The 73-year-old former German leader – whose colourful private life and multiple marriages earned him the nickname “Audi man”, a reference to the German carmaker’s four-ring symbol – said that he would wed Kim So-yeon this year.

“I’ve already met her family,” he told a press conference in Seoul where the smiling couple stood arm-in-arm in front of the cameras. “The wedding will probably be held in the fall and the exact venue and timing will be decided later.”

Kim, 47, is a Seoul representative of the Economic Development Agency of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and has worked as a Korean translator for Schroeder.

Their relationship emerged last September when Doris Schroeder Kopf, Schroeder’s fourth wife, said in the process of divorcing him that Kim had played a part in the break-up.

Schroeder insisted on Thursday that Kim had nothing to do with the break-up but said he would spend the rest of his life travelling back and forth between Germany and the South.

“I have tremendous interest in South Korea’s history, culture and arts and … would like to have more opportunities to learn more about South Koreans and the country’s heritage,” he said.

Social Democrat Schroeder served as German chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and instituted labour market and welfare reforms which angered the Left of his party.

Source: South China Morning Post