Park appoints Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin as NSC chief

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Park appoints Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin as NSC chief

President Park Geun-hye named Kim Kwan-jin, the Minister of National Defense, as the chief of the presidential office’s National Security Council, according to the Blue House’s spokesman Min Kyung-wook.

As the new defense minister, Park also appointed Han Min-koo, former chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the nominee to replace Kim.

“President Park named the new NSC chief and the defense minister nominee in a situation threatening national security and public safety by the continuous threats and provocations from North Korea, in order to prevent power vacuum in national defense system and tighten national security,” Min, the Blue House spokesman, said at a briefing this morning.

Kim, the longtime defense minister, was named to the post in December 2010 under the Lee Myung-bak administration, in the wake of the

North Korea’s deadly shelling on the Yeonpyeong Island in the South.

The NSC chief, a Blue House member, does not need to go through a questioning by the National Assembly or an approval from the Prime Minister, which the defense minister nominee has to.

The Blue House is still working on nomination to the vacant chief of the National Intelligence Service, the Blue House spokesman added.

The former chief, Nam Jae-joon, stepped down after the sinking of doomed ferry Sewol.


[heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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