Kim Choong-soo named BOK head
“Kim, who has worked in academia and the government, has wide insight and expertise on the Korean economy,” said Park Sun-kyoo, presidential spokesman. “In addition, he, as an OECD ambassador, has international experiences and views.”
The current chief of the central bank, Lee Seong-tae, will complete his four-year term on March 31. Lee was appointed during the Roh Moo-hyun administration.
A native of Seoul, Kim, 62, graduated from Seoul National University in 1973 and obtained a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.
“Korea is the chair nation of the Group of 20 Summit, and the new governor of the Bank of Korea will host the G-20 central bank governors’ meeting and lead the formation of the agenda of global financial reform,” said Park. “Taking into account this grave responsibility, we believe Kim is the best person to perform the role.”
The Blue House also said President Lee is deeply interested in the new task of the nation’s central bank. “Lee is very much concerned about the independence and neutrality of the Bank of Korea,” said Park. “To this end, the candidates who have ties with the finance ministry were ruled out during the selection process.”
The Ivy League-educated economist was the first senior secretary for economic affairs for President Lee, but he had to step down only after four months in 2008 in the aftermath of anti-government protests over U.S. beef imports. After leaving the Blue House, Kim was named as Korea’s ambassador to the OECD.
Kim’s tie with the OECD goes back years. As Korea applied for a membership in the OECD, he was appointed by the Kim Young-sam administration as the minister and head of the OECD Office in the Korean Embassy in Paris. He was in charge of negotiations with the international organization. Korea joined the OECD in 1996.
Before joining the Lee Blue House, Kim served as the president of Hallym University. He also served as the head of the Korea Institute of Public Finance from 1997 to 1998.
During the Roh administration, Kim headed the state-run Korea Development Institute, where he had started his career as a researcher.
By Ser Myo-ja [email@example.com]