New foreign minister named ahead of Biden inauguration

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New foreign minister named ahead of Biden inauguration

Chung Eui-yong.  [YONHAP]

Chung Eui-yong. [YONHAP]

 
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday replaced three ministers, naming Chung Eui-yong, a former presidential aide for national security affairs, as the new foreign minister.  
 
Hwang Hee, a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), was named minister of culture, sports and tourism, and Kwon Chil-seung, another DP lawmaker, was named minister of SMEs and Startups, according to the Blue House.
 
Chung, a former career diplomat, served as Moon’s first director of the National Security Office from May 2017 till July 2020. After leaving the post, he has been serving as Moon’s special adviser on foreign affairs and national security.  
 
The Blue House said Moon selected Chung as the new foreign minister for his in-depth understanding of and insight into foreign affairs and national security.  
 
“He is the veteran who dedicated his life to the field of foreign affairs and national security,” Chung Man-ho, presidential senior secretary for public affairs, said. “While serving as the Moon administration’s national security director for three years, he coordinated all issues between Korea and the United States and was most deeply involved in the North-U.S. negotiations and major policies to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”  
 
In this file photo, Chung Eui-yong, President Moon Jae-in's special envoy, left, exchanges greetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the North's ruling Workers' Party headquarters in Pyongyang on Sept. 5, 2018.  [YONHAP]

In this file photo, Chung Eui-yong, President Moon Jae-in's special envoy, left, exchanges greetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the North's ruling Workers' Party headquarters in Pyongyang on Sept. 5, 2018. [YONHAP]

 
Moon expects the new foreign minister to reinforce the Korea-U.S. alliance as Joe Biden’s administration begins and smoothly manage relations with major countries, such as China, Japan and Russia, Chung said.
 
Hwang is a two-term lawmaker with strengths in policy planning and communication, Chung said.  
 
Kwon is also a two-term lawmaker and is dedicated to issues concerning small- and medium-sized companies and start-ups, Chung said.  
 
Kwon will be replacing Park Young-sun, a former four-term lawmaker who served in the post since April 2019. Park is expected to run in the DP’s primary for the Seoul mayoral by-election.  
 
BY SER MYO-JA   [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]  
 
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