Blue House carries out a reshuffle of staff

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Blue House carries out a reshuffle of staff

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Youn Kun-young

President Moon Jae-in on Monday reshuffled the presidential office to let go of a key aide who wants to run in the April general election while realigning several posts.

Youn Kun-young, director for State Affairs Planning and Monitoring Office at the Office of the President, has tendered his resignation, a Blue House official said Monday.

Speculation was high that Youn, one of Moon’s closet aides, will run in Seoul’s Guro B District in the April 15 election. That district has been represented by the ruling Democratic Party since 2000. It is currently the constituency of SMEs and Startup Minister Park Young-sun, who won three consecutive terms from there. Recently she announced she wouldn’t run again.

“We restructured the organization and functions of the Blue House to more effectively assist state affairs and push forward key agenda items during the second half of the presidency,” Ko Min-jung, presidential spokeswoman, said.

“While we maintain the current framework of three chiefs for the office of the president, office of policy and office of national security plus their 12 senior secretaries and 49 secretaries, some secretaries’ jobs were rearranged and posts for a new secretary and policy officers were created.”

Youn’s departure triggered a chain reaction in the Blue House. According to the announcement, the State Affairs Planning and Monitoring Office will be changed to the State Affairs Monitoring Office, losing its planning operations.

Lee Jin-seok, the current presidential secretary for policy coordination, was named as its new director.

According to Ko, the title of the secretary for speech planning, Oh Jong-shik, will be changed to secretary for planning, and Oh will be in charge of creating and planning directors for state affairs and planning presidential schedules.

The office of the secretary for policy coordination, which used to be headed by Lee, will be merged with the office of secretary for job creation. Lee Jun-hyup, the current secretary for job creation, will change his title to secretary for job creation and coordination to oversee the new office.

The secretary for trade will be changed to the secretary for New Southern and New Northern policies, and Park Jin-kyu, the current trade secretary, will continue in that post. Following the change, Park will be supervised by the advisor to the president for economic affairs instead of the senior secretary for economic affairs.

“The Moon administration has pushed forward the New Southern and New Northern policies in order to diversify its diplomatic partners and expand the country’s influence and economic accomplishments in the international arena,” Ko said. “To this end, the new post was created to support the policies and presidential diplomacy.”

Park’s previous duties related to trade will be given to the secretary for industrial policy. The title held by Kang Sung-cheon, secretary for industrial policy, will be changed to secretary for industrial policy and trade.

Under the supervision of the presidential advisor for science and technology, Moon created a new post of digital innovation secretary. No appointment was announced Monday.

“The new secretary will take initiatives to oversee policies linked to the fourth industrial revolution,” Ko said. “He or she will be in charge of leading innovations to transform the current electronic government to a new digital government.”

According to Ko, Moon also decided to create three new policy officer posts. A policy officer in charge of public safety will serve the secretary for local autonomy and balanced development.

A policy officer to support programs on the materials, components and equipment industry will be named to serve the secretary for industrial policy and trade. A policy officer for the defense industry will serve the secretary for national defense reform.

Appointments of the three new policy officers will be made in the future, Ko said.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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