2 ministers named despite opposition

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2 ministers named despite opposition

President Park Geun-hye on Sunday appointed Cho Yoon-sun as minister of culture, sports and tourism and Kim Jae-soo as minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, despite disapproval from the opposition parties at the confirmation hearings.

“President Park appointed today ministers Cho Yoon-sun and Kim Jae-soo,” the Blue House said in its official statement on Sunday, “in addition to appointing Cho Kyeung-kyu as minister of environment and Kim Jae-hyung as chief justice of the Supreme Court.”

Park is currently attending the Group of 20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, and signed her approval electronically, according to the Blue House.

The confirmation hearing for a Cabinet minister is nonbinding, so Park has the right to appoint them without the National Assembly’s approval.

A confirmation hearing for the prime minister, on the other hand, is binding.

The opposition parties opposed Cho’s appointment by challenging her alleged lavish lifestyle.

The opposition lawmakers also said Kim was an inappropriate choice to serve as a minister by raising questions about his previous real estate investments.

Cho was former minister of gender equality and former senior presidential secretary for political affairs. Kim, meanwhile, is the president of the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp.

This is not the first time Park has appointed a senior public servant without the opposition parties’ support.

Last month, she appointed Lee Chul-sung as the new police chief, despite the Assembly’s refusal to confirm the nomination after discovering that Lee had gotten into a traffic accident in the past while he was under the influence of alcohol, and that he even attempted to hide his identity as a police officer when he was being investigated for the accident.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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