Anchor: President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday replaced the finance minister and five other Cabinet ministers as part of a massive reshuffle by the top office. The move comes as a number of ministers are reportedly planning to run for parliament in next April’s general elections.
Max Lee reports.
Report: President Yoon Suk Yeol replaced six Cabinet ministers on Monday, marking a major reshuffle leading up to next April’s general elections.
The announcement was made by presidential chief of staff Kim Dae-ki on Monday. The biggest change was the appointment of Choi Sang-mok, former senior presidential secretary of economic affairs, to replace Choo Kyung-ho as the new finance chief and deputy prime minister.
Former president of Sookmyung Women’s University Kang Jung-ai was named the new minister for veterans affairs.
President Yoon also named Song Mi-ryung, a former senior researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute, as the new agriculture minister.
Park Sang-woo, the ex-chief of the state-run housing developer Korea Land and Housing Corporation, was selected as the new land minister.
The oceans ministry saw a change at the top with Kang Do-hyung, the president of Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, named the new oceans minister, while second vice foreign minister Oh Young-ju was tapped as the SMEs minister.
In the latest reshuffle, President Yoon shifted away from his past preference for Seoul National University graduates and males in their 50s, with women comprising half of the appointments.
A major shake-up of the Cabinet may be an attempt to stabilize the Yoon administration, currently mired in disarray, following South Korea’s failed bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the southeastern port city of Busan and the sudden resignation of Korea Communications Commission(KCC) chief Lee Dong-kwan.
Despite rumors, foreign minister Park Jin was not replaced as the country’s top diplomat for his leading role in Busan’s World Expo bid.
The top office was also reportedly reviewing the possibility of replacing justice minister Han Dong-hoon with speculation rife that he is preparing to run for parliament next year.
The reshuffle of the Cabinet may continue later in the week, including a new nominee for the chairman of KCC.
Max Lee, KBS World Radio News.