Park finds second nominee for science minister

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Park finds second nominee for science minister



President Park Geun-hye yesterday nominated Choi Mun-kee, a telecommunications technology expert, as minister of future planning and science, the Blue House announced yesterday.

The president also named Han Man-soo, a veteran tax lawyer, as head of the Fair Trade Commission.

Choi, 61, is a management science professor at Kaist, the country’s top technical institute, and he served as president of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), the largest government funded research institute, from 2006 to 2009.

A native of Yeongdeok in North Gyeongsang and graduate of Seoul National University, Choi joined the ETRI in 1978 as a researcher and built up a career of more than two decades in research and development. He left the institute in 1999 to teach at the Information and Communications University, now called Kaist ICC.

Choi was a founding member of Park’s think tank, the Institute of the Future of State, which provided policy advice before and during the presidential campaign. Choi’s nomination follows Park’s unsuccessful first nomination of Kim Jeong-hun, a famed telecom entrepreneur from the United States. Kim abandoned his candidacy earlier this month after opposition politicians took pot shots at him and delayed the bills to restructure the government and set up the new ministry.

President Park also nominated Han, a professor of law at Ewha Womans University, as head of the Fair Trade Commission. Yoon Chang-joong, a presidential spokesman, said the Blue House will ask the legislature for a confirmation hearing next week.

Han, 54, is a native of Jinju, South Gyeongsang. He studied law at Seoul National University and passed the bar exam in 1980. An expert in tax law, Han practiced at Kim & Chang, one of the nation’s largest law firms, from 1984 to 2007. During Park’s campaign, Han served on the Saenuri Party’s People’s Happiness Committee. He, too, is a founding member of Park’s think tank, the Institute of the Future of State.

Je Jeong-boo, vice minister of the Ministry of Government Legislation, was promoted to minister, while Park retained Park Sung-choon, minister of patriots and veterans affairs, in his post. Chung Seung, former vice minister for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, was named to head the Korea Food and Drug Administration.

By Ser Myo-ja []
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