Park Geun-hye to announce additional gov't nominations Sunday

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Park Geun-hye to announce additional gov't nominations Sunday

President-elect Park Geun-hye will announce additional nominations for her incoming government on Sunday, the transition team's spokesman said.

   The third round of nominations will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Sunday, spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said in a brief text message sent to reporters on Saturday. He didn't offer further details.

   On Wednesday, Park named nominees for six Cabinet ministerial positions, including the foreign and defense ministers. She's expected to appoint more nominees for other ministerial posts Sunday.

   She may also name her chief of staff at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae along with senior secretaries on Sunday.

   Park, scheduled to take office on Feb. 25, is being pressed for time in forming her new government, as her proposal for government restructuring has yet to pass the National Assembly.

   Park's proposed changes include creating a new ministry to handle science and technology, reviving an old ministry for maritime and fishery affairs, and transferring the foreign ministry's trade negotiating functions to the commerce ministry.

   Political sources on Saturday said Park will likely name nominees for Cabinet posts not included in her restructuring plan. Also, she may go ahead with nominations for the presidential chief of staff and senior Cheong Wa Dae secretaries because these positions won't be affected by her potential changes, the sources added.

   Once appointed, the chief of staff is expected to assume a leading role in the selection and screening of upcoming Cabinet appointments, according to the political sources.

   The sources also noted that it could take up to two weeks to run background checks on prospective employees of Cheong Wa Dae, which is why Park, with the inauguration of her government just nine days away, must name her secretaries as soon as possible.

   Officials of the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party said earlier Saturday that their floor leaders, Lee Hahn-koo and Park Ki-choon, are expected to meet this weekend to try to narrow differences on the incoming president's plan.

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