The 2013 Miss Korea winners wave after the annual pageant at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul, Tuesday. From left are second runners-up Choi Song-e, Kim Min-ju and Han Soo-min; first runner-up Han Ji-eun, Miss Korea Yu Ye-bin, first runner-up Kim Hyo-hee; and second runners-up Choi Hey-lin and Gu Bon-hwa.
By Kwon Ji-youn
Yoo Ye-bin from Daegu was voted in as Miss Korea 2013 in the final round of the annual beauty pageant at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Tuesday.
This is the first time since 2002 that Miss Korea came from a city or province other than Seoul.
"I will try to become a Miss Korea who will continue to nurture an inner beauty," Yoo, 21, said, beaming with pride and excitement when accepting the crown.
She drew laughter from the audience by mentioning that she would "also like to thank her parents for the beauty she was born with so as to avoid any large surgical expenses."
Yoo is a student at Gyeongsang National University, where she studies textiles.
She is admired for her Western-style figure ― she is 171.3 centimeters tall and weighs 52.1 kilograms.
"One of my teachers recommended that I enter the pageant," Yoo said. "I used to detest performing or strutting in front of others, but I took this chance to change my personality a little."
Yoo said that she loves yoga and dance, and enjoys cooking and listening to music.
Han Ji-eun, 21, from Incheon, and Kim Hyo-hee, 22, from Gwangju, were named first runners-up. The second runners-up were Kim Min-ju, 25, North Chungcheong Province; Han Soo-min, 22, Seoul; Choi Hey-lin, 20, Busan; Gu Bon-hwa, 21, Incheon; and Choi Song-e, 23, from Brazil.
The official Miss Korea 2013 competition began on April 10. Preliminary rounds were held in 14 regions and four overseas locations.
The selected 55 finalists trained together day and night for 25 days prior to the pageant.
Yoo will now prepare to compete in the Miss Universe 2014 Pageant. She, along with the runners-up, is also able to compete in the upcoming Miss Earth competition, the Miss International Beauty Pageant, and the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant.
"I don't have any plans to enter into the entertainment business as of yet," Yoo said. "For now, as Miss Korea, I think I have a lot on my plate."
The oldest beauty pageant in Korea, Miss Korea has been held annually for 57 consecutive years. It is sponsored by The Hankook Ilbo, a sister newspaper of The Korea Times.