Agriculture minister-nominee brings decades of experience in government, party politicsThe agriculture minister nominee, Rep. Yoo Jeong-bok, raised his profile while serving the city of Gimpo, which he helped raise from the status of a county to a city.
A native of the western port city of Incheon, Yoo joined the administration 30 years ago after passing the national administrative services exam in 1979. His political career began in 1994 when he was elected the magistrate of then-Gimpo county.
The 53-year-old is said to have played a pivotal role in raising the status of Gimpo county to a city in 1998. He was elected the mayor of Gimpo later that year.
The two-term lawmaker of the ruling Grand National Party is also said to be a close confidant of Rep. Park Geun-hye, leader of the largest faction in the ruling party rivaling that of President Lee Myung-bak, a unique position that could help bring the often quarreling factions closer together, according to the political observers.
Observers say he could also use his experience to implement change and bring harmony to the government and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Yoo graduated from Seoul's Yonsei University in 1980 and received a master's degree in government administration from Seoul National University. [Yonhap]