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Cabinet Reshuffle to Affect 6 to 8 Portfolios

Posted July. 10, 2002 22:25,   


President Kim Dae-jung is reported on the 10th to carry out cabinet reshuffle soon affecting up to eight portfolios.

A high-ranking official in the presidential office of Chungwadae said, "An early cabinet reshuffle is inevitable in a bid to regain the public confidence in the wake of the West Sea clash and the indictment of the President`s second son. Another reason is that government ministries have fallen into the state of disturbance due to the postponement of the cabinet overhaul. The cabinet reshuffle will be carried out today or tomorrow."

The official added, "The scope of the reshuffle will be much larger than the initial plan, which was intended to confine the overhaul to some ministries that caused the reshuffle."

The fate of Prime Minister Lee Han-dong is still unclear, but the President is said to consider the replacement of the Premier as part of his effort to renew the cabinet`s image, drawing public attention to his last-minute decision.

Up for a change are the Culture and Tourism minister, which has been vacant since Namkung Jin, former Culture and Tourism minister, tendered his resignation and Kim Dong-shin, Defense Minister, who has been under fire for failing to cope with the West Sea skirmish in an appropriate manner. Other ministers, whose performances were subpar, will also be included in the overhaul.

Chol-Hi Lee klimt@donga.com