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One New Minister or Vice Minister Every Six Weeks

Posted August. 23, 2005 03:28,   


For 30 months since the inauguration of the Roh Moo-hyun government, 21 new members have been added to the office, and all of them are ministers or vice-ministers. In other words, the government has added a new officer every six weeks.

Dong-A Ilbo obtained personnel information regarding the status of ministers and vice ministers as of February 1, 2003, April 1, 2003, and August 15, 2005, and analyzed them to find out that the current administration has added three more ministerial level positions and eighteen more vice ministerial level positions since its launch.

Two ministerial positions were replaced with five new ones, while 22 new vice ministers have been added. Four have been eliminated.

In particular, the additions have been made mainly inside Cheong Wa Dae and the office of prime minister. Also, most positions were promotions, while the system and works have remained unchanged, drawing criticism that the government is thoughtlessly adding high-ranking officials.

Upon its launch, the current administration has added a chief of the presidential policy office and a national security advisor in Cheong Wa Dae, with two more presidential secretaries, which are vice-ministerial level posts.

The office of the prime minister renamed a general coordinator and a society and culture coordinator as a deputy administrator of planning and a deputy administrator of policy respectively, promoting their positions.

Meanwhile, one more ministerial and two more vice ministerial level positions will be added. In October, the ombudsman of Korea’s chairman and secretary general will be promoted to ministerial level and vice ministerial level posts, respectively. The defense procurement office, whose director is also at the ministerial level, will start operations at the end of this year.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com