Former safety minister Yoo survives Sewol debacle

By Claire Lee
  • Published : Jun 5, 2014 - 20:42
  • Updated : Jun 5, 2014 - 20:42
Yoo Jeong-bok, the newly elected mayor of Incheon, is considered one of the closest aides to President Park Geun-hye, having served as the Security Minister under her leadership.

The former minister and veteran bureaucrat defeated NPAD’s incumbent mayor Song Young-gil by 1.8 percent on Wednesday. It was another of the toughest races of the elections.
Yoo Jeong-bok

Born in 1957 in Incheon, Yoo was educated at Yonsei University, majoring in political science and international relations. In 1979, at age 22, he passed the state exam for public administration. After completing his military service, Yoo started his career as a bureaucrat with the Gangwon Provincial Government in 1984.

In 1995, at age 37, he became the youngest person to serve as the head of Seo-gu, a district in Incheon. Before being appointed the Security and Public Administration Minister under President Park Geun-hye, he also served as the Minister of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries during President Lee Myung-bak’s term in office.

He served as President Park’s top secretary from 2008 to 2010, after Lee Myung-bak defeated her in the Grand National Party’s (now the Saenuri) primary to become its nominee for the 2007 presidential election.

Some of Yoo’s best pledges include building a new KTX line departing from Incheon, as well as the successful launch of the upcoming Incheon Asian Games, slated to be held in September.

“Incheon is where I was born and grew up,” Yoo said after learning of his victory. “I will give my everything to make Incheon a better place.”

By Claire Lee (