Yoon’s wife apologizes over allegations of falsifying her resume

December 15, 2021

The wife of main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol apologized Wednesday over allegations she falsified her credentials when applying for a job.

Kim Keon-hee, the People Power Party candidate’s wife, has been hit with allegations she exaggerated or falsified her credentials on a resume she sent to Suwon Women’s University when applying for a teaching position in 2007.

“Regardless of the facts, I apologize because of the discomfort and fatigue the people may feel,” she told a Yonhap reporter outside her office. Kim is president of Covana Contents, a cultural contents company.

Initially, she had said she was “willing to apologize for causing concern to the people,” when asked by the reporter whether she was willing to apologize amid public anger over the allegations.

Kim Keon-hee, the wife of People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, leaves her home in southern Seoul on Dec. 15, 2021. (Yonhap)
Yoon Suk-yeol (C), the presidential nominee of the main opposition People Power Party, poses with a child and members of a single parents association in Seoul on Dec. 15, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Kim Keon-hee, the wife of People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, leaves her home in southern Seoul on Dec. 15, 2021. (Yonhap)

When asked when she plans to start helping her husband’s campaign in public, she said, “I don’t have anything to share yet.”

According to cable news channel YTN, which first reported the allegations on Tuesday, Kim’s resume stated she served as a director for the Korea Association of Game Industry for three years starting in 2002, when in fact the association was established in 2004.

Kim also falsely claimed to have won the grand prize at the Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival in 2004, YTN said.

Yoon said his wife’s comments “appear appropriate.”

“Even if the ruling camp’s attacks are orchestrated and however unfair they feel, if there is anything lacking from the people’s perspective and against their expectations, then I think it is right to be apologetic to the people,” he told reporters on his campaign trail.

Earlier Wednesday, Yoon appeared to get upset when reporters asked him about the allegations surrounding his wife.

“If you know anyone who works at a university, ask them how they hire part-time instructors,” he said before entering the PPP headquarters, suggesting they are not chosen through a standard selection process.

“Don’t just listen to what the other side is going on about,” he said of the ruling party. “Ask, and then decide how you’re going to report.”

A group of ruling Democratic Party lawmakers, however, raised fresh allegations that Kim lied on another resume she sent as part of a job application to Anyang University in 2013.

Kim falsely claimed to have won the top prize in the animation category of the 2004 Korea Content Awards, the group, which included Reps. An Min-suk, Do Jong-hwan, Kwon In-sook and Seo Dong-yong, said.

“Upon verifying with the culture ministry, which hosted the awards, the name Kim Keon-hee or Kim Myeong-shin was not listed under any award, let alone the grand prize,” one lawmaker said during a press conference, referring to the name she used before it was legally changed.

The lawmakers also claimed there was an error in the certificate of employment Kim sent to Suwon Women’s University in 2007.

The certificate stated she started working for the animation company H Culture in 2003, but in fact the company was established in 2004, according to An.

“We will verify Kim’s 18 different false academic, career and award credentials one by one,” he said.

The PPP rejected all the allegations, saying the DP is trying to frame the issue as a “hiring irregularity” when the resume had no effect on the result.

“In 2006, part-time instructors were appointed at the recommendation of university professors and other credible people in academia, and resumes were submitted afterward,” PPP campaign committee spokesperson Lee Yang-soo said in a statement. “It was different from the hiring process for professors, which was through an open competition.”