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(profile) Unification minister expert in diplomacy, inter-Korean affairs

2015/02/17 15:26

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- Hong Yong-pyo, the nominee for unification minister, is a scholar-turned-politician and expert in diplomatic, national defense and inter-Korean affairs.

In 2013, President Park Geun-hye tapped Hong as her presidential secretary for unification affairs, a seat which he took after first entering politics by joining Park's transition team in late 2012.

Hong is widely known to have played a key role in formulating Park's major policies on unification affairs, including her pitch for national unification as a "bonanza" as well as her unification vision declared in Dresden, Germany, last year.

He was also among the South Korean delegation when the rival Koreas held rare high-level talks at the border village of Panmunjom in February 2014.

The 51-year-old native of Seoul graduated from Yonsei University and has a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University. Hong taught political science at Hangyang University in Seoul before working at the presidential office.

Newly-named Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo (file photo) Newly-named Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo (file photo)