|Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Koo Bon-moo, Magdi Habib Yacoub, and Park Hang-seo in clockwise./ Korea Times file|
By Jung Hae-myoung
Two Koreans have been selected as "Asians of the Year" for 2018 by the Asia Journalist Association (AJA).
The association selected Koo Bon-moo, the late former chairman of LG Group, in the economic category. Koo, who died in May, received the award for leading the conglomerate to make rapid growth and become a global company. The group also set up an award to recognize people who have sacrificed themselves for social justice.
Park Hang-seo, the Korean coach of the Vietnam national football team, was selected for the society and culture category, as he led the Vietnamese team to consecutive victories. With humble leadership, he contributed to Vietnamese people's unity and improving their recognition of Korea.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the president of Uzbekistan, was named for the politics category, as he tried to settle peace and continue interaction between countries in central Asia. Since he became president in December 2016, he has reformed policies to open the economy and improve human rights, releasing political prisoners.
Magdi Habib Yacoub, an Egyptian thoracic surgeon, was picked for the society and culture category as well. He saved many children's lives in Africa by giving free heart transplants through his own foundation Magdi Yacoub Institution.
"Those people were selected after final deliberation by the AJA leaders and each country's representatives' evaluation," said Ashraf Dali, president of the AJA. "I send my greatest respect to those selected."
The award ceremony will be held at the AJA general assembly in spring 2019.