Tell the truthPoliticians have been wrangling over the allegation of falsified credentials by Kim Keon-hee, the wife of opposition People Power Party (PPP) presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol. She was accused by YTN of exaggerating her credentials. Under her application for a lecturing post at Suwon Women’s University in 2007, she mentioned her experience as an executive director at the Korea Association of Game Industry for three years from March 2002. The association was founded in June 2004.
She also listed that she had won the top award at the 2004 Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival. But she later acknowledged the work had not been hers. Kim admitted she had exaggerated her achievements “out of greed.” “If that is a sin, I have sinned,” she said. But her tone was not regretful. She suggested no wrongdoing as the achievements had not been listed on her college application, which is a crime. She also said she was not a public figure and the incident took place before she married Yoon.
She could be frustrated by dirty attacks on her, including scandalous implications about her past. She was also found innocent related to claims that her company Kovana Contents received illicit corporate funding. Still, Kim as the wife of a leading presidential candidate, should have taken a more self-reflecting attitude toward any wrongdoings in her past.
Yoon and the PPP also responded poorly. Yoon emphasizes values such as fairness and trust. His wife cannot be an exception. He argued that the credentials were not entirely false. He said that adjunct professors are mostly hired through recommendations rather than strictly based on credentials.
Kim Chong-in, head of Yoon’s presidential election committee, joined the chorus, saying the country elects a president, not the wife of a presidential candidate. Lee Jun-seok, chairman of the PPP, said that what happened before the marriage cannot be Yoon’s liability.
Kim finally apologized for “distressing” people upon escalated criticisms about her attitude. The people want a clear explanation, not a forced apology. If any wrong was committed, she must frankly explain herself and offer a sincere apology. Whether the apology is accepted is up to the voters.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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