Post by-election loss, Lee shakes up five ministries

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Post by-election loss, Lee shakes up five ministries

President Lee Myung-bak replaced five ministers yesterday in a shuffle prompted by the ruling Grand National Party’s rout in last month’s by-elections.

The new ministers-designate are: Bahk Jae-wan, Ministry of Strategy and Finance; Lee Chae-pil, Ministry of Employment and Labor; Kwon Do-yup, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs; Suh Kyu-yong, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Yoo Young-sook, Ministry of Environment.

The minister of unification and minister of justice were not replaced, though they had been expected to be.

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The new lineup came as a surprise for many as the selections and posts were different from earlier expectations and leaks. Blue House and other government officials had initially expected six posts to be changed, but Lee stopped at five.

The shuffle came just before Lee starts a European tour on Sunday, and, according to Blue House officials, the president’s deliberations were lengthy and the names not confirmed until the last minute.

Government officials said a dearth of candidates with enough experience made the shuffle particularly difficult for the president, who has been under pressure since the GNP’s loss in the by-elections on April 27.

Bahk Jae-wan has been labor minister since last August and is from Masan, South Gyeongsang. He has been considered a close adviser to President Lee Myung-bak: he was Lee’s senior secretary to the president for state affairs planning at the beginning of the president’s time in office. He was also a lawmaker for the ruling Grand National Party from 2004 to 2008 and served on several committees of the National Assembly, including the Health and Welfare Committee.

Replacing Bahk as labor minister is 55-year-old Lee Chae-pil from Ulsan, who has been vice labor minister since March 2010. His work on labor issues dates back to 1982 and was a Blue House official for labor in the early 1990s.

Kwon Do-yup, minister-designate of land, transport and maritime affairs, has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea since January. He served as first vice minister of the land ministry from March 2008 to August 2010 after leaving his post at the Korea Expressway Corporation, a position he held from 2007. Before that, he was an official at the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, the Land Ministry’s earlier name.

Suh Kyu-yong, from North Chungcheong, will be leaving his position as president of the Korea Farmers and Fishermen’s Weekly News, which he has held since July 2006. He was also the vice agriculture minister from February to July 2002.

The new environment minister, Yoo Young-sook, a principal research scientist at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, was selected to succeed Lee Maan-ee, who will be leaving the position he held since March 2008.

The 56-year-old Yoo graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1989 and has been at the institute since 1990. She also served as the director of the Korean Chemical Society in 2008.

Unification Minister Hyun In-taek and Justice Minister Lee Kwi-nam will keep their posts.


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

허 찌른 5·6 개각

MB, 친정 대신 실무 택해…현인택 통일은 유임

이명박 대통령은 6일 5개 부처 장관을 바꿨다. 기획재정부 장관에 박재완 고용노동부 장관, 농림수산식품부 장관에 서규용 전 농림부 차관을 내정했다. 환경부 장관엔 유영숙 한국과학기술연구원(KIST) 책임연구원, 고용노동부 장관에는 이채필 노동부 차관, 국토해양부 장관에는 권도엽 전 국토부 1차관을 지명했다.

박재완 기획재정부 장관 후보자는 이 대통령의 핵심 측근이다. 대통령직 인수위 때부터 국정과제 전반을 기획했고 현 정부의 초대 청와대 정무수석을 지낸 뒤 국정기획 수석으로 이동했다. 이어 지난해 8월 고용노동부 장관이 됐다.

서규용 농식품부 장관 후보자는 농업직 기술고시에 합격해 농림부에서 일했고, 시민단체 등에서 농업전문가로 활동했다. 유영숙 환경부 장관 후보자는 생화학박사 출신이며 KIST 역사상 첫 여성 부원장을 지냈다. 이채필 노동부 장관 후보자는 노동부, 권도엽 국토부 장관 후보자는 건교부에서 잔뼈가 굵은 관료 출신이다.

류우익 주중 대사와 권재진 청와대 민정수석이 각각 이동할 가능성이 크다는 관측이 나왔던 통일부·법무부 장관은 개각 대상에서 빠졌다. 임태희 실장은 “법무부 장관 인사는 검찰 인사(9월 예상)와 함께 검토하는 게 맞다고 판단했고, 통일부 장관 인사는 일관성 있는 (대북) 정책 기조 유지 차원에서 하지 않았다”고 설명했다. 

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