France - South Korea - Japan

South Korean-born French minister visits Seoul for first time since adoption


French Digital Economy Minister Fleur Pellerin visits the land of her birth on Saturday, the first time she has been to South Korea since she was adopted by a French couple at the age of six months. Her appointment to a French cabinet post attracted media headlines after last year’s French election.


Pellerin, who does not speak Korean, will meet President Park Guen-Hye and other political and business leaders.

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Part of her task is to highlight the government’s competitiveness law in a bid to encourage investment in France.

Pellerin’s appointment to the cabinet, the highest post anyone of Korean origin has ever reached in France, made the headlines in South Korea last year.

It was “a bit astonishing” to Koreans, she said after meeting a Korean minister in Paris, adding that it appeared to have stirred up debate on the place of immigrants in society in her country of origin.

The papers also revealed her name at the time of her birth in 1970 – Kim Jong-suk.

Pellerin wil also visit Japan, a country whose language she does speak having been an intern there for a year.

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