Military promotions announced following delay
The Defense Ministry late yesterday unveiled the list of some 100 high-ranking officials in the Army, Navy and Armed Forces who were promoted in a storied general-level reshuffle for the second half of the year.
Kim Yoo-geun, lieutenant-general of the Army, was promoted as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Park Chan-ju, lieutenant-general of the Army, was moved up to deputy Army chief of staff; and Cho Hyeon-cheon, the cyber warfare commander, was promoted as the commander of the Defense Security Command.
The biannual reshuffle came after a daylong delay when the Blue House ordered at the last minute a “further scrutinized” screening of the candidates considered for promotion.
The committee meeting, to be attended by the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs of staff, to discuss the list of people to be promoted, the first step in the reshuffle, was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon; the defense minister was to report the confirmed list to President Park Geun-hye by Monday morning.
The list can only be announced after being approved by the president.
The president received the report yesterday morning, and the list was unveiled later in the evening at her endorsement.
The presidential office’s review is based on records from the prosecution, police and the National Intelligence Service, the nation’s top spy agency.
Despite the demand from the Blue House, the reshuffling process this time was exceptional, military insiders said.
“There have been several occasions over the past three decades of my military career that required rescheduling the date of the reshuffle’s announcement to meet the deadline for the president’s approval,” said a high-ranking military official. “But this is the first time I have seen the adjustment of the list of figures to be promoted take so long that it couldn’t even be reported to the president.”
The Park administration is noted for its severe style of micro-management, and government officials have previously complained on the condition of anonymity that it has even affected lower-level civil servants.
Under the normal schedule, the reshuffle was supposed to be administered between late October and early November. Although military sources said the change in the time line was simply a result of the decision to advance the biannual event, analysts say it was partly affected by the recent chain of cases of physical abuse against soldiers that resulted in their deaths.
A reshuffling of lower posts within the three military branches will follow.
BY SEO JI-EUN, CHUNG YONG-SOO [email@example.com]