alt
Posted : 2013-03-15 16:58
Updated : 2013-03-15 16:58

New vice culture minister stresses fair play

Park Jong-gil, who was named vice minister of culture, sports and tourism this week, points at a photo of himself shooting in the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games at his indoor firing range in Mokdong, Seoul on Wednesday. / Yonhap


By Do Je-hae

The appointment of vice ministers generally attracts little public interest.

But not in the case of Park Jong-gil, a former star pistol shooter in the 1970s-80s, who just became the second vice minister of culture, sports and tourism.

His appointment generated a lot of media coverage, as it is the first time an athlete has become a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

He appeared before reporters for the first time Friday, visiting the press room at the ministry with Cho Jae-hyun, who received his appointment as the first vice minister alongside Park Wednesday.

During a brief meeting, Park, a former director at the Taeneung National Training Center that trains national teams for major sporting events, spoke about the latest game-rigging scandal that has hit the Korea Basketball League (KBL).

The nation's professional basketball league was forced to issue a public apology Tuesday after prosecutors arrested playing legend and Wonju Dongbu Promy head coach Kang Dong-hee the previous night on charges of manipulating games.

Similar scandals have also hit professional baseball and soccer here.

"It is essential for all parties concerned to abide by the rules of fair play and sportsmanship," Park said.

The 67-year-old was also actively involved overseeing the support system for the nation's athletes ahead of the London Olympic Games.

Under his leadership, a training and accommodation facility specifically designed for Korean athletes was established at a local university for the first time in Korea's Olympic experience, providing the athletes with Korean cuisine and other assistances.

The facility was instrumental in Korea's best-ever Olympic performance, winning a total of 28 medals (13 gold, 8 silver, and 7 bronze) and finishing fifth in the medal standings.

He is reputed within local media circles for exhibiting a so-called "grandfather leadership," style in managing the Taeneung National Training Center.

Park, a former national team shooter, won gold in rapid fire pistol in three consecutive Asian Games ― the 1978 Bangkok, the 1982 New Delhi and the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. He subsequently served as coach of the national shooting team as well as vice president of the Korea Shooting Federation and served on the board of the Korean Olympic Committee.

He has been leading the Taeneung National Training Center since January 2011.
His ministerial appointment has been welcomed by the sports community, but there are also concerns that he may not have expertise in some of the other areas within the culture ministry such as tourism and media policies.


  • 1. Naked student runs around city in return for tuition fee
  • 2. Men and women react differently after sex
  • 3. Watch: Megan Fox throws first pitch at Jamsil
  • 4. Apple denied Samsung sales ban
  • 5. Notorious pervert from Mt. Bukhan caught
  • 6. LG, Samsung unpack new smartwatches
  • 7. Seoul City Hall to crack down on Uber's new service
  • 8. NPAD faces decision on street protests
  • 9. Biblical locust plague is real in Madagascar
  • 10. Fashion chain Zara slammed for 'Holocaust' T-shirts
Copy editors wanted
Experienced reporters wanted