Center-left reformist gets Interior Ministry nod

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 30, 2017 - 14:37
  • Updated : May 30, 2017 - 16:46

Tapped to lead the Ministry of Interior, Rep. Kim Boo-kyum of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea is something of an icon of political reform.

Kim’s political career has been marked by his efforts to break regionalism and to keep his distance from factionalism. Despite his ties to former President Roh Moon-hyun, he is only loosely associated with the pro-Roh faction.

Rep. Kim Boo-kyum (Yonhap)

In 2012, he was elected to the supreme council of the Democratic Party and made history in 2016 when he was elected to the parliament from the conservative stronghold Daegu.

Unusual for a heavyweight liberal politician, the four-term lawmaker has ties on both sides of the political spectrum. He entered politics in 1988 by working with former President Roh in founding the short-lived Grand National People’s Democratic Party. However, his first term in the National Assembly was as a member of the defunct conservative Grand National Party in 2000. During his first term, Kim worked closely with Gyeonggi Province Gov. Nam Kyung-pil in leading a parliamentary reformist group. Kim’s stint at the conservative party did not last long. In 2003, he left the party and later rejoined the then-ruling party that later became the current Democratic Party.

Born in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, in 1958, Kim graduated from Seoul National University, and holds a master’s degree from Yonsei University.

During his student years, Kim was heavily involved in student activism and was arrested on two occasions for his role in protests against military dictators of the 1970s and 1980s.

By Choi He-suk (