Park picks Korean-American Johnny Yune to win votes of overseas Koreans
Leading presidential contender Park Geun-hye has chosen Korean-American Johnny Yune, a renowned former talk show host, to help her win the votes of millions of overseas Koreans in the December presidential race.
Yune moved to the United States in 1962 and rose to fame in the 1970s after appearing on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" as a stand-up comedian. He later played lead roles in films such as "They Call Me Bruce?" and "They Still Call Me Bruce."
The 76-year-old returned to South Korea in 1989 and became the first in his country to launch a talk show, "The Johnny Yune Show," named after the host.
Yune was appointed Thursday as chief of the overseas Koreans department of Park's campaign committee. The lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party is due to formally declare her bid for the top office next week.
She is one of the strongest presidential contenders, credited for leading her once-beleaguered party to a surprise victory in April's parliamentary elections.
Yune's ties to the Korean-American community are seen as a crucial factor that led to his appointment, as some 860,000 of the more than 2 million overseas Koreans live in the U.S.
The former actor also helped launch a supporters' group for Park in Los Angeles, where she attended its launching ceremony in 2007. (Yonhap)