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Kim Hyuk-Kyu Expected to be Nominated Next Week

Posted May. 25, 2004 21:20,   


President Roh Moo-hyun officially accepted Prime Minister Goh Kun’s resignation yesterday and said that the reshuffle of the three government ministries will be made in late June. The three ministries are Unification, Culture and Tourism, and Health and Welfare.

The president will reportedly name Kim Hyuk-kyu, a former South Gyeongsang governor, as his prime minister immediately after the 17th National Assembly begins on June 7 and will seek approval from the National Assembly. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lee Hun-jai will be acting prime minister until the prime minister-designate goes through a parliamentary confirmation hearing and vote.

“It will be difficult to reshuffle the government before mid-June,” Roh said at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “The media says that the scope of the reshuffle will be broadened since it is delayed. But that’s different from the truth, and I’m not considering it at all.”

“I decided to replace three posts, considering the general elections and changes in the political landscape such as the formation of the National Assembly,” said the president. “It is true that three ministers will be replaced.”

He said, “I informed the candidates so that the Uri Party can prepare for the work regarding posts in the party and the National Assembly.” By saying so, Roh made it clear that he already informed the Uri Party`s former chairman, Chung Dong-young, floor leader Kim Geun-tae, and Rep. Chung Dong-chae about the appointment.

Regarding the timing of the appointment of Kim as prime minister, Cheong Wa Dae senior presidential secretary for public information, Lee Byung-wan, told reporters, “We should see whether there is a case where an approval-seeking bill was submitted when the parliamentary kicks off and watch the situations in the National Assembly.” His remarks suggest that the appointment can be changed depending on political conditions.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com