October 14, 2009 12:17
Park Geun-ryeong, the younger daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, affirms her marriage vows in a Moonies mass wedding on Wednesday.
Park and Shin Dong-uk, a professor of cultural studies at Baekseok College, tied the knot in October last year but participate in a mass wedding of the Unification Church at Sun Moon University in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, along with 7,500 other couples from 160 countries.
Shin told the Chosun Ilbo, "Although we did not convert to the Unification Church, when the idea was proposed by the church, we agreed because we wanted to get a blessing from the Rev. Moon Sun-myung, a global religious leader."
Shin denied he married Park for her political connections. "I'm aware that many people suspect that I'm using this marriage to fulfill my political ambitions. But although there were difficulties, we are living modestly and happily and rely on each other."
The colorful couple were both married before, and their union has set tongues wagging because Shin at 41 is 14 years younger than his wife. There have been rumors that the marriage met with disapproval from the bride's older sister, former Grand National Party chairwoman Park Geun-hye, and her equally colorful younger brother Park Ji-man, neither of whom attended the wedding.
The mass wedding will be broadcast live on the Internet, and thousands of couples will tie the knot simultaneously around the world, the Unification Church claimed.
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