Song Young-gil is a South Korean politician and the 5th popularly elected Mayor of Incheon. Prior to serving as mayor, he was a democratic movement student activist and a member of the Korean National Assembly for three terms. Mayor Song was born in Goheung, South Jeolla Province and experienced the Gwangju Democratization Movement when he was in high school. He then became the first ever directly elected president of Yonsei University’s student council and participated in the democratic movement with fellow students during that time. In 1985, Mayor Song was sent to prison for one-and-a-half years for violating the Law on Assembly and Demonstration. Following his release, Mayor Song worked as a laborer, including time as a welder for Daewoo Motor, and as a taxi driver for 7 years. At the age of 30, he took the National Bar Examination to challenge human rights violations and improve unfair treatment of the underprivileged. After passing the exam, he became an active human rights lawyer working alongside the weak and the poor. In 1999, in order to further help those in need, he ran in the 1999 by-elections, but lost. He was later elected as a National Assemblyman in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 general elections. As a lawmaker, he has proven his firm vision and affection for the nation through his activities as a member of Special Committees on the Historical Distortion of Japanese Textbooks, Against the Iraq War, the Korea-US FTA, and KIKO. Mayor Song was also a member of the Legislation & Judiciary Committee, the Finance & Economy Committee and the National Assembly’s Committee on Health, Welfare & Information and a Supreme Council Member of the Democratic Party.
On HEART TO HEART, we’ve invited Mayor Song to talk about the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, his strategies of attracting the UN’s GCF to Incheon as well as his dream of developing Incheon into an economic capital of Korea.