changwon, South Gyeongsang. Park is known to be a member of the pro-Park Geun-hye faction. While he was leading the airport, he established an airport counterterrorism unit, the first created for a public enterprise.

Park is only serving half of his three-year term. Park’s predecessor, Chung Chang-soo, resigned last March to unsuccessfully run for governor of Gangwon. Chung’s resignation left the position vacant for more than seven months until Park took office last October. After his defeat, Chung became head of the Korea Tourism Organization in August.

Park sent out letters to the airport’s employees on Saturday. “I have great memories of working with you, and I wish the best of luck to everyone,” Park wrote.

Kim Seok-ki will run for a seat in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang. He has 10 months remaining in his tenure. He has held posts as the commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, vice president of the Korea Freedom Federation and consul-general in Osaka. He ran for the seat in Gyeongju in 2012 as an independent candidate, but failed to get elected. When he was appointed to head the Korea Airports Corporation after his failed bid, its labor union opposed the appointment, arguing that he had no experience related to the job.

However, the union plans to give a present to Kim.

“He ran the business well and tried to work with the union,” a union representative said, “and we will give him a pair of sneakers so that he can continue to work hard on whatever he does from now on.”

Government officials planning to run in the general election need to resign from their positions by Jan. 14.


By MOON BYUNG-JOO, KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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