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Cabinet reshuffle under fire from GNP

Posted August. 07, 2000 20:04,   


The opposition Grand National Party (GNP) reacted negatively August 7 to President Kim Dae-Jung`s partial Cabinet reshuffle.

Deputy spokesman Chang Kwang-Keun said in an official statement that the Cabinet shakeup only exposed the limits of the Kim Dae-Jung regime`s pool of personnel resources.

He claimed that the reshuffle simply appeared dynamic, noting that it lacked reform-indedness and did little to address specific problems.

Acting for spokesman Rep. Kwon Chul-Hyun, who is currently on summer leave, Chang said that the GNP "cannot understand the appointment of Song Ja, whose dual nationality sparked a controversy, and that of Chang Young-Chul as chairman of the labor-management-government committee.``

In particular, the deputy spokesman claimed that retaining Lim Dong-Won as director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) "threatened the very meaning of the NIS`s existence.``

He also noted that the economic ministers only changed their seats, even though they were responsible for drafting failed economic policies, and said their new appointments dashed earlier expectations.

However, a considerable number of GNP members positively evaluated the appointment of new Economy and Finance Minister Jin Nyum. Rep. Lee Sang-Deuk, chairman of the Special Economic Countermeasures Committee, said Jin was the best possible choice at the moment. Rep. Kim Mahn-Je, vice chairman of the Policy Committee, gave Jin high praise, saying that he was the most fit for the post of all the candidates.

However, the opposition party criticized the fact that all diplomacy and security team members remained in office, claiming that the President neglected the GNP`s advice on inter-Korean issues such as adherence to the principle of reciprocity.

The GNP also mocked the President for reluctantly employing Shin Kook-Hwan as minister of commerce, industry and energy, a concession to the ruling party`s relations with the splinter United Liberal Democrats.