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(2nd LD) S. Korea fills vacant Wuhan consul general post to support citizens in virus epicenter

All News 19:02 February 19, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES story with more info, Kang's comment in paras 5-6)

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday appointed a new consul general for the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan to fill the post that had been left vacant for some three months, the foreign ministry said.

Kang Seung-seok, former chief of the Korean Consular Office in China's Dalian, took the position amid Seoul's stepped-up efforts to provide consular assistance to some 100 South Koreans in Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly COVID-19 virus, and its vicinity.

His predecessor, Kim Young-geun, stepped down in November after he reportedly came under fire for improper remarks.

Kang will depart for Wuhan on Wednesday night aboard a cargo plane that South Korea plans to send to Wuhan to deliver relief items, including medical gloves.

"I've been given a heavy responsibility and am assuming the post in Wuhan today," he said during a video conference in Seoul that took place between Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and heads of South Korean missions in China.

"Together with our staffers at the consulate office, we will do our utmost, based on our experience, to protect the remaining citizens and overcome the difficulties at this crucial time," the new consul general said.

Entering the foreign service in 1988, Kang has served in various China-based posts, including those in Qingdao, Hong Kong and Shenyang.

Kang Seung-seok, new consular general for the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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