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Former PM named as the next head of the KBO

Former Prime Minister Chung Un-chan was nominated Wednesday to serve as the next head of Korean professional baseball.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced that its board of directors unanimously advanced Chung’s nomination as the new league commissioner to the general assembly.

The KBO’s board is made up of the 10 club presidents, current KBO Commissioner Koo Bon-neung and its Secretary-General Yang Hae-young. The general assembly is comprised of the club owners.

Koo’s current term ends at the end of the year. He has been the commissioner since August 2011.

Han Ki-joo is traded for first time in his career

Once the hottest pitching prospect in Korean baseball, right-hander Han Ki-joo has been traded for the first time in his disappointing career.

The Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) dealt the 30-year-old right-hander to the Samsung Lions in exchange for outfielder Lee Young-wook on Wednesday.

Han joined the Tigers in 2006 out of high school and received a signing bonus of 1 billion won ($922,000), which remains the largest signing bonus in KBO history.

He went 10-11 with a 3.26 ERA in 44 appearances as a rookie. Then he took over as the Tigers’ closer, notching 51 saves over the next two seasons.

But starting in 2009, Han suffered a string of injuries. He underwent an elbow operation that year and had shoulder surgery in 2013. He was limited to just 32 appearances combined in 2011 and 2012, and missed the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Han returned to the mound in 2015. He was 4-3 with a 7.62 ERA in 29 appearances last year, but didn’t pitch in the KBO in 2017, instead pitching in 13 games in the Futures League, the KBO’s minor league, with a 1-0 record and a 5.00 ERA.


Park Ji-sung to attend FIFA World Cup draw

Korean football icon Park Ji-sung will attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony in Russia later this week, a source close to the former player said Tuesday.

The source said Park will attend the draw for the 2018 World Cup at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday after receiving an invitation from FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Park, who hung up his boots in 2014, was named youth program chief at the Korea Football Association (KFA) earlier this month, but has yet to make an appearance at official events.

The source added it is unlikely the former Manchester United midfielder will take part in the draw ceremony as FIFA already announced the stars who will serve as draw assistants. FIFA last week said Laurent Blanc, Gordon Banks, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Diego Forlan, Diego Maradona and Carles Puyol will be helping draw conductor Gary Lineker.

Along with Park, Korea will send KFA President Chung Mong-gyu, KFA deputy secretary Chun Han-jin, men’s national team head coach Shin Tae-yong and assistant coach Kim Nam-il to the ceremony.

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