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KBS radio to feature life of late Catholic priest in English

KBS CoolFM (89.1 Mhz) will feature the life of late Catholic missionary and physician Lee Tae-seok, who devoted his life to helping people in southern Sudan, for its special English program for children Sept. 12-13.

Prepared exclusively for the upcoming Chuseok holidays, the show, titled “The Greatest Love of All,” will have the Korean introduction by actor Sohn Hyun-joo and child actor Yang Han-yeol. In the show Sohn will play the father of Yang, who tells his son about the Lee’s life.

The story of the priest will then be told in English, voiced by Lee Geun-cheol and John Valentine, the hosts of KBS CoolFM’s long-time English-language show, Good Morning Pops.

Kim Kang-hoon, the producer of the show, said the program aims to provide an opportunity for its young listeners to learn English while they are introduced to famous Korean figures.

“Most kids in Korea read English biographies of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy as they try to learn the language,” he said. “We thought it would be nice to learn about Korean figures in English.”

The special program is a part of the book publication project by KBS radio’s English language show “Good Morning Pops,” which has been on the air for some 20 years.

The show will be publishing a children’s book series in English, along with audio CDs, featuring Korea’s well-known figures and their legacies. A book about Lee will be released later this month. It will be followed by another on Park Ji-sung, who plays soccer for Manchester United. 
The late Catholic priest Lee Tae-seok. (KBS)
The late Catholic priest Lee Tae-seok. (KBS)

Lee was born in Busan in 1962, and studied medicine at Inje University in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. In 2001, he was ordained as a Catholic priest and began serving in the small town of Tonj, in southern Sudan. There, he worked as a doctor, teacher and priest.

To heal the inner wounds of children suffering through a protracted civil war, Lee also ran a brass band made up of the town’s young people.

Lee was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer during his visit to Seoul in 2008 and passed away on Jan. 14, 2010. His last words, in English were, “Don’t worry. Everything is good.”

“Don’t Cry for Me, Sudan,” a documentary film highlighting Lee’s life in Sudan, was screened in local movie theaters last year. He was posthumously awarded Korea’s highest order of civil merit in June for his legacy in the African country.

“The Greatest Love of All” will be aired from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Sept. 12-13.

By Claire Lee (
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Korea Herald daum