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Posted : 2014-07-13 18:36
Updated : 2014-07-13 18:36

Korean scientist honored by UK queen

British Ambassador Scott Wightman, left, holds a Commander of the Order of the British Empire medal with Chung Hee-sun, dean of the graduate
school of analytical science and technology at Chungnam National University, at his residence in Seoul, Wednesday. / Korea Times





















By Kang Hyun-kyung


Queen Elizabeth II honored Korean scientist Chung Hee-sun, a former director general of the National Forensic Service, for promoting Britain in Korea.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Scott Wightman presented Chung, now dean of the Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology at Chungnam National University, with an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) on behalf of the Queen at the embassy.

"Professor Chung is one of the leading South Korean scientists. For many years, she had led the National Forensic Service with great distinction. She has a global reputation," the envoy said during a speech at the award ceremony. "After completing her postgraduate program in Britain, professor Chung has subsequently been a strong promoter of academic exchanges and collaboration in forensic science research between Korea and universities in the United Kingdom."

Wightman also cited her efforts to increase membership in the British government's scholarship program, the Chevening Alumni Association and other activities while serving as president of the association.

"Professor Chung has also been a great advocate for the U.K.'s higher education, supporting efforts of the British Council and the embassy to encourage more of Korea's most talented students to study at our world-class universities."

In a speech, Chung said she didn't expect that she would receive such an honor.

She elaborated on her bonds with Britain which date back to 1989 when she applied for a Chevening Scholarship as a forensic scientist.

Chung said the then-first secretary of the British Embassy, who interviewed her, asked her several questions as he was very interested in her after finding out that Korea had a female forensic scientist.

After completing her postgraduate program at Kings College, Chung said she had been involved in many activities related to the British government.

"As I received this honor, what I will do for in future is do my part in improving Korea's relations with the U.K. I will do my best to promote friendship between the two countries."

Previous receivers of the CBE include former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and ex-lawmaker Park Jin, who is now serving as president of the Korea-Britain Society.

A source familiar with the process said that selection standards for the CBE are very strict and therefore some of the winners were chosen after they were eliminated several times before.

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