Korean Woman Becomes UN Human Rights Deputy

      September 19, 2006 22:13

      Kang Kyung-wha

      Kang Kyung-wha, the director-general of the International Organizations Bureau at the Foreign Ministry, has been named the new UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, the highest position for a Korean woman in the world body.

      The post has the rank of an assistant secretary-general. She will take up the post in January. Kang earned a doctoral degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts and climbed the career ladder by working as a broadcaster, academic, translator for the National Assembly speaker and a former president, and ministerial aide.

      She is also the ministry's first female bureau director who did not join via the state-administered diplomats exam.

      Kang worked as translator for former president Kim Dae-jung since interpreting a phone call from former U.S. president Bill Clinton to Kim, who was then president-elect. The former president praised Kang's English skills several times.

      In an interview, Kang said, "I think my two-year experience as the chairwoman of the UN Commission on the Status of Women Panelists has helped me be appointed to the job."

      She vowed to contribute to boosting Korea's status in the UN body.

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