Partial Cabinet Reshuffle
A three-term lawmaker, senior economic presidential secretary named new MCST and MKE ministers
-countesy of Cheong Wa Bae
President Lee Myung-bak carried out a partial reshuffle on Dec. 31, affecting six minister-level and two vice minister-level positions and 10 presidential secretaries.
President Lee tapped Rep. Choung Byoung-gug of the ruling Grand National Party as the new minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Senior Presidential Secretary for Economic Affairs Choi Joong-kyung as new minister of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE).
MCST Minister-nominee Choung and MKE Minister-nominee Choi are to replace Yu In-chon and Choi Kyung-hwan, respectively, after confirmation hearings by the National Assembly. Yu and Choi were retained after their successors, Shin Jae-min and Lee Jae-hoon, who were nominated in the Aug. 8 reshuffle, failed to obtain approval from the parliament during confirmation hearings.
The presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said MCST Minister-nominee Choung, a three-term lawmaker, has superb expertise in culture, public relations and media policy areas with 11 years service on the National Assembly Culture, Sports and Tourism Communications Committee, which he now also heads.
MKE Minister-nominee Choi, who was promoted to first vice minister of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance following his long-term stint at the ministry, has an in-depth understanding of the economic policies of the Lee Myung-bak administration and he has fine-tuned complex economic issues with excellent job capabilities while serving as senior economic presidential secretary, Cheong Wa Dae senior public relations secretary Hong Sang-pyo said.
Choi, a former ambassador to the Philippines and an ex-director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was nominated for "his capability to push the creation of new values based on his expertise in such areas as economic policies, real economy and international economy amid an economic situation in which knowledge industries and green growth are stressed to promote the creation of national wealth and jobs through trade expansion and stable energy supplies,"Hong said.
Chung Tong-ki, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, was nominated as chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI), which had remained vacant following BAI Chairman Kim Hwang-sik's installation as prime minister in September. BAI Chairman-nominee Chung, who began his legal career as a prosecutor in 1981, has held such positions as senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, deputy chief of the Supreme Prosecutors?Office and vice minister of justice. He served as chairman of the Korean Government Legal Service before his nomination as BAI chairman. However, the BAI chairman-nominee gave up his nomination prior to his confirmation hearing at the parliament in face of strong opposition from both ruling and opposition parties in connection with his controversial hefty compensation money related to his career.
Lee Young-ran, an ex-justice of the Supreme Court, was nominated as the chairman of the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), which had been vacated by ACRC Chairman Lee's appointment in June to be the minister of special affairs.
Kim Dong-soo, president of the Korea Export-Import Bank, was tapped as the chairman of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), while Kim Seok-dong, former first vice minister of strategy and financing, was named chairman of the Financial Services Commission.
In his personnel changes of vice ministers, President Lee promoted Chung Jae-chan, a member of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Steering Committee, to vice chairman of the FTC, and appointed Kim Dae-shik, secretary general of the National Unification Advisory Council, to be the vice chairman of the ACRC.
President Lee also conducted a reshuffle of Cheong Wa Dae, calling for tapping Ahn Kwang-chan, former chairman of the national emergency committee, as the head of the presidential National Crisis Management Office, which was newly created to step up national security following North Korea? recent shelling of Yeonpyeong Island off the west coast.
Park Hyung-jun, former senior presidential secretary for political affairs, and Lee Dong-kwan, ex-senior presidential secretary for public relations, who resigned in the wake of the ruling Grand National Party loss, were reappointed to be presidential special advisors for social affairs and the press, respectively.
President Lee tapped Prof. Lee Jong-hwa of Korea University as a presidential advisor in charge of international economy; Shin Hak-su, former general manager in charge of general affairs at the East Asia Institute, as presidential secretary for general affairs; Prof. Kim Young-ho of Sungshin Women's University as presidential secretary for unification; Yoo Hyun-guk, former chief of the G-2 staff at the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Korea, as Presidential secretary for information analysis; Kim Jin-hyung, chief of the Cheong Wa Dae Crisis Management Center, as presidential secretary for crisis management; Kim Jin-sun, former governor of Gangwon Province, as presidential special advisor for local administration; Kim Young-soon, chairman of the Planned Population Federation of Korea, as presidential special advisor for female affairs; and Kang Hyun-wook, chairman of the board of Chosun University, as the head of the Ad Hoc Committee on Local Administration Restructuring. nw