<font color="maroon" size=2><b>[Breaking News]</b></font><br>Labor Minister Yim named the new presidential chief of staff

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[Breaking News]
Labor Minister Yim named the new presidential chief of staff


Yim Tae-hee

Labor Minister Yim Tae-hee, a three-term lawmaker of the Grand National Party and a key confident of President Lee Myung-bak, was named the new Blue House chief of staff today.

The announcement followed Lee’s reorganization of the presidential office on Wednesday, designed to revamp the administration’s popularity in the aftermath of the ruling party’s defeats in last month’s local elections.

Yim is a veteran policymaker with a background of financial public servant. He also served Lee as chief of staff when Lee was the GNP’s presidential candidate and the president-elect. Lee named Yim as his labor minister in September last year.

“Yim understands the president’s philosophy better than anyone,” said president’s senior public affairs secretary Lee Dong-kwan. “The president highly valued Yim’s sociability and open-minded attitude to listen to a wide spectrum of opinions. The appointment is the most appropriate to achieve the goal to better communicate with the public and implement the people-friendly policies.”

The president also expects Yim, 54, to invigorate the operation of the Blue House, the spokesman said. With an interpretation that the young voters largely turned to liberal opposition candidates in the latest elections, Lee has vowed to appoint younger staffers to refresh the image of his administration.

According to the Blue House, Yim, a native of Gyeonggi province, has worked to resolve the perennial practice of regionalism in the Korean politics by trying to harmonize Gyeongsang and Jeolla areas.

Calling him a centrist pragmatist, the Blue House said Yim is also known to maintain an amicable relationship with other political parties and the expectations are high for him to assist the president with his communication and negotiation capabilities.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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