중앙데일리

Geography professor named chief of staff

Feb 02,2008
Yu Woo-ik, Kim In-jong
One of the chief architects of the proposal to build a giant canal across the country has been named the next presidential chief of staff, a spokesman for the president-elect said yesterday.
Yu Woo-ik, 58, a geography professor at Seoul National University, is a close friend of President-elect Lee Myung-bak. After Lee is inaugurated Feb. 25, Yu will head the Blue House office, said spokesman Joo Ho-young.
Also yesterday, Lee named Kim In-jong, a 62-year-old former army commander, as chief of the Presidential Security Service, Joo said.
Besides the canal, Yu worked on several of Lee’s major policy proposals, including the development of the country’s southern coast.
Yu and Lee met in 1996. Lee, then a lawmaker, was pushing the idea of a national grand canal. He asked Yu to provide advice about his blueprint. The fledgling canal idea never got off the ground.
Yu and Lee later worked together to oppose President Roh Moo-hyun’s plan to relocate the administrative capital out of Seoul. Yu also became president of the Global Strategic Institute, a think tank that Lee founded.
He currently serves as secretary general of the Brussels-based International Geographical Union and as vice chairman of the International Geographical Congress.
Yu also helped draft several of Lee’s public speeches, including the farewell address he gave when he left as mayor of Seoul and a New Year’s speech Lee gave last month.
“I feel a really heavy weight on my shoulders to have been appointed to such a significant position,” Yu said in a news conference yesterday. “The president is focusing on strengthening the nation’s competitiveness in the international community, so I will help him achieve that goal.”
Kim, meanwhile, will be in charge of keeping tight security on the presidential office. Kim once led the Capital Defense Command, which is in charge of the military defense of Seoul.
Kim ended his decades-long military career in 2001 to become a member of the Grand National Party. He later became an adviser to Lee on military and defense issues. Kim also advised Lee’s personal security teams during the election campaign last year.
“There is nothing to say about security operations,” Kim said in the same press conference in Seoul. “The need for security is increasing amid rising threats, so I will do my best to perfectly protect the president from such threats.”


By Choi Sang-yeon JoongAng Ilbo/ Jung Ha-won Staff Reporter [hawon@joongang.co.kr]



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