Former ambassador to France appointed 2nd vice foreign minister amid broader shake-up
Among 10 vice minister-level officials replaced on Thursday, President Moon Jae-in named Choi Jong-moon, former ambassador to France, as the second vice minister of foreign affairs.
“Moon appointed new vice minister-level officials today in order to secure stability in state affairs during the final years of his term and produce outcomes for his key policies,” Kang Min-seok, presidential spokesman, said. “Cho is a career diplomat with strong experience in both multilateral and bilateral issues [...] We expect him to successfully perform his job in economic and multilateral diplomacy and the protection of Korean residents overseas.”
Jung Jong-chul, planning and coordination department director of the Education Ministry, was promoted to vice minister of education.
“Jung is a specialist in education administration,” Kang said. “We believe he will push forward key policies of the Moon administration while protecting the students’ safety and their right to study amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Kim Jeong-bae, director of the planning and coordination department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was promoted to second vice minister of the ministry. Park Young-bum, presidential secretary for agriculture, maritime and fisheries, was named the new vice minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.
Ryu Keun-kwan, a Seoul National University professor of economics, was named to head Statistics Korea, a state statistics agency.
Kang Eun-ho, deputy head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, was promoted to head the procurement office, and Kim Hyun-mo, deputy head of the Cultural Heritage Administration, was promoted to head that office.
Yoon Hyeung-jung, a presidential secretary of the National Security Office of the Blue House, was named as the first deputy director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
“He is a security expert who has worked on North Korea, overseas and planning and coordination operations at the NIS,” Kang said. “We have high expectations that he will strengthen the NIS’s capability to gather information on North Korea and foreign countries.”
Bae Ki-chan, a civic activist who has worked in the National Assembly and the government, was named secretary-general of the National Unification Advisory Council, a presidential consultative body on the establishment and implementation of unification policies.
Lee Jae-kwan, a senior official of the Interior and Safety Ministry, was appointed as the new head of the Appeals Commission, an ombudsman agency for civil servants that responds to illegal or unfair disciplinary actions and discriminatory treatment.
Kang stressed Thursday that talented candidates with no ethical problems were selected for the latest appointments.
Moon’s land minister nominee, Byeon Chang-heum, is facing fierce public criticism for past remarks seen by many as insensitive.
Kang said the new vice ministers will start their jobs on Friday.
BY SER MYO-JA [firstname.lastname@example.org]