Park Joo-min, the National Assembly member loved throughout Korea
Park Joo-min is a former human rights lawyer who was known for representing the most disadvantaged in society. Most famous of these was his representation of the bereaved families of the victims of the horrific Sewol ferry disaster in April 2014, seeking to uncover the truth behind what led to the disaster, and what many saw as a botching of rescue efforts by the government.
During this time, Park realized the limitations he faced in finding the truth, and so future president Moon Jae-in pursuaded him to enter the political world. Park ran in the 2016 general elections as a member of Moon’s Democratic Party and the rest is history.
Park’s run for office made his position as one of the most beloved politicians in Korea extremely clear, as he received the most campaign donations of any other member of the National Assembly, an incredible 348 million won (~$322,500) from about 2960 people in only two days. He even released a video explaining precisely why he needed the money, where it was to be spent, and where other lawmakers usually spent it.
He was also honored with the Grand Prize at the 19th BaekBongSinSa Awards, a prize given to lawmakers who are considered to have conducted the most exemplary parliamentary activities during the year.