Ex-Gyeonggi governor is ending political life

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Ex-Gyeonggi governor is ending political life

Former Gyeonggi Gov. Nam Kyung-pil announced Friday he is giving up politics to establish a start-up.

“I have decided to leave politics, for which I have committed all of my younger days, and welcome a new challenge in beginning a start-up enterprise, which, I hope, will help improve the lives of other people,” Nam wrote in a written message he shared with acquaintances.

“It wasn’t an easy decision for me, as I have known only the world of politics since I was in my early 30s,” he wrote. “But I am excited for what is to come. I hope you will join in celebrating with me the beginning of a new chapter in my life.”

Although Nam did not give specifics about his start-up, it could be related to blockchain, as he took a course on the subject at the University of Tokyo starting last November.

Nam was first elected to the National Assembly in a by-election in 1998. His father Nam Pyeong-woo was a representative with the conservative New Korea Party, the predecessor of today’s opposition Liberty Korea Party. Nam’s father died in office in 1998. In the by-election to fill his seat representing Suwon, Gyeonggi, the younger Nam won.

He was re-elected three more times, and was elected governor of Gyeonggi in 2014.

But his luck seemed to have run out in 2018. Nam ran for re-election as governor but lost.

Nam’s family made headlines a few times in his political career.

He and his wife divorced when he was elected Gyeonggi governor in 2014.

“She wanted to lead a quiet life, one that has no relations whatsoever with the political world,” he told the producer of a TV show last March.

Nam married his second wife last August.

A few months after Nam was elected Gyeonggi governor, his son was convicted of physical and sexual abuse of a lower-ranking soldier during his military service. When Nam was running for re-election for governor, his son was detained on drug-related charges in September 2017. He was given a suspended sentence last year.

BY IM SOUNG-BIN, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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