National Assembly confirms land minister
The committee approved Kim over the opposition of two minority parties, the Liberty Korea Party and Bareun Party, which boycotted the meeting. Kim Hyun-ah, a representative from the Liberty Korea Party, was the only opposition lawmaker who attended the meeting and approved the nomination.
“Kim, who is the first female nominee for land minister, has served on various National Assembly committees including finance and state affairs,” the committee said in a statement, “and we believe she will work well with many other government branches.”
The committee acknowledged critics who brought up allegations of past ethical lapses including plagiarizing her graduate school thesis, tax evasion and real estate speculation. However, the report expressed hope that Kim will do her best to handle pressing issues, including stabilizing an overheated real estate market and furthering the country’s transportation infrastructure.
Kim is the seventh cabinet member to pass the legislature’s confirmation process, joining Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Seo Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service.
Two other appointees - Kim Sang-jo, chairman of the Fair Trade Commission, and Kang Kyung-hwa, minister of foreign affairs - failed to gain approval but were installed in their positions nonetheless. They did not require legislative confirmation.
BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [email@example.com]