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Missile scientist from North Korea, pediatrician among new ruling party recruits

Dec. 8, 2023 - 16:09 By Kim Arin
Rep. Lee Chul-gyu, the head of the ruling People Power Party parliamentary recruitment committee (The Korea Herald)

South Korea’s ruling party on Friday announced a fresh batch of recruits to run in the 2024 general election.

Among the five recruits disclosed by the People Power Party’s parliamentary recruitment committee is Park Chung-kwon, a North Korean defector who worked in intercontinental ballistic missile research at the National Defense University in Pyongyang. The 37-year-old has been a researcher at Hyundai Steel since he escaped from North Korea in 2009.

The committee said Park was “an example of a North Korean defector’s successful settlement here” and “a role model to South Korean youth for contributions he has made in his field.”

Another candidate is Ha Jung-hoon, a 63-year-old pediatrician and the author of a bestselling book on parenting advice. The committee said he was expected to lend expertise on child-rearing in a country with one of the lowest birth rates globally.

Lee Soo-jung, a 59-year-old criminal psychologist who briefly joined then-candidate Yoon Suk Yeol’s campaign in last year’s presidential election, was picked to contribute to the party’s efforts to create a safer society, the committee said.

The two others joining the party are Koo Ja-ryong, a 45-year-old lawyer, and Yun Do-hyun, a once-orphaned 21-year-old who made his own reputation as a successful business owner.