Chairperson of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) An Cheong-sook has tendered her resignation to newly appointed minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism Yu In-Chon, citing personal reasons.

Her three-year term, along with that of the other eight members of the 3rd KOFIC executive council, normally would end on May 27.

In the case Yu accepts her resignation, KOFIC vice chairman Lee Hyeon-Seung would take charge of the council for the remaining period.

In an open letter to the local film industry, An thanked the many people who worked with her to improve investment by forming mid-to-large film funds, and worked towards stopping illegal downloads and finding ways of making new media profitable.

She also thanked those who joined KOFIC in creating an infrastructure to guarantee diversity in cinema, and in taking new steps into overseas markets after the dying down of the initial Korean Wave hype; as well as the filmmakers who helped create the industry's first labor agreement, and urged the industry to continue on those paths,asking pardonfor not seeing them through to the end of her original term.

An's background includes being a member of KOFIC's inaugural executive council - back when it was dubbed the Korean Film Commission; editor-in-chief of the leading local film magazine Cine21, and a journalist on the progressive daily newspaper Hankyoreh.

It has been public knowledge that An was considering leaving her position early to campaign with her husband Won Hye-young, a national assembly member of the oppositionUnited Democratic Party, ahead of the April 9 elections.

Newly inaugurated Korean president Lee Myung-bak's administration, on Feb 29 consolidated the roles of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the Government Information Agency to form the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Lee appointed Yu, a long-time political crony, as minister. A former actor, Yu actually portrayed in a historical TV series Lee in his earlier years as head of Hyundai Engineering & Construction.