Upgrade planned in management of national crisisThe Blue House has announced a plan to overhaul the presidential office’s crisis management system, opening a specialized office to better assess national emergency and analyze intelligence following North Korea’s repeated armed provocations and the subsequent fallout in the South.
The National Security Council, at a meeting yesterday, discussed an organizational restructuring measure to improve the presidential office’s crisis management system in the aftermath of the Yeonpyeong Island shelling, Kim Tae-hyo, presidential secretary for national security strategy, said yesterday after the NSC meeting. The existing national crisis-management center will be upgraded into the national crisis-management office, which will be headed by a senior-secretary-level (vice-minister-level) director, bringing the number of senior presidential secretaries to nine.
The office will have three departments specialized in national crisis management, intelligence analysis and situation monitoring. The current head of the center, Adm. Kim Jin-hyung, was named secretary for national crisis management, while the senior-secretary-level head of the new office as well as the secretary for intelligence analysis will soon be appointed.
The Lee Myung-bak administration has faced criticism for its lack of ability to cope with a national crisis since the sinking of the warship Cheonan in March. Last month’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, and the South’s poor response, greatly fueled the criticism.
According to the Blue House’s press statement, the overhaul is aimed at clarifying the role and function of the security-related offices inside the Blue House in order to improve the effectiveness of foreign affairs and security policy planning and coordination.
The National Security Council decided yesterday that the office of the senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security will be in charge of diplomatic and long-term security policies, while the office of national crisis management will handle response plans for the early stage of any crisis or emergency. The new office will also be in charge of hosting National Security Council meetings.
The National Security Council is responsible for coordinating matters related to national security and advising the president on major foreign policy issues. Yesterday’s meeting was Lee’s fifth National Security Council meeting.
By Ser Myo-ja [email@example.com]
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