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34 Names of Vice Minister-level Appointments Unveiled

Posted March. 03, 2003 22:33,   


President Roh Moo-hyun announced 34 vice minister-level appointments today. The appointments included new vice ministers in 17 government ministries, appointing Kim Kwang-lim, head of the Korean Intellectual Property Office, as vice minister of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, as well as candidates for the new chief of police and head of the tax office.

Meanwhile, Lee Young-sup, head of the Korean Customs Service and Choi Ki-moon, president of Korean National Police University, were respectively named heads of the National Tax Service and the National Police Agency, which were the subjects of parliamentary confirmation hearings. Former NPA chief Kim Sei-ok was appointed as head of the Presidential Secret Service.

Chief of Planning and Management at the Ministry of Justice, Chung Sang-myung was unofficially decided to assume the post of vice minister of the same ministry and is expected to be officially appointed around March 10, along with the scheduled appointments of high-ranking officials of the Prosecution. In addition, it is expected that the name of a new director of the Board of Trade Relations will be announced along with that for vice minister of the Ministry of Education.

“Today`s vice minister-level appointments were made through an objective assessment and verification process by reflecting the philosophy of personnel management in the new government and by following the principle of appointing “reformist ministers and stability-oriented vice ministers.” Chung Chan-young, presidential aide for Personnel Management, said. “Through this timely appointment, we sought to bring vitality to the government by promoting those senior officials such as directors of the planning office within the relevant ministries.”

On appointments of economy-related posts, such as heads of the Fair Trade Commission and Financial Supervisory Commission, Chung hinted that there will be follow-up appointments. “Although President Roh feels that remaining tenures should be respected and should take root in practice, retaining current government officials based on tenure does not completely coincide with the principle of sound government management practices.”

Meanwhile, in case of the Deputy Prime Minister for Education, Chung met with Kim Woo-sik, president of Yonsei University yesterday evening and stoked speculations that the university president had emerged as the strongest candidate for the position. “It has not been decided yet and we are still searching for the right person for the job,” the aide said.

With respect to the appointment of head of the National Intelligence Service, the president`s spokesperson, Song Kyung-hee said that President Roh has decided to accept opinions from some of his senior secretaries that in order for sweeping reform in the NIS, the head of the intelligence agency should be named among senior officials equipped with the ability to fully control the agency. Previously, the President had said that he would appoint an official with an administrative career as chief of the NIS.

Against the backdrop of a shift in the standard for selection of the chief of the NIS, a lawmaker from the Millennium Democratic Party Lee Hae-chan and Yonsei University professor Moon Jung-in were mentioned again as candidates for the position.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com