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Sick Cambodian child who met S. Korean first lady to receive surgery in Seoul: official

Politics 22:26 November 27, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A Cambodian child with a congenital heart disease who recently met with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee is expected to receive surgery in Seoul, according to a presidential official Sunday.

Kim visited the 14-year-old child earlier this month in Phnom Penh while accompanying President Yoon Suk-yeol on his trip to Cambodia. At a hospital there, Kim discussed ways to provide treatment for the child, who received heart surgery in 2018 but was not able to afford follow-up surgery due to the family's poor economic situation.

A presidential official told Yonhap News Agency the child is expected to be brought to South Korea for surgery. The official said Asan Medical Center in Seoul will handle the surgery.

"All expenses required for the trip to South Korea and the surgery have already been prepared with donations," the official said.

Kim's meeting with the child was widely reported, with the presidential office having released photos of her comforting the family, including those showing her carrying the gaunt boy in her arms and the boy sitting on her lap.

An opposition lawmaker has accused Kim of choreographing the meeting in an attempt to make herself look charitable, claiming the photos imitated images of late actor Audrey Hepburn doing charity.

South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee (C) poses for a photo with a Cambodian child with a congenital heart disease, at his home in Phnom Penh on Nov. 12, 2022, in this file photo provided by the presidential office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee (C) poses for a photo with a Cambodian child with a congenital heart disease, at his home in Phnom Penh on Nov. 12, 2022, in this file photo provided by the presidential office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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