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Ban Ki-moon and Yoo Soon-taek Marriage Profile


U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has admitted to being a workaholic who has placed his marriage and family second to his work. For most spouses, being married to a workaholic who travels the world would not be an easy role.

So how does the marriage of Ban Ki-moon and Yoo Soon-taek succeed? Along with their love for one another, we assume that Ban uses his skills as a harmonizer and communicator in his personal life, and that Yoo is a woman with patience and understanding.

Here's information about how Ban and Yoo met, when they married, their children, quotes about their marriage, and more.


Ban Ki-moon: June 13, 1944 in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province of Japanese-ccupied Korea. He moved to Chungju when he was in the first grade.

Yoo Soon-taek: Abt. 1944 in Korea.

How Ban Ki-moon and Yoo Soon-taek Met:

Yoo Soon-taek and Ban Ki-moon met in 1962 when they were both high school students. Ban was 18 years old.

Yoo, as her school's student council president, was one of the students who presented him with traditional symbols of luck, bamboo strainers, when he left for Washington, D.C. after winning an English language competition that was sponsored by the American Red Cross.

Wedding Date:

Ban and Yoo were married in 1971.


Ban Ki-moon and Yoo Soon-taek have three children. One son, and two daughters.

  • Seon-yong: Born abt. 1972. She works for the Korea Foundation in Seoul.

  • Woo-hyun: Born abt. 1974. He is a student at the University of California at Los Angeles studying for a master's degree in business administration.

  • Hyun-hee: Born abt. 1976. She is a field officer for Unicef in Nairobi, Kenya.


  • Seoul, Korea: Personal residence.

  • New York City, New York: While Secretary General of the U.N., Ban and his family will eventually reside in the U.N.-owned five-story, brown stone home located in Sutton Place in Manhattan's East Side. They will have a view of the East River and Ban would be able to walk to the U.N. headquarters if he wanted to.

    The 14,000-square-foot neo-Georgian town house was built in 1921 and is set to be renovated to repair "power outages, leaky plumbing, an unsafe elevator and an obsolete kitchen exhaust system that poses a potential fire hazard." While the house is renovated, Ban and Yoo will live at the Waldorf-Astoria until October 2007.
    Source: WashingtonPost.com, December 8, 2006.
    Source: Listing of Renovation and Refurbishment

Occupations and Interests:

Ban Ki-moon: As of January 1, 2007, he became the Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. He had been Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea since 1/2004. Ban Ki-moon has worked in government and diplomacy for 36 years.

Pretty much an all work, no play type of person, Ban rarely takes vacations. One of his interests is listening to classical music.

Religion, Priorities, and Values:

Ban's description of his religious faith is that of a non-denominational Christian.

Ban is said to have a non-confrontational style, and has as his ruling principles the "Confucian virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety and wisdom." Source: TheStar.com

Quotes About Marriage and Family:

Ban Ki-moon about being a workaholic: Willing to put his job ahead of private affairs, he said "I'm sorry for my family, but even if I can't take care of my home, I have to do my job first."
Source: IHT.com

Ban Ki-moon, commenting in December 2006 about his wife Yoo Soon-taek: "I've had 35 years of honeymoon."
Source: NYsun.com

Statement in Ban Ki-moon biography referring to Yoo Soon-taek: "She has been his best partner throughout his many turns."
Source: MaximsNews.com

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