Actress takes up social activism

By 조정은
  • Published : Jun 16, 2011 - 18:41
  • Updated : Jun 16, 2011 - 18:41

Kim Yoh-jin emerging as a leading figure on Twitter

Kim Yoh-jin, an established actress, is attracting attention as a social activist as she takes part in various rallies on sensitive social issues.

The police are considering summoning the actress for questioning over her participation in a sit-in protest at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction’s shipyard in Busan last week.

She was one of the activists apprehended after joining in the rally organized by laborers demanding Hanjin withdraw its decision to lay off workers.

Kim was there to express her support for Kim Jin-sook, a female member of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, who has been staging her protest for more than 150 days on a 35-meter-high shipbuilding crane. 
Kim Yoh-jin. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

As Hanjin presses charges against Kim and others for breaking into the company’s property, the public is curious whether the police will investigate her and take legal action against her.

The 39-year-old actress has been actively engaged in political and social activism in support of weak, struggling laborers and women.

Last month, she also held a one-woman demonstration for half-price tuition at Gwanghwamun, central Seoul. Groups of college students have been staging a series of protests against the government to cut the country’s notoriously expensive tuition in half.

She called for support from citizens to help in any way they can, such as helping students by packing meals and talking to struggling students.

The outspoken actress, also known as a “power Twitter user,” often expresses her strong thoughts on the social network service.

But her tweets have been drawing mixed reactions. Some conservatives criticize her social engagement as “too political” and ask her to keep to her job as an actress or entertainer while others hail her as the “Jane Fonda of Korea.”

The actress currently appears in MBC’s weekend TV Drama “Do you Hear my mind.”

She was also a loyal supporter of Roh Moo-hyun, the country’s former president who jumped to his death after intensive investigation by the prosecution in 2009.

Kim studied German language and literature at Ewha Womans University and is married to Kim Jin-min, TV drama producer for Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, one of the major broadcasters in Korea.

The actress made her debut on stage with the play “What do Women Live For” in 1995. Kim has been very active both on the small and big screens, mostly taking supportive roles.

She received the best supporting actress award from the Busan Film Critics’ Association in 2002.

By Cho Chung-un (