Park announces top appointments today

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Park announces top appointments today

President-elect Park Geun-hye will make public today the first batch of major appointments in her administration.

The announcement will be made at 10 a.m. today, Yoon Chang-jung, spokesman of Park’s transition team, said yesterday.

“As soon as we complete vetting, more appointments will be announced after the Lunar New Year holidays,” Yoon said. The holiday runs from tomorrow through Monday.

In the brief press conference, Yoon refused to describe which posts will be filled today.

Top posts in the cabinet and secretariat of the incoming administration remained empty until yesterday after Park’s botched attempt to appoint Kim Yong-joon, her transition committee head, as prime minister.

Kim got hammered by the press with allegations of tax evasion and draft dodging by his sons and withdrew his nomination.

Park has little more than two weeks until her Feb. 25 inauguration.

Speculation is high that the first batch of appointments will include a new nominee for prime minister.

Throughout her campaign, Park promised to respect the prime minister’s authority to recommend ministers, and observers said she wants to appoint the prime minister first so she can discuss the creation of her first cabinet with him or her.

The National Assembly already scheduled a session for Feb. 26 to vote on a motion to confirm the prime minister nomination.

A confirmation hearing will take place before the vote.

Yoon denied yesterday that Park was running out of time to form a cabinet and the presidential secretariat.

“The schedule was not disturbed,” Yoon said. “And it won’t be disturbed either. It is moving forward as we originally planned.”


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

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