KOREA TIMES STAFFER CHOI HA-YOUNG WRITES –Hong Seok-hyun, an uncle of Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong, has resigned as JoongAng Media Network chairman, triggering rumors he may join the presidential race.

He said in an email to staff on Saturday he would soon form a Think Tank to deal with issues regarding inter-Korean relations, job creation, social unity, education and culture.

“The envisioned institution will be run in the form of a foundation or a forum encompassing renowned experts in the fields,” Hong said. “I’ve decided to do something meaningful for the future of the Republic of Korea.”

Hong had headed the media group for 23 years. The group includes JoongAng Ilbo, the country’s second-largest newspaper, and JTBC, a cable network.

Hong served as Korea’s ambassador to the U.S. under the Roh Moo-hyun administration and once hoped to become U.N. secretary-general.

Reprinted courtesy of the Korea Times, Seoul, South Korea