Miss Korea 2012 Kim Yu-mi, center, and the six runners-up pose after being crowned in the final round of the annual beauty pageant held at the Grand Peace Palace of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Friday. From left are second runner-ups Kim Yoo-jin and Kim Tae-hyun; first runner-up Lee Jung-bin; Kim; first runner-up Kim Sa-ra; and second runner-ups Kim Na-yeon and Kim Young-joo. / Korea Times photo by Hong In-ki
By Rachel Lee
Kim Yu-mi was crowned Miss Korea 2012 at the Grand Peace Palace of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Friday.
The 22-year-old smiled while being crowned by last year’s winner Lee Sung-hye. Dressed in a rich, gold dress, the fresh-eyed beauty’s surprise and excitement were evident.
She will be the representative of the country for the coming year. Kim is currently taking a year off from Konkuk University, where she is majoring in film studies. The new Miss Korea said she enjoys reading books and listening to music. She is also a good piano player.
Lee Jung-bin, 19, from South Jeolla Province and Kim Sa-ra, 23, from Seoul were named first runners-up; the second runners-up were Kim Yoo-jin (23, from Seoul), Kim Tae-hyun (19 , from North Gyeongsang Province), Kim Na-yeon (20, from Daegu) and Kim Young-joo (19, from Incheon). The competition, hosted by renowned emcee Kim Sung-ju and actress Park Jin-hee, saw performances by Korean pop musicians 2AM, LeeSsang and Kim Bum-soo.
The preliminary rounds for this year’s pageant began in April with regional competitions. Contestants were chosen nationwide and also from overseas Korean communities in New York, Los Angeles and other cities.
Since the start of this month, the 54 finalists participated in community service activities, including working with a volunteer group to make lunch for the elderly, and giving a variety of dance performances for them including ballet, traditional dance and flamenco.
Miss Korea 2012 will compete in Miss Universe 2013. The competition is the oldest beauty pageant in the country, having been held annually year for 56 consecutive years. It is sponsored by the Hankook Ilbo, a sister company of The Korea Times.