Ex-culture minister tapped to bring expertise, experience back

Yoo In-chon, special presidential adviser for culture and sports, arrives at the presidential office in Seoul to attend a ceremony to grant a letter of appointment for the position, July 7. Yonhap

Yoo In-chon, the new culture minister nominee, is an expert in cultural-arts policies who served as culture minister from 2008-2011 during the Lee Myung-bak administration.

A well-known TV and stage actor, Yoo was nominated as the minister of culture, sports and tourism to replace Park Bo-gyoon on Wednesday.

Yoo, who currently serves as special presidential adviser for culture and sports, worked for three years from 2008 to 2011 as the first culture minister of President Lee.

After stepping down as culture minister, he served as a special cultural adviser to Lee and later as chairman of Seoul Arts Center.

The 72-year-old later returned to the theatrical scene before being named to the new post of presidential adviser created by the Yoon Suk Yeol administration in July.

Current presidential chief of staff Kim Dae-ki was second vice culture minister during Yoo’s term as culture minister.

At that time, Yoo was rated highly for his deep understanding of culture-arts policies and ability to get things done. For instance, he revised the copyright law to better protect artists from copyright infringements, built the Seoul branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History and reformed the country’s cultural and arts support system.

He was called a “field-oriented” minister due to his frequent visits to the cultural and arts scenes.

A native of Wanju, North Jeolla Province, Yoo made his debut as an actor with the theater play “Othello” in 1971 and began his acting career in earnest after being recruited as broadcaster MBC’s TV actor two years later.

As an actor, he is best known for his role as Yongsik, the second son of the Kim family, in “Jeonwon Ilgi.”

The 1980-2002 MBC series following the life of a family living in the countryside is now the longest running TV series ever in Korea.

He also starred in TV dramas such as “The Joseon Dynasty 500 Years”, “First Love”, and “The Three Kims Era,” and films like “Prince Yeonsan’s Life” (1987) and “Kim’s War” (1992). (Yonhap)

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