Slugger Choi Breaks Off Wedding Plans

Baseball player Choi Hee-seop smiles with his then fiancee Aya Yasuda at a press conference to announce their engagement on Dec. 18, 2006. Baseball player Choi Hee-seop smiles with his then fiancee Aya Yasuda at a press conference to announce their engagement on Dec. 18, 2006.

Slugger Choi Hee-seop of the Kia Tigers has broken up with his fiancée just a month before their planned wedding, according to an interview with Choi in Tuesday's issue of Sports Seoul.

The sports daily said that Choi, 28, met with fiancée Aya Yasuda, 30, at a hotel in Seoul and agreed to end their engagement. Just last Friday at a press conference held upon his discharge from a four-week military training program, Choi said that his wedding date had not yet been decided and that he would announce it soon after talking with Yasuda, who was due in Korea the next day. Yasuda was reportedly coming to Korea to throw a surprise party to celebrate Choi's discharge.

In the interview with Sports Seoul, Choi said the couple ended the engagement over differences in their personalities that were rooted in cultural differences, and because of his decision to leave the U.S. Major Leagues and return to Korea.

Choi met Yasuda after being traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004. She was working as a TV reporter covering the Dodgers.

In March of last year while in Tokyo for the World Baseball Classic, Choi met Yasuda's parents and got their approval to continue meeting her. They were engaged in Korea last December.

Yasuda is the daughter of Fuyou Group chairman, one of Japan's 10 largest conglomerates. An accomplished woman with an MBA from the U.S., she now runs a cosmetics business in Japan.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 28, 2007 07:38 KST