The Los Angeles Times has named Barbara Demick as foreign correspondent and bureau chief of its Seoul, South Korea bureau. She most recently served as Middle East bureau chief for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Demick is The Times' first full-time Seoul bureau chief. The Times has maintained an office in Seoul since 1988 but until now it had never been staffed full time.

"Southern California has the largest Korean population outside Seoul, and the ongoing political and security issues involving North and South Korea remain key interest areas for this community and for all Americans, especially those who are part of the Pacific region," said Simon K.C. Li, Times' foreign editor. "With Barbara's experience in foreign reporting, we'll now be able to offer our readers more consistent and in-depth insight into this important part of the world."

The Times has 28 correspondents in 23 foreign bureaus. Demick joined The Inquirer in 1986 and had served as Eastern Europe correspondent, Washington, D.C., bureau staff reporter, Wall Street correspondent, and business staff reporter. She was appointed Middle East bureau chief in 1997.

From 1984 to 1985, she was a business reporter with the Dallas Times Herald and an investigative reporter with the Jersey Journal. She served as city hall reporter for The Hudson Dispatch in Union City, N.J. from 1981 to 1983.

A native of Ridgewood, N.J., Demick earned a bachelor's degree in economic history from Yale University and completed the Bagehot Fellowship in economic and business journalism at Columbia University. She also studied the Korean language at Yonsei University Language Institute in Los Angeles. In 1995, Demick was recognized for her international reporting from Bosnia with George Polk and Robert F. Kennedy awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She is the author of "Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood."

The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and winner of 25 Pulitzer Prizes. It publishes four daily regional editions covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the San Fernando Valley, and Orange and Ventura counties as well as a National Edition.