Moon holds first cabinet meeting containing his own picks

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Moon holds first cabinet meeting containing his own picks

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President Moon Jae-in presided over the first complete cabinet meeting of his own on Tuesday with 16 of his newly appointed ministers.

The Moon government’s formation of the complete cabinet came 76 days after he was sworn in and five days after the National Assembly passed the government reorganization act requested by the government.

“We have now reorganized the government structure and approved the supplementary budget bill,” said Moon, referring to the $10 billion bill primarily aimed at reinvigorating the saturated job market, which was passed on Saturday after a month of partisan wrangling. “Therefore, we now have a complete, new government that signals the start of the new administration.”

Under the new government structure, there are 18 ministries under Moon’s leadership, up by one from the former Park Geun-hye government. There are also five lower-level ministries, such as the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and 17 agencies.

Two of the 18 ministers were not at the meeting since Moon has yet to name a head for the Ministry of Small and Medium Business, Venture and Enterprise and his labor minister nominee, Kim Young-joo, was named on Sunday and is now preparing for her confirmation hearing. Labor Minister Lee Ki-kweon, former President Park’s appointee, resigned from his post on Sunday as his successor was named.

Among the major changes is the creation of the ministry for small to medium businesses, signaling that Moon is making good on his campaign promise to level the playing field for both small to medium companies and major conglomerates.

Another major change was the dissolution of the Ministry of Public Safety and Security, less than three years after Park created it in November 2014 in the wake of the sinking of the Sewol ferry, which occurred seven months earlier.

To fill the role, the Public Safety and Emergency Countermeasure Center is to be set up under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, formerly the Interior Ministry.

In the afternoon, Moon appointed two new Supreme Court justices, Park Jeong-hwa and Cho Jae-youn, at an appointment ceremony at the Blue House. He presented Moon Moo-il with an official appointment certificate as prosecutor general, giving him authority to lead the powerful investigative body.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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