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Cabinet Reorganization to Be Outlined Early Next Month

Posted January. 24, 2004 23:12,   


Early next month, President Roh Moo-hyun will implement a reshuffle of offices for the secretarial staff and ministers who intend to run for the general election. The president also plans to implement a personnel reorganization of vice ministers right after the new year holiday.

“We know that President Roh has drawn a blueprint of the reorganization within the cabinet and Cheong Wa Dae during the holidays,” said an official from Cheong Wa Dae on January 24.

The reorganization among the vice ministers is a sequel to the one which occurred late last year and will be wrapped up this month. However, there is also a possibility that the vice ministers, who are being mentioned as candidates for the general election, will be included in next month’s reorganization of the ministers.

First, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Kim Jin-pyo is known to be running in the Yeontong district, Suwon. Vice Minister of Finance and Economy Kim Gwang-lim is also strongly being recommended to run in Andong, Gyeongbuk. For the TK areas (Daegu & Gyeongbuk), Labor Minister Kwon Ki-hong is highly likely to run in Daegu or Gyeongsan-Cheongdo, Gyeongbuk with State Affairs Coordination Manager Lee Yong-tak running in Yoengju, Gyeongbuk.

Women ministers, Kang Kum-shil and Environment Minister Han Myeong-sook, are also being persuaded to run in Seoul, and it is rather certain that Minister Kang will be invited to a party as part of the proportional representation. Minister of Gender Equality Chi Eun-hee and Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Hwa-joong are also likely to receive last-minute invitation calls.

State Affairs Public Relation Manager Cho Young-dong, former editor-in-chief of Pusan Ilbo, has been determined to run in the Busan Jin-gu District. Vice Minister of Information and Communication Byun Jae-il (Choengju or Choengwon, Chungbuk), Vice Minister of Science and Technology Kwon Oh-kab (Sangju, Gyeongbuk), National Tax Service Commissioner Lee Yong-sup (Yeonggwang-Hampyong, Jonnam), and Korea National Railroad Administrator Kim Se-ho are also receiving love calls from the Uri Party.

It is known that Chief Secretary to the President Moon Hee-sang and Chief Secretary of State Affairs in Cheong Wa Dae Yoo In-tae have expressed their will to run for the general election, which indicates a broader scope of reorganization in Cheong Wa Dae than previously expected.

Protocol Secretary Chung Man-ho has announced his intention to run in Cheolwon-Hwachoen-Yanggu, Gangwon, and Chief Secretary of Participation and Innovation Park Joo-hyun is being mentioned to run in Jeonju, his hometown, or in Seoul. Chief Secretary of Civil Administration to the President Moon Jae-in is also likely to throw his name into the hat at the last minute.

There are voices of concern that fear an administration vacancy due to the frequent reorganizations if a large number of cabinet members resigns from their posts. President Roh said in his new year press conference that “there would be no reorganization caused by the general election for now,” but it is still questionable how he would make a final coordination with the Uri Party which strives to put all its efforts in the general election.

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com